DataStax CEO: Every use case doesn’t need a new database

After two and a half years within the function, the CEO of DataStax is laser-focused on simplifying the duty of utilizing and managing NoSQL databases for builders, as he plots a path to $1 billion in annual income and an eventual IPO.

Based in Texas in 2010, DataStax made its identify serving to enterprise prospects become familiar with the extremely scalable NoSQL Apache Cassandra open supply database. Now, underneath CEO Chet Kapoor, the corporate is seeking to construct on its success with Cassandra by offering a extra general-purpose open supply information stack for each information at relaxation and the harder-to-manage information in movement.

Bringing order to a fragmented database market

“I’m blown away by how fragmented the database market is. Each use case has a brand new database and I don’t assume that ought to be the case,” Kapoor, who labored at Google (through its acquisition of Apigee) and IBM earlier than becoming a member of DataStax as CEO in 2019, informed InfoWorld throughout a current go to to London.

For Kapoor, the reply to this rising complexity downside is an opinionated information stack, based mostly on open supply applied sciences, the place builders can extra simply handle each information at relaxation and information in movement.

“Builders actually don’t need to fear about databases,” he mentioned. “How will we make this fully seamless for them, the place a Jamstack or enterprise developer is simply utilizing an API so the database stuff simply works?”

Final month DataStax added CDC streaming capabilities to its managed AstraDB service, powered by Apache Pulsar—which has emerged as a rival streaming information engine to Apache Kafka—giving builders the flexibility to handle each operational and streaming information multi function place.

Then, if it doesn’t “simply work,” Kapoor acknowledges the necessity for the product to be clear and open sufficient to permit the small minority of builders who need to get underneath the covers to take action. “The simplicity piece works for 90% of builders, however you need to ensure that your hotshot PhD from Carnegie Mellon ought to have the ability to go into your system and do no matter you need,” he mentioned.

Is a database convergence coming?

Discovering that stability between permitting builders to undertake one of the best obtainable applied sciences, whereas additionally giving management some stage of manageability and value management, isn’t a novel downside to DataStax, however it’s one Kapoor is seeking to tackle. “Our mission assertion is to serve the real-time utility, with an open information stack, that simply works,” he mentioned.

This drive in direction of developer expertise and larger simplicity has already seen the rise of serverless utility platforms like Vercel and Netlify, however these front-end targeted platforms nonetheless want a database someplace beneath.

“Given the truth that most utility platforms would require a database and most database platforms shall be backing purposes, the clear implication is that utility platforms ought to be eyeing database distributors with a watch in direction of acquisition, and that database distributors ought to be contemplating utility platforms for a similar purpose,” RedMonk analyst Steve O’Grady just lately wrote in a weblog publish.

Kapoor mentioned that he has had conversations with each Vercel and Netlify previously. And though he didn’t go into element about what was mentioned, he did say that he seems ahead to seeing what occurs, as a result of he believes these worlds will collide. It’s vital for DataStax to stay near “the frameworks that builders love, and assist them as natively as we probably can,” he mentioned.

Whereas fragmentation will proceed to make this removed from a easy partnership between utility platforms and database-as-a-service suppliers, O’Grady views the resurgence of general-purpose database platforms and abstraction layers like GraphQL as routes out of the mire for builders.

Open supply technique is simple, the execution is difficult

DataStax has not been resistant to the challenges of constructing an enterprise software program enterprise on open supply foundations.

Earlier than Kapoor joined, the connection between DataStax and the broader Apache Cassandra group—which incorporates high-powered members like Uber, Netflix, Fb, and Apple—had turn out to be so strained that DataStax primarily vacated its management of the venture in 2016 and allowed its annual group occasion to lapse. After I requested about this, Kapoor actually put his palm to his face.

“The primary factor that I did once I joined, the very first thing, was say we’re going to embrace the group,” Kapoor mentioned. “We put 20 of our high engineers again into the group and earned their belief, which took some time, as a result of while you piss off a group, that sticks round for a very long time. It took us about sixteen months till we reached the purpose the place the group shipped Cassandra 4.0. Now, I feel we’re in a great place with the group.”

Kapoor has been keenly watching how distributors like Elastic and MongoDB have contended with comparable points, and admits that “the technique is easy, the implementation is admittedly arduous.”

“The needle that you must thread is the corporate must innovate and ship options, and you must keep true to your group as nicely,” he mentioned. “Discover I didn’t say open supply, I mentioned your group. In a group, you at all times lead with code, every little thing else is discuss.”

‘The IPO will occur’

DataStax is at the moment targeted on developer progress, as Kapoor seems to take the corporate to $1 billion annual revenues and probably even an IPO quickly.

“We construct merchandise that builders love, that change the trajectory of the enterprises they work for. It’s that mixture that creates what we do nicely,” Kapoor mentioned. “We don’t monetize the developer. What we do is be certain that the developer loves our merchandise.”

If DataStax can execute on that, “the IPO will occur,” Kapoor mentioned. “It’s an ideal occasion, you elevate some huge cash, it’s an ideal advertising and marketing occasion for the corporate. However it’s an occasion, and also you get previous it. There are lots of individuals who haven’t been by means of it and it’s a stunning occasion for them. As we have a look at our numbers, and we’re spending time at investor conferences, we all know we’re prepared now. However we’ll be affected person.”

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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