UPDATED 17:28 EST / FEBRUARY 13 2014

john-schweitzer NEWS

The best-of-breed makes a comeback to database architecture : “Big Data” is going away | #BigDataSV

john-schweitzerFor the first interview of Day Three of BigDataSV Conference in Santa Clara, California, John Furrier and Jeff Frick welcomed John Schweitzer to theCUBE. John is the EVP of Field Operations with DataStax, and he talked about the updates on his company, the in-memory movement, and the launch of the DataStax partner network.

“What exactly is EVP?” asked Furrier. “It means I travel a lot,” joked Schweitzer, who went on detailing  his responsibilities within the company. “I was brought in to expand the international operation and our partnerships. My core focus at EVP is everything customer related: customer engagement, sales, services, training, making sure our customers are happy.”

“Talk about the evolution of the market,” prompted  Frick. “Why you left those big guys (Oracle, SAP) to come here?”

“I had a great career at Oracle and SAP, but I came here because the opportunity is massive,” confessed Schweitzer. “I’ve been in the database market and data management for 20 years, I’ve been involved in disrupting relational databases two times – once at Arbor Software with OLAP technology and then with SAP HANA.”

Right now, at DataStax, “we’re rocking and we’re having a good time at the same time. Business is great and we’re revolutionizing this online world,” bragged Schweitzer. “Online mobile applications are key to our customers’ loyalty, the business is expanding and we’re looking for new ways to engage with our customers.”

The momentum is big at DataStax; there is employee-growth and they keep reeling in new talent.

Asked to pinpoint what changed in the past five years  when flash was making huge waves, and later on Cassandra and some other deployments, Schweitzer singled out that, on the customer side, the SLAs keep going up. “The service-level agreements that our customers have with their customers and consumers in the market are off the charts.”

“Our technology helps them engage with their customers in a different way to either decrease fraud, increase SPAR relationships and loyalty with customers,” explained Schweitzer.

Because Schweitzer talks with customers all the time, Furrier asked him to comment on the market segments that DataStax is winning on right now.

Market segments demanding Big Data solutions


“We have over 400 customers in 38 countries,” boasted Schweitzer.”The trending industries that we’re seeing are: financial services (specifically: retail banking) and media. One of our biggest brands is Netflix. I am more and more psyched to learn how they evolve their business with us. Not long ago they introduced profiles on the site, and that quadrupled their volume. We’re running a trillion transactions a day, through our technology, to help them engage with customers.”

“Where do you think we are on the evolution of some of the technologies on the database side?” asked  Frick. “As it was already noted, the show is less hoodies and more suits”.

“The market is nascent, growing and developing, but we’re seeing more and more engagement with the line of business buyers. While the community is highly engaged with the developers and the hoodies, we’re getting more and more traction with the line of business buyers because they need a way to engage with their customers online,” thinks Schweitzer.

“We always talk about the database being disrupted by the open source,” recalled  Furrier, “and the diss on Hadoop has been, in the early days, that open source was not yet stable. Then it became great for storage, and now you’re seeing the golden node hills; we’re seeing it move towards the enterprise. What are some customers’ criteria for success?” asked Furrier.

“We’re definitely seeing a best-of-breed comeback to these database architectures. And it’s a team sport at the database layer, not single threaded,” pointed out Schweitzer.

“Do you think HANA was built too early/too late relative to the use-cases?” asked Furrier.

“SAP HANA is a phenomenal invention which is re-imagining the analytics world,” said Schweitzer in its defense. “But we’re different; we’re on the real-time workload data with low-latency. Cassandra is this always on, fully distributed database, and DataStax is the enterprise production-ready version of Cassandra. Cassandra is delivering this value proposition across real-time workloads and online applications. We deliver secure, enterprise-ready, management services tools and services around it.”

Furrier read a couple of comments lifted off Crowd Chat: “DataStax helps Strata attendees navigate the Big Data maze… puts ops on auto-pilot.” – “Sounds like simplicity is something you were focused on,” noted Furrier. “We need to make this technology extremely easy to adopt,” agreed Schweitzer.

As for the Partner Programs that  Frick prompted him to elaborate on, Schweitzer said: “We announced the launch of DataStax Partner Network; it’s an engagement with our partners and prospective partners around enabling them to bring these great technologies to the market.”

“What about the in-memory movement?” asked Furrier. “How do customers deal with real-time?”

“It’s all about speed. We’re psyched about what’s coming out next,” confessed Schweitzer.

Predictions for the next couple of years


“You will see that the name Big Data goes away; big data is data of all sizes. The use-case needs to be more prevalent value based. You’ll start to hear more about value proposition and ROI in 2015,” forecasted Schweitzer.

Furrier agreed: “No one is talking about e-business anymore. Big data is going to be the fabric, but its outcome remains to be seen.”

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