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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Yueh: That is their job. On the business analyst side, they don't want to roll back data, they just want fresh data to run their job. So they just want to be able to say -- I want fresh data on this schedule and I want to keep it for this amount of time, and I've got a bigger priority than everybody else.

Knorr: What are some of the things that customers are asking you for?

Yueh: They ask us all the time for support for all the databases, especially in the banks, they want Sybase support and DB2 support and Microsoft SQL support, so that's one of the main kind of priorities for us as a business is to get heterogeneous fast.

We're learning quite a bit from our customers on how they're using the product today. It was a demo less than a year ago, when we came out of stealth mode, but we've picked up 30 Fortune 500 accounts since then. We didn't expect that we'd have so many big-name accounts right out of the gate.

Knorr: I would imagine they would want you to go deeper into the legacy stuff because that's where their biggest headache is.

Yueh: That's where, pound-for-pound, they spend the most money, they have the most rigidity, and where the applications mean the most to the business. The interesting thing is if you look at the market, Oracle has 300,000 database customers. It's an incredibly big market. They do $30 billion in middleware and databases, and Larry Ellison said last year FY11 for them was the fastest growth in database software revenues in a decade. While there's a lot of buzz around NoSQL and Hadoop and all that stuff, the growth of just the base relational database market is still way meatier than the growth in everything else. It's a monster component of the market.

Knorr: Do you plan to stay within this domain? Is this your area of specialization? Is there an exit strategy for you in the future?

Yueh: It's a no-exit exit strategy. We would love to build the biggest independent software company that we could. That is really the goal of the company. If you think about the really big waves that have hit IT over the decades, clearly the x86 server market and the PC market were monster opportunities. I think the second-biggest opportunity might have been the relational database market, which created Oracle, big chunks of Microsoft's and IBM's revenue.

Nobody has really found a way to take out the big cost and complexity in the database space, so that's really what our software is designed to do. I would argue that the data trapped in relational databases might be the most important asset to virtualize in the enterprise data center.

This article, "Delphix CEO: Why database virtualization matters," originally appeared at Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog, and for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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