Navigating Through The Fog in a Cloud-Based Database

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For Yugabyte CEO and Co-founder, Karthik Ranganathan, his love for technology started like most: with a video game. Those days of sitting in front of a device button-mashing ignited a fire within him that only grew until he asked himself an obvious question: How do these things work? That question and an innate curiosity around technology carried him to stops at Microsoft and Facebook, ultimately leading him to Yugabyte Db. On today’s episode of IT Visionaries, Karthik speaks about the evolution of the cloud, our growing need for our data to be closer to us, and how open-source databases are becoming industry standard, meaning those that refuse to adapt are being left behind.

3 Key Takeaways

  • The biggest shift in the industry has been to cloud
  • Data needs to be as close to the user as possible
  • Open-source databases are now industry standard and companies that refuse to adapt are falling behind

For a more in-depth look at this episode, check out the article below.


As companies and users move more toward a 100 percent digital space, the need for data and the information to be closer to those users is on the rise. For Yugabyte Db CEO and co-founder, Karthik Ranganathan, his desire to unite those needs are what drives him to lead further change within the cloud industry. On this episode of IT Visionaries, Ranganathan joined the show to discuss the meteoric rise of the cloud and he explains some of the vexing issues companies perceive as roadblocks for companies looking to take on a digital transformation.

Yugabyte DB, a leader in open-source distributed SQL databases, works with companies like online retailers and financial institutions to ensure their data is being stored appropriately and at scale. By helping build efficiency and scalability with the cloud, Ranganathan believes Yugabyte sets itself apart from the rest of the competition in the market. 

“You can move your data really close to your user to give them a much better user experience,” Ranganathan said. “So all of these things get shrink-wrapped into the cloud. Now the world needs a new database and a new way of building applications for the cloud. And that’s the spot that Yugabyte hopes to fill.”

That space is challenging, though, as companies try to navigate through the new technology and adapt to the scale of the cloud infrastructure. Companies beginning their digital transformation are littered with questions about best practices and trends. According to Ranganathan, the most important questions tech leaders need to think about, though, revolve around scale and resiliency

“No matter whether your data set is large or small, what would become important is once this service becomes critical, you just wanted to keep running all the time,” Ranganathan said.“It’s one of the foundational pillars of a cloud-native application. So that becomes top of mind. And that doesn’t just mean one portion of your stack. It’s every piece. It’s your application, it’s your database.”

Among the biggest benefits the cloud offers lies in its efficiency. Apps and programs that used to take eight-to-10 months to bring to market are now developed in a matter of hours or days. To help with the rising use of the cloud, Yugabyte assembled a team consisting of industry experts with experience working in companies born in the cloud and who have built cloud-based databases.

“What really has changed is that now your development of features, your development of applications has to really accelerate because that is now the slowest point in the entire pipeline,” Ranganathan said.

While the cloud holds many benefits, there are still discussions regarding the best use cases throughout the industry. Most notably there is an argument between open and core sourced databases. Open-source databases, which Ranganathan strongly believes in, allow users the opportunity to modify and contribute to the database, while open core often restricts the most useful parts. 

“Open source is becoming pretty much the norm or the expected way to go,” Ranganathan said.

“Open source is really taking a foothold and people going the other way or just temporarily trying to boost their revenue. But you know, in the longer term it’s more short term greed versus long term grade.” 

With companies shifting to digital practices and moving their databases from on-site to cloud-based, Ranganathan says one of the primary concerns of the C-suite is how to mitigate consequences while navigating changing industries. 

“The leverage lies in decentralizing your vendors for different things — I think that’s the only practical way out,” Ranganathan said. “Putting all the eggs in that basket will make the problem much worse than it already is. The price fluctuations will hit you that much harder because it’s not one product of the cloud that goes under the need to raise prices, it’s the cloud as a whole.”

As the use of the cloud becomes more widespread and more companies begin to shift to the digital space, Ranganathan says it’s important for Yugabyte to efficiently mitigate the risk associated for those companies. In that same vein, Ranganathan cautions that every type of database has a lifecycle, and it must adapt and change as the needs of its user base grows and become more sophisticated.

“The journey’s only 1% done,” Ranganathan said. “[It’s] a way of saying there’s a lot more to be done, but if you flipped it around, it really says like, you know, dream really big.”

To hear the entire discussion, tune into IT Visionaries here.


Episode 172