Delphix, which virtualizes databases, data warehouses and data streams and takes away magnitudes of complexity in running data centers, has done what few companies ever are able to accomplish: create an entirely new market.
Nobody else yet has come into the data virtualization space to make it an actual "market." Delphix stands alone at this point, and as a result is owning a new sector that more and more large enterprises are discovering. Just ask Facebook, IBM, eBay, Wal-mart, Comcast NBC and a list of other well-known product and service providers -- all Delphix customers -- about how they are gaining agility and saving time and money in their data centers.
Delphix provides the first server to create virtual copies of databases to run concurrently to production DBs on disk. This allows database administrators to duplicate an entire database -- no matter what size it may be -- compress it, and then run it on the Delphix server.
This new-generation server then enables a database to be set free while tethered to operational duplicates for upgrades, fixes and routine maintenance. While the virtualized copies are running, they do not consume server and storage resources. The reconstructed and/or patched database continues on with no disruption.
Biggest Advancement in Databases in Years
This is by far the biggest advancement in databases in years because it changes the whole idea of the formerly intractable enterprise database.
CEO and founder Jed Yueh (pictured) occasionally looks over his shoulder to see if anyone else is catching up to what his 150-person, $40 million-per-annum company is doing, but nobody is -- and Delphix has been shipping software for almost four years. Oh, there are some point products a CTO could buy to do some of the things Delphix does, but no one's offering a complete solution like this one.
Why? "It's just really hard to do," Yueh told eWEEK. "We recruit really, really good people to work here, because doing this kind of development is, um, not easy to do."
Only since Delphix officially emerged Sept. 14, 2010, at the DEMO Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., have databases been virtualized to become as portable as those other data center mainstays -- like servers.
"Delphix turns database infrastructure into software that operates in a fraction of the space, while preserving its full functionality and performance," is how Yueh summarizes his company's product. "What we're doing is virtualizing the data tier, then wrapping that with features that are difficult to do with physically housed data."
Second Startup for Yueh
Delphix, founded by Yueh in 2008 after he started up data deduplicator Avamar and sold it to EMC in 2006 for $165 million, began by first focusing on Oracle's family of high-value database repositories -- Oracle DB, Exadata, and others. In the past couple of years, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company has added virtualization for Microsoft SQL Server and data warehouses from the two largest vendors: No. 1 Teradata and Oracle.
"If you think about the highest asset-value data in the world, we're covering about two-thirds of the relational databases in the transactional market, as well as the analytics market. We also cover the two dominant data warehouse vendors as well," Yueh said.
Delphix in the first quarter of 2014 added even more data sources to its platform. Delphix 4.0, which started shipping earlier this month, now is able to virtualize all of a system's application data, file systems, and application logs and binaries, Yueh said.
"Now [with v4.0] it's not just about these fast virtual environments, we're now enriching the data with new controls," Yueh said. "These include fast data refresh, data branching, data bookmarking, data reset due to integrations. We've been adding features, like instrumenting the application tier as well as the database tier, as we progress."
Using such agile databases, companies building applications -- mobile and others -- can do them in a fraction of the time and use less storage doing it. Developers often must consume enormous storage capacity making multiple copies of their data so it can be used to design, test and QA their applications.
"We help companies roll out their application projects 50 percent faster, sometimes as much as 80 percent faster," Yueh said. "We've had cases where customers released programs in one-fifth the time."
Agility a Huge Competitive Advantage
"That's a very big competitive advantage. Businesses are becoming more and more reliant on applications. And the time it takes you to roll out new application releases and new features is very material to your ability to compete within a market."
Does the 40-year-old Yueh want to stay with this company for the long term, or eventually find a buyer? "I want to stay where we are. This market is big. The majority of IT spending occurs in the application maintenance and project markets, and that's really what we service," he said.