Google has acquired Talaria Technologies, a company with the goal of making popular applications such as Drupal or WordPress run more efficiently.
Talaria’s homepage simply states that Google has acquired the company, and that it will be “joining forces” with “Google’s Cloud Platform team” in order to “help even more developers build and run their sites better.” Via a Google cache (as well as images saved by TechCrunch) it’s clear that Talaria targeted a 10X improvement and scalability with its Dynamic Web Application Server, available for PHP.
“Running your site better is just half the battle,” Talaria wrote, according to the text preserved by Google cache. “Talaria goes further, helping you understand and tune your Web application. With our efficient, built-in profiler and source-code analyses you’ll quickly pinpoint bottlenecks or mistakes in your code. No performance impact or cumbersome, manual instrumentation.”
Talaria built a web server that seamlessly integrates into existing Web architecture by replacing the scripting engine, Holger Mueller, vice president of products at Northgate Arinso (and a former chief application architect at SAP), noted on his blog.
The idea appears to be that Talaria takes code and writes it closer to the hardware, improving its efficiency via a profiler, Mueller wrote. “If you are able to replace slower, often only interpreted code from popular programming languages such as Phyton and Ruby—you gain dramatic efficiencies, often even better than the 10x Talaria claims. That allows you to either push your functionality further on existing hardware – or reduce the hardware needed to run the same functionality.”
In some ways, what Talaria is doing is similar to what Transmeta did in 2000, when chip pioneer David Ditzel and his co-founders designed a chip architecture that could interpret and translate code written for X86 chips such as the Intel Pentium III, “morphing” them into the byte codes used by the Transmeta architecture. (The company was one of the last IPOs of the original dot-com bubble, before going out of business for good in 2009.)
Google’s all about using smart programming techniques to better improve performance. Earlier this month, Google disclosed the Zopfli compression algorithm, which promises to compress Web pages further than the commonly-used gzip algorithm, but with a correspondingly higher computational load.
Talaria may have been influenced by Facebook’s own open-sourced HipHop-php PHP to C++ converter, but wasn’t able to persuade customers to entrust their code to a startup’s technology, Mueller noted. Now, Talaria has found one of the largest customers of all to bless its code.
Image: Wikipedia (public domain)