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Syncsort Incorporated
  • Duane Whitlow
  • Stan Rintel
Headquarters Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, USA
Key people
  • Josh Rogers (CEO)
  • Bob Bies (CFO)
  • Syncsort Ironcluster®
  • Syncsort Ironstream®
  • DMX-h
  • DMX
  • MFX®
  • DL/2
  • VS/2
  • ZPSaver Suite
  • ZEN Suite
Number of employees

Syncsort Incorporated is a global software company specializing in Big Data, high speed sorting products, and data integration software and services, for Hadoop, Microsoft Windows, UNIX, Linux, and mainframe systems. According to the company, Syncsort products are used by thousands of companies worldwide, with over 12,000 deployments in 70 countries.[1]


In 1968, Duane Whitlow and Stan Rintel started a company (Whitlow Computer Systems) to develop software for mainframe computers.[2] The result was a business with a niche product portfolio originally based on high speed data sorting, but which later moved into Big Data, Hadoop, Cloud, and ETL.

According to co-founder Duane Whitlow, the company's original task was to develop an airlines reservations system for Control Data.[2] In the course of that work, Whitlow encountered timing charts for IBM's existing sort utility, and thought he could build a sort that was much faster. When sales opportunities arose, the nascent firm demonstrated a smaller footprint and better performance than IBM's equivalent offering.

In the early years, Aso Tavitian managed sales and marketing operations, which soon took off, especially after then-startup Computerworld published a front page story about the product. That story, Whitlow said, resulted in openings in Europe, and the company was one of the first to sell an independent software product in Europe.[2] In those early days, according to Whitlow, Syncsort's product was often the first non-IBM product for many customers.

In the 1990s, Syncsort expanded into client/server environments with a Unix-based sort utility and a backup product. In 2004, Syncsort introduced DMExpress, which added core ETL (extract, transform, load) integration capabilities, metadata management and improved job management. In 2008, DMExpress was awarded the ETL world speed record by transferring 5.4TB of raw data into a Vertica Analytic Database on an HP c-class BladeSystem in 57 minutes.[3]

By 2013, Syncsort had positioned itself as a “Big Iron to Big Data” company whose products reportedly require less manual tuning and still exhibit high performance. Reflecting the importance of its Big Data strategy, in 2013 Syncsort recruited technology industry veteran Lonne Jaffe as CEO. Jaffe had previously served as Senior Vice President of corporate strategy at CA Technologies, and VP of strategy in the IBM software group.[4]

Also in 2013, Syncsort acquired Circle Computer Group,[5] whose product DL/2 facilitates migration of mainframe data, especially from IBM IMS instances to IBM's DB2 under z/OS.[6][7]

In February 2015, Syncsort acquired William Data Systems, a network monitoring and security software company. Syncsort announced it will make security data collected by William Data available via Ironstream®, a product introduced in 2014 that delivers real-time mainframe data to Splunk Enterprise and Splunk Cloud.[8]

In November 2016, Syncsort acquired Trillium Software, a leading global provider of data quality solutions.

Syncsort Incorporated is one of the oldest continuously operating software firms of its size.[9] Now in its fifth decade, the company has diversified beyond its original namesake product and operates subsidiaries in France, Germany and the UK.


In April 2008, Insight Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Georgian Partners, Goldman Sachs and other investors bought a majority interest in Syncsort Incorporated.[10] In October 2013, Syncsort sold its data protection business to an investor group led by Bedford Venture Partners and Windcrest Partners. The spun off Data Protection business is now called Catalogic Software. According to the firm, the sale is expected to allow Syncsort to focus on the “Big Iron to Big Data" market opportunity.[11]

In October 2015, Clearlake Capital Group announced that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire Syncsort. [12] The acquisition was completed in November 2015.

In January 2016, Lonne Jaffe announced he would be serving as the Senior Advisor to Syncsort’s Board of Directors. Clearlake Capital named Syncsort President, Josh Rogers, to lead Syncsort’s next phase of growth as CEO and member of Syncsort’s Board of Directors.


Product Type Description Platforms Introduced
Syncsort MFX® Utility High speed data sort, join, copy. CPU offload to zIIP engines z/OS 1971[13]
DMX/DMExpress Data integration Extract, transform and load (ETL). Editions: Sort, App Mod, ETL. Windows, Unix, Linux 2004[3]
DMX-h Hadoop ETL & Data Processing Hadoop sort, Extract, Transform and Load, and data preparation Hadoop 2013
Ironcluster® Cloud Data integration as a service Hadoop ETL app AWS[14] Amazon EC2 2013
DL/2 Legacy data migration IMS & VSAM data migration z/OS 2013, through acquisition
VS/2 Legacy data migration VSAM data migration z/OS 2013, through acquisition
Ironstream® Utility z/OS forwarder to Splunk z/OS 2014
ZPSaver Suite Utility Offload copy and compress to zIIP engines z/OS 2014
ZEN Suite Monitoring Network and security monitoring z/OS, Linux, Windows 2015, through acquisition


  1. ^ Bloomberg Businessweek, "Company Overview for Syncsort Incorporated," retrieved 2014-01-14.
  2. ^ a b c Johnson, Luanne, "Oral History of Duane Whitlow", Computer History Museum, Interviewed by Luanne Johnson, recorded 1998-05-08, retrieved 2014-01-14.
  3. ^ a b history web page, retrieved 2014-01-14.
  4. ^ Datanami, "Syncsort Expands Executive Management Team for Data Integration Business," 2013-07-01, retrieved 2013-10-30.
  5. ^ Williams, Alex. "Syncsort Acquires Circle Computer Group As Companies Struggle To Get Data Off Ancient Mainframes." Techcrunch, 2013-09-30, retrieved 2014-01-14.
  6. ^ Yost, Denny. "z/Product Profile:DL/2 From Circle Computer Group," Enterprise Systems Media, 2011-02-17, retrieved 2014-01-14.
  7. ^ Nicole, Kristen. "Breaking Analysis: Syncsort’s New Acquisition Primes Partners for Real-Time Big Data," Silicon Angle, 2013-09-30, retrieved 2014-01-14.
  8. ^ William Data acquisition page, retrieved 2015-04-28.
  9. ^ PRNewswire, "Syncsort Announces Winners of 2012 Partner of the Year Awards," 2012-02-01, retrieved 2014-01-14.
  10. ^ Datanami, "Syncsort Expands Executive Management Team for Data Integration Business", 2013-07-01, retrieved 2014-01-20.
  11. ^ Denne, Scott. "Big Data Success Stories: Syncsort," Wall Street Journal blog, 2012-03-20, retrieved 2014-01-20.
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ Yost, Denny. "z/Product Profile:DL/2 From Circle Computer Group," Enterprise Systems Media, 2011-02-17, retrieved 2014-01-20.
  14. ^ Database Trends and Applications, "Syncsort and Cloudera Partner to Helps Enterprises Leverage Mainframe Big Data, " 2013-09-30, retrieved 2014-01-20.

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