Interoute CTO Matthew Finnie: Legacy data vendors should learn from history

With Oracle, SAP and IBM fighting for precious market share on the in-memory relational database market, and the likes of MongoDB, Couchbase and DataStax putting together momentum in the NoSQL space, it almost feels like whoever wins the battle will win the war of database customer buy-in.

Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold told CloudTech his company’s position was that the market was going to move to the “disruptive” NoSQL technologies that “ultimately are going to dominate.”

This, of course, may not be a hugely surprising admission – although the tone of it raised eyebrows – yet according to Matthew Finnie, CTO of cloud service provider Interoute, the incumbent legacy vendors should definitely be looking over their shoulders.

“For the incumbents of this world, they have a recognised revenue stream that they have to maintain and retain,” Finnie, who is speaking at Apps World Europe next week, explained in a call. “And they put constraints in on how to use their software.

“What we see with our customers is that they’re saying ‘well hang on, there must be a better way of doing things’. There’s an increasingly broad community of people who say ‘I can’t use this anyway, because one, I can’t afford it, and two, I can’t operate under the constraints these guys want to place on us’,” he added.

Finnie advocated that, in some cases, the best advice for going forward is to look back – although he stopped short of saying a sea-change was occurring right now.

“There’s been lots of companies who have maintained that their specific technological advantage is a suitable one and their model path is a sustainable one – and the lesson for all these people is that technology is a convenience business,” he said. “That’s what drives people.

“I wouldn’t say [change] is occurring, because you’ve still got a big long tail of people still scratching their heads to a certain extent.

“But I think what we’re going to start to do is you’ll start to see very high performance cloud computing platforms that have a much broader universe of applications that you’ve seen before.”

Finnie is speaking in the Enterprise World track, and he wants to use his own experience of building virtual data centers (VDCs) with Interoute to prove that a more flexible computing infrastructure is vital for the enterprise.

“What we did with the VDCs was we inserted it into the core of the network, so it’s not actually in the data centre. And then you distribute those computing functions around your network,” he notes.

“This means it’s really fast, and you can start to build high availability type services, so you really knock off those concerns a lot of people have, especially in the enterprise.

“And we’ve found this with customers, not only is it going to be as good as building it physically, it’s a lot better, a lot faster, because you don’t have to put in all the controls you have to put in the physical world.”

Matthew Finnie will be speaking at Apps World Europe, on 22-23 October at Earls Court 2, London. Find out how you can attend here.

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