On the Cooperation between DataStax and VMware. Q&A with Kathryn Erickson and Lee Caswell

Q1. What are the main differences between hybrid and multi-cloud solutions?

The good news is there are no main differences between hybrid and multi-cloud solutions if you choose the right database and platform provider! 

Hybrid cloud refers to customers deploying in an on-premise datacenter as well as one or more public cloud providers with consistent infrastructure and operation. This can introduce operating complexity if the infrastructure and application software stacks are not similar from private to public cloud. Refactoring applications is time-consuming and transferring data across the hybrid cloud can introduce latency, cost, and sovereignty issues.

Multi-cloud refers to customers deploying multiple cloud infrastructure providers. This is increasingly popular as each public cloud offer differentiated value in terms of services, geo location, and cost. Again, multiple clouds introduces the need to manage both applications and infrastructure cross-cloud.

Q2. When would you recommend to deploy an on-premise, hybrid, or multi-cloud application? 

New data from 451 Research shows how enterprise customers are taking advantage of the hybrid and multi-cloud:

Customers deploy on-premises to directly control security and cost.  Computing in a local environment minimizes data movement and can provide fast, local processing.  But the number of customers using solely an on-premises model is dwindling as users look to tap into the powerful agility of the public cloud. 

Hybrid customers value on premise datacenter security and cost, but want to extend their local computing to the public cloud.  There are many emerging models for hybrid cloud with the most common being burst to the cloud for elastic resource expansion (think of a video game launch), cloud test and dev for eventual deployment on-premises, cloud disaster recovery, and application migration to the cloud for apps that will no longer run on premises.

Multi-cloud customers are looking to avoid lock-in to a single cloud, to access the unique ecosystem offered by each cloud provider, and avoid potential competitive risk from cloud vendors. These customers want to control spend between cloud providers and they want data intensive workloads to be portable between clouds. A database that is fully replicated and active in both clouds can integrate with the best ecosystem features from each provider like machine learning in GCP or Redshift in AWS. 

Q3. What is the overall goal of the cooperation between DataStax and VMware?

The overall goal at the moment is to provide a cloud agnostic platform through which DataStax products and our distribution of Apache Cassandra™ can be easily identically deployed and managed for  on-premises, hybrid, and multi-cloud customers..

Our long term goal it to provide this as a cloud native (and still cloud agnostic) offering.

Q4. You have recently announced that DataStax production support on VMware vSAN now includes hybrid and multi-cloud configurations. What does it mean for enterprise software developers?

For developers, it’s about opening up a powerful scalable backend, Cassandra, to admins.  Building a scalable application means backing it with Cassandra or DataStax Enterprise. Admins should be able to scale and expand the application to new regions while managing it like any database. Migrating to the cloud shouldn’t mean starting over with a new set of admins and operators who understand the management ecosystem of that cloud. With VMware Cloud Foundation, each cloud is just another datacenter managed with the identical infrastructure tools.

Q5. Is this DataStax with VMware vSAN improving developer productivity? If yes, can you give us an example? 

We often hear the myth that running a database outside an enterprise-wide virtual environment is an exception and that it takes developers weeks just to get test clusters. Some developers even have told us they believe it’s easier to start with an RDBMS and worry about scale later on.

We’ve cut through this myth by working together to give developers what they really want – an enterprise-ready cloud-native Cassandra-backed platform that offers limitless scale on any cloud. And it’s all available today.

Q6. Let’s consider customers who are looking to develop and run databases uniformly from development to production across the hybrid cloud.  How is your collaboration going to help them? 

This is why our partnership is so powerful for customers. We provide an easy and uniform path for customers to combine cloud and on premise(s) development and production. If a customer’s security configuration is different between AWS and Azure, the last thing they want is two separate management interfaces. Similarly, uniform dev and test operations for a scalable database require that backend day two operations must be uniform as well. Adding, removing, and managing database instances should not require a separate runbook for every cloud.

Q7. How do you prevent cloud vendor lock-in?

We make it easy to seamlessly move VMs and deploy DataStax (Cassandra) across cloud platforms using the same infrastructure tools without re-platforming. VMware HCX supports migration of VMs and data across on-premises and VMware-managed VMware Cloud on AWS as well as to over 500 partner-managed clouds including Azure, IBM Cloud, and GCP.
DataStax (Cassandra) is completely portable between clouds allowing customers to develop once, run widely. 

Q8. What about database and data platform vendor lock-in?

Every product decision results in some level of commitment.
The VMware Cloud Foundation, for example, is built on the leading enterprise hypervisor vSphere.  However, we are giving customers access to the degrees of freedom they are most likely to exercise, namely hybrid or multi-cloud choice. The DataStax version of Apache Cassandra maintains CQL compatibility with its OSS equivalent and provides tooling to migrate workloads to and from the DataStax platform.


Lee Caswell is responsible for Product Marketing, Technical Marketing, and Alliances in the HCI Business Unit at VMware. Prior to VMware, he led Product and Solution Marketing for both NetApp and Fusion-io.

Kathryn Erickson leads the Technology Partnership Program for DataStax. Prior to joining DataStax, Kathryn was a leader within the Sales Engineering team at Fusion-io, and prior to that she conducted and patented research at the MITRE Corporation.






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