Big Money for Big Database Company

[qi:110] Aster Data Systems, a Redwood City, Calif-based startup that makes data warehousing software, has raised $12 million in new funding from JAFCO Ventures along with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Cambrian Ventures and First Round Capital. The company had previously raised $10 million in funding. Aster’s main product is Aster nCluster, a high-performance analytic database. The company was founded in 2005 by Stanford students Mayank Bawa (CEO) and Tasso Argyros (CTO). Aster is one of the many startups (and established players) that are tackling the problem of plenty.

The proliferation of web services, social networks and the common availability of digital media is placing new sorts of demands on the database infrastructure, prompting the need for a new approach to not only warehousing information, but to sifting through the proverbial mountains of data. In some cases, such as with, say, MySpace, the need to process that data very, very quickly is even higher. After all, what’s the point of getting an update about a friend’s drinking binge six hours later?

Aster and its rivals, such as Greenplum, Terracotta and Truviso, are working on solving those problems — and in the process, are challenging existing players such as Netezza (s NZ) and Teradata (s TDC).

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