Our in-house SQL expert
From Day 1, Tegile has invested in customer-facing technology experts and we are elated to add another Solutions Architect to the team. We introduce Sumeet Bansal, our newest Senior Solutions Database Architect. Like his peers on the Solutions Architect Team, Sumeet brings years of experience to Tegile on the vendor side and more importantly, as an end user.
Sumeet created the first set of guidelines … for running SQL on flash storage, and has travelled the world presenting at user groups.”
Sumeet has solved critical business problems with flash since 2009, when he was VP of IT and lead DBA at wine.com. Sumeet’s passion for flash led him to Fusion-io, where he supported large accounts using SQL Server — such as Microsoft, UPS, and Target — and then moved on to support accounts at Violin Memory.
Sumeet created the very first set of guidelines and case studies for running SQL on flash storage, and has travelled the world presenting at user groups. He developed best practices to integrate flash at different tiers (tier 0, tier 1, cache) and maintain high availability for SQL and Oracle platforms.
Sumeet is now at Tegile doing what he does best: working with customers to map database technology issues to effects on their business, and creating value with flash solutions from Tegile.
We sat down with Sumeet to talk about his background and his new role as Senior Solutions Database Architect.
First of all, welcome to Tegile. What made you want to join the team?
Good to be here! I have been a flash storage evangelist ever since I experienced firsthand what flash could do for databases. At Fusion-io and Violin Memory, I learned the pros and cons to the different models of deploying flash. However, both of these companies, groundbreaking as they were, focus on the needs of a limited segment of the market. As a true believer in flash, I wanted to work with a larger customer base and prove that if the solution is right, flash is accessible and economical. My purpose at Tegile is to help customers – specifically those who depend on SQL databases – to develop a flash strategy that benefits their business.
The Solutions Architecture team is tasked with a very customer-centric mission. What philosophy do you bring to serving Tegile customers?
All deployment and integration starts with the customer. That was me once, too. At wine.com, the largest online wine retailer in the US, we had IT problems that were affecting operations. Our IT infrastructure couldn’t support our business needs. For example, when the website slowed down, such as during the nightly backup, revenue would go down noticeably. And during the busy holiday season, when the site had to accommodate ten times the usual number of transactions, our ERP and financial systems would slow to a crawl. These are just examples, but every customer can relate to these kinds of issues.
Technical problems cause business problems … the goal for IT is always to solve the business problems.”
Which leads us to my philosophy. Keep in mind that technical problems cause business problems – not the other way around. The goal for IT is always to solve the business problems. When I saw flash improve my database performance by 400%, it was love at first sight.
When I saw flash improve my database performance by 400%, it was love at first sight.”
However, what I’ve learned since then — and this leads to my philosophy — is that it’s not important if the storage is four or five times faster than it was. That’s not where the value lies. My philosophy in serving Tegile customers is to help them recognize the real value of flash storage to their business.
The real value of flash storage comes from the customer figuring out how to do things that they could not do before.”
The real value of flash storage comes from the customer figuring out how to do things that they could not do before. These things could be maximizing resources, or innovating new ways to accommodate workloads, or saving money — or all of the above! There will be a company-wide benefit from using flash storage, and that’s what interests me the most.
So you’re not solving a technology problem, you’re solving a business problem with technology. How do you see Tegile solving these business problems?
What I see is that Tegile is not about telling the market to use all-flash or hybrid flash, or host-based flash or a particular flavor of flash. It’s about the right-sizing of flash, meaning that we want to gear solutions to customers for performance, economy, features, etc. The options are all there.
We can provide all-flash for the primary site and hybrid for a disaster recovery site, built with the same platform and software – that gives performance and value. We can start a customer with all-flash, and non-disruptively add hybrid flash and capacity so that customer can expand easily and cost effectively, on their terms.
For example, several Tegile customers also deploy flash for their non-production environments like QA or Development (this is very unique in the market). Tegile’s software platform allows people to create production-like environments instantly. Testing happens under the most realistic environment. Most importantly, Tegile’s technology addresses a much larger customer base that could not adopt flash in the past, and offers good solutions to the business problems that those customers have.
What about the business problems that you see related to databases?
The market overwhelmingly wants to virtualize databases. We’ve seen how that creates benefits for transaction processing, data warehousing or analytics. Virtualized databases also presents some challenges.
From a business perspective, four SQL Servers … running at 33 percent utilization represent a waste of resources … Tegile can solve the performance bottleneck, and consolidate … to one or two SQL Servers.”
Database environments illustrate a classic disconnect between business value and technology. Ask a DBA – I was one, I know – about processor utilization. We want it low. If it’s high, we know that performance slows. If it’s low, we have breathing room. But from a business perspective, four SQL Servers that are each running at 33 percent utilization represent a waste of resources that have already been paid for, like licenses.
In that scenario, there is a business justification for the technology. Tegile can solve the performance bottleneck, and consolidate those resources to one or two SQL Servers. That means we’ll reduce the footprint, save money on licensing, and increase productivity. Look at what Tegile storage did for Mizuno to improve latency with its SQL database. I have seen customers cut their costs in half this way, which for some is all the justification needed!
Sumeet, it’s been a pleasure talking to you. Any final thoughts?
You bet. We want CIOs and CTOs to know that they can turn to our Solutions Architect Team any time to discuss the business challenges they need to support with an IT solution. Our team has hands-on experience with a wealth of use cases. We understand the advantages and risks of typical implementations. We’re also equipped to address challenges that have never been seen before. For me personally, I have over 16 years of experience with database platforms, and the IT architectures that best support them. I’m really looking forward to working with Tegile customers and helping people use flash technology to solve business problems.
Do you have an SQL challenge to discuss with Sumeet? Send a note to the Solutions Architect Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.