Delphix CEO: Why database virtualization matters

Creating a copy of a core database is typically a painful job. The CEO of Delphix, a database virtualization startup, claims it doesn't have to be that way

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Knorr: Give me another customer example to illustrate what Delphix is good for.

Yueh: Procter & Gamble is a great example. They run SAP, and they create up to 34 copies of their SAP environment to support all of the programs, projects, initiatives that they have running.

The total environment is about 600TB of storage for SAP; 400TB of that is the lifecycle with "more data" component that we consolidate and virtualize. With our product, they can shrink 400TB to about 40TB. You usually get 10 to 20:1 consolidation ratios with our product. What's more important is not just the hardware savings. It's the fact that their IT teams now don't have to spend that four weeks across four teams to create these environments or to refresh these environments.

Knorr: Well, that's just it, keeping that coherent is the other side of it that gets out of control.

Yueh: Yeah. You get like a 20-times productivity time savings as well as about a 10- to 20-times hardware cost savings, so you get two pieces. And it's really delivering those kinds of benefits [especially when] you've got all these legacy database systems on old platforms.

Another good example is StubHub, which bought the product. If you're creating all these copies of your StubHub databases for development and testing and QA, you have a lot of copies that are no longer managed by your production database team that are floating around where all kinds of people can access data.

You can see the risks. Once you've moved off these separate copies, well, who's in control of the user and privilege management? And who's in control of creating additional copies or locking down these data sets? Nobody can see where all these copies are or when they should get retired. You just have this risk surface area floating around.

We virtualize all of it into one location. We do full audit logging, so you can run a single report and see every privileged user -- access, refresh, creation -- from one single place. There's an element of it that's about data control.

Knorr: You must have to get pretty deep into the eccentricities of all these different database structures to be able to virtualize them this way.

Yueh: Yes and no. Relational databases all have pretty similar structures in their files and in how they handle logs, so about 80 percent of the product is heterogeneous across all the databases, and then for each of the databases we do have to build some custom components.

A lot of that customization is the automation around standing up a database and dealing with the eccentricities and the little triggers that you need to do to change memory settings and this setting and that setting, so we do all that automation too. We started with Oracle support. Microsoft SQL betas should begin at the end of this year or beginning of next year, and we'll end up picking up all the major relational databases.

Knorr: Right, but the point is you do need to specifically support them.

Yueh: Yes. You need to serially support all of them.

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