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Our History | Syncsort
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Innovative Software from Big Iron to Big Data

With ingenuity, innovation and a healthy measure of inspiration, Syncsort is committed to helping the world’s data-intensive organizations unleash the power of Big Data Integration to collect, process and distribute Big Data. We strive to help our customers ask the Big questions by making what was hard easy and what was impossible routine.

The secret to our success has been to continually innovate and evolve our software as new, disruptive technologies and approaches are employed by IT organizations to enable the business to compete and grow. Here’s a brief recap of our story, from our founding legacy as the world’s most popular and widely used mainframe sorting software to today’s data integration solutions that provide a smarter way to maximize the value of Big Data.


Rethinking the economics of data since 1968

In the early days of mainframe computing, systems required huge monetary investments, specialized expertise to operate and a large amount of time to perform even the simplest functions. In 1968, seven recent graduates of New York University and Columbia University forged a partnership to find a better, smarter way to process data. They were determined to develop a software solution that increased mainframe performance while reducing operational costs.

Starting business as Whitlow Computer Systems, the seven partners spent years perfecting a series of algorithms that streamlined mainframe sorting, used less resources, adapted to specific environmental variables and scaled to meet the demands of growing data volumes. In time, the team at Whitlow developed software that vastly outperformed all other sorting solutions and earned their first patents. In late 1971, these patented algorithms became the basis of the first version of their solution. They called it "SyncSort".


Syncsort's mainframe evolution and revolution.

Throughout the 1970s, Whitlow continued development of SyncSort to meet the growing needs of mainframe users and established a dominant position in the mainframe market that is still in place today. The company extended functionality to DOS, as well as CMS, and began adding hundreds of dynamic optimization algorithms. Meanwhile they successfully marketed SyncSort in competition with IBM’s SM-023 free sort product and captured over 50% of the North American mainframe market. Whitlow’s mainframe sorting solution was so successful, so quickly, that the company established offices in France, Germany, England and the Netherlands. In 1981, the company formally changed its name to Syncsort Incorporated.

Throughout the 1980s, 90s and 2000’s Syncsort has grown and enjoyed continued profitability. Why? We listen to our customers and look for new ways to help IT meet changing business needs. We have continued to add sort, join and aggregate algorithms to the SyncSort library, earning several more patents, and providing customers with a more flexible, more robust solution. Responding to changing system environments, the company released versions of SyncSort for Windows, Linux and UNIX. And we didn’t stop there.


The birth of smarter data integration

Early on, Syncsort recognized the importance of Big Data initiatives, that they were driven by the extraordinary value in new forms of enterprise data, as well as the burden on IT to find a way to extract that value from a continual avalanche of data. Leveraging its experience in increasing mainframe performance and operational efficiency – and proactively collaborating with customers to find solutions to these rising challenges – Syncsort expanded its capabilities to include data integration and introduced DMExpress in 2004.

With the introduction of DMExpress, customers could address a broader range of data sources and targets, a wider array of reporting options, metadata management and a more usable job management console at the fastest possible speeds.

Syncsort technology extracts, transforms, cleanses and loads data so fast that DMExpress earned the ETL World Record in 2008, transferring 5.4TB of raw data into a Vertica Analytic Database on an HP c-class BladeSystem in just 57 minutes. This feat shattered the previous World Record, held by Microsoft, which transformed 2.36TB in an hour and cost $636/GB/hr. The record-setting Syncsort-Vertica- HP solution cost $46/GB/hr and validated Syncsort’s ability to provide optimal performance and maximum return on investment.


Integrating Big Data…Smarter for today’s most successful organizations

Today, Syncsort is expanding our Big Data Integration solutions to provide data-intensive organizations across the big data continuum with a smarter way to collect and process the ever-expanding data avalanche.  With thousands of deployments across all major platforms, including mainframe, Syncsort helps customers around the world to overcome the architectural limits of today’s ETL and Hadoop environments, empowering their organizations to drive better business outcomes in less time, with less resources and lower TCO.