Scaling for the Cloud: Interview with Seth Proctor of @NuoDB | @CloudExpo

NuoDB is all about getting customrs to the cloud. It describes itself as offering “a distributed database offering a rich SQL implementation (that is) designed for the modern datacenter, and as a scale-out cloud database.”

We talked to company CTO Seth Proctor, who is also on the faculty of @CloudExpo, about the challenges the company faces in its quest. Here is what he had to say:

Cloud Computing Journal: What have you found to be the biggest challenges in migrating customers to the cloud? How much of the challenge is technical and how much is psychological?

Seth Proctor: I’d say it’s a mix. There is definitely a psychological hurdle when you’re talking about giving up control over the infrastructure in a move to public cloud. Even if the “migration to cloud” really means moving to a service model on-premise there’s still detail that’s harder to keep clear, especially around security and audit.

I think this is one of the scariest things about “cloud” to enterprises and it’s both psychological and technical. On the purely technical front one of the biggest challenges is around scaling the data model. Another is how you migrate operational tasks like monitoring, backup and upgrade. Concerns about how all these pieces will work together
often leave would-be migrators frozen, or upgrading in only the most minimal ways.

CCJ: One fear I’ve heard a lot about is when a company acquires another company. Just when they thought it was safe to get back in the water, a whole new legacy integration comes into their world. To what degree have your customers faced this challenge?

Seth: Our customers certainly have many technologies they have to integrate, either from acquisition or simply because of the scope and scale of their projects. One of the great things about building a standard SQL database is that’s a common platform that simplifies operations and integration. I think this is one of the key enablers you need if you’re going to scale out a cloud.

CCJ: Why do your customers do business with you?

Seth: Whether it’s a public cloud, on-premise services or some other view of deployment patterns, our customers are all trying to get to a cloud model.

In other words, they’re all trying to simplify, scale, automate and build on a provisioning & SLA-centric view of the world. They want distribution that guarantees resiliency and they want to run in-memory and on-demand for significant efficiencies.

At the same time they need the fundamentals that we’ve relied on for decades: transactions, security, standard APIs and portability. Basically, they need an enterprise database that takes their existing applications and experiences and scales them for the cloud. That’s what NuoDB provides them.

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