Hortonworks Acquires Onyara For Real Time IoT Analytics

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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The Hadoop developer said Onyara’s NSA-developed technology will make it easier to acquire data from an array of devices

Data analytics firm Hortonworks  has agreed to acquire Onyara, a start-up founded by the developers of a NSA surveillance technology designed to collect data from embedded devices such as sensors.

The acquisition is intended to give Hortonworks a foothold in the rapidly expanding market for embedded, Internet-connected devices – known as the “Internet of Things” or the “Internet of Anything” – which has created an ever-expanding pool of real-time data that can be analysed to extract usable information.

Data gathering

onyaraOnyara’s technology, open-sourced by the NSA in 2014 under the name NiFi, creates a secure, two-way connection between data centres and devices, Hortonworks said.

The company is hiring Onyara’s 10 staff and plans to create a new division around the technology, releasing it commercially under the Hortonworks DataFlow brand. The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Hortonworks said NiFi is complementary to its Hortonworks Data Platform, its commercial offering of the Apache Hadoop data analysis technology open-sourced by Yahoo! in 2011. Like Hadoop, NiFi is an Apache project, reaching top-level status in July of this year, signifying it has met Apache’s governance criteria.

“Onyara’s impressive work on security and simplicity in NiFi, combined with their commitment to open source makes for a perfect addition to our technology team,” explained Hortonworks chief executive Rob Bearden.


Onyara itself was founded only at the end of last year, but its engineers created and were key contributors to the technology now known as NiFi over the past eight years.

“Nearly a decade ago when (the Internet of Anything) began to emerge, we saw an opportunity to harness the massive new data types from people, places and things, and deliver it to businesses in a uniquely secure and simple way,” said Onyara chief technology officer Joe Witt in a statement.

The technology, originally intended for the collection of data for surveillance purposes, was tested and used in intelligence organisations and can operate in devices such as sensors or simple computers, according to Hortonworks.

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