Sophisticated Rule Engine to Manage Robust Data

John Dillon
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
John Dillon
I have been in the enterprise technology business over 30 years and believe we are on the cusp of a second Database revolution. It's hard to remember Oracle as a $250M company, but it was when I was there in 1988 and we were kicking and scratching to get people to get their heads around the benefits of moving off of hierarchal IBM databases and into the relational world. We are early days in another major technology shift catalyzed by the reality that the cost of enterprise compute continues to plummet. The two main drivers of this price deflation are major improvements in hardware efficiency, and the proliferation of the open source movement. These two realities have removed the once nearly impenetrable barrier of capital from the process of innovation, and the result is the rapid increase of two kinds of companies:

1. Companies that sell technology (Aerospike, MongoDB and Cloudera)
2. Companies that exist solely because of technology (Uber and airbnb)

Plummeting Costs
In the hardware world, Amazon Web Services has come out of nowhere to become a $9B business in about five years. I haven't had a conversation with a customer in years that doesn't have AWS as a major component of its compute paradigm. In the software world, the open source movement has mutated from a small group of likeminded hackers writing code to upset the establishment, to a large group of developers taking code for great software that they can use for free. These deflationary dynamics are a reaction to decades of pricing abuse and a lack of innovation from the large vendors that have abused duopolies in nearly every major category of technology.

The Deflationary Impact on the Database World
I believe a brief discussion of how these dynamics are affecting my company Aerospike, the High Performance NoSQL Database, are an analog for the changes happening in every category of technology today. From my perspective, most of the changes in the database space are transitional; there's a new crop of vendors with a better way to accomplish existing tasks. The database is no longer a product, it's a category, and IT departments now have the luxury of selecting the right tool for the right job, at the right price. The growth of well-known start ups like Cloudera and MongoDB is predicated on a better/more cost effective way to accomplish the same task historically run on a legacy database. The vast majority of deployments are replacements or extensions of existing commodity workloads, like data warehouses, content management platforms, web catalogs etc.

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