On June 24th, Aerospike open sourced its database technology. Our choice was driven by our determination that the timing is correct for a market perspective, and from a technology perspective.
At Aerospike, we’ve hardened our technology in the most demanding of environments. Session management, session storage, server-side cookie storage, are areas we’ve replaced Redis (because of scale), Cassandra (because of speed), and Couchbase (because of reliability). We didn’t want to open source too early and lose the benefits of focus – nor too late and lose the benefits of broad adoption. Our investors agreed with this strategy, driving a $20M round to pursue this phase in the company’s growth.
In our discussions with existing customers before our launch, I was struck by the uniformity of their response to Aerospike’s open source direction. Without exception, each stated they could now use Aerospike for more uses in their company. They had restricted Aerospike to the most critical parts of their infrastructure, since we were perceived as delivering value (low maintenance, uptime, high performance per instance, reliability) but also expense (license cost). We were used in the highest value components — as open source, they would consider us for more modest uses inside their company. Perhaps cases involving our analytics frameworks, or simply smaller session management or fraud detection cases.
Open source delivers trust. Infrastructure layers – the operating system, the database, languages – are long term bets, compared to storage providers that are replaced every few years, cloud providers who can be switched in and out, individual analytics tools or BI visualizations or “solutions providers” which are removed when they no longer provide value.
In our first week, our metrics (website traffic, social media mention, and software downloads) have exceeded our expectations. Each are over 1000x (literally!) higher than the previous weeks’ traffic.
I believe Aerospike’s unique open source strategy has the opportunity to deliver a higher quality open source project than has been delivered in the past. This project has been created by silicon valley insiders and software professionals attempting to solve hard operational problems not just for their own company or their own gratification, but started from the beginning by designing APIs and software for broad use cases and high performance.
We look forward to the evolution of this product, and open source approaches that fund high quality, professional infrastructure.