CIOs should watch for mission-critical stuff

New Update

MUMBAI, INDIA: Ploughing back savings made on opting out of proprietary shopping or leveraging internal IT team to its best levels, the open-source side of enterprise-level IT is not as dull as it may seem to a fraction of folks in the industry. As it turns out in this chat with someone who is juggling well with EnterpriseDB and enterprise-scale needs, a vendor with good support and a smart customer can make the open model compelling enough. An interview with Mohit Saxena, Co-Founder & VP - Technology, InMobi


What would be some benefits envisaged from EnterpriseDB move? Any specific reasons for going ahead with the change from lineage?

As InMobi was getting under way in 2007, the company selected Postgres as its database with support and additional software from EnterpriseDB. Cost, Oracle Compatibility and performance were significant factors. With billions of people increasingly using mobile devices to browse the web and make purchases, the infrastructure InMobi selected for its backbone needed to have the capacity to scale and respond lightening fast to mobile web activities that triggered ad placements. Having had prior experience with the open source PostgreSQL, we determined the database would provide the performance levels we required. We selected EnterpriseDB as our partner in deploying PostgreSQL because they developed and supported the product well and were more cost-effective since theirs is an open source business model.

No issues in terms of transition from erstwhile systems?


Because we started out with Postgres, we did not have to make any transitions.

What implications can you expect here on business side factors and improvement effects?

We have experienced tremendous success and are now the largest independent mobile ad network with the ability to reach 691 million customers in more than 165 countries with over 50 million app installs delivered this year. As the mobile economy (mobile phones and tablets) booms, InMobi is poised to grow faster than ever before.


Can IT be more than a cost centre in an industry like yours? How is the momentum been and seen from your side on IT's role in this space?

CIOs are facing increasing and evolving data demands while being asked to do more with fewer budgets so their decisions can have a significant impact on enterprise growth and momentum. The decision to deploy open source software was key to our initial growth because the performance and scalability of Postgres supported our operations as we expanded, while the savings compared to a proprietary solution enabled us to redirect spending to other parts of the business. At InMobi we are constantly pushing the envelope in terms of technology. Consequently, we believe our internal IT team needs to also be a game changer in enabling us to win in the external marketplace.

Often Open source genre of IT keeps yo-yoing in the debate of 'which is better/cheaper/effective between open source and shelf software'. How has your enterprise-level experience or expectation been here?


In the database sector, open source is a very real choice. We have maintained a fine balance between open source and proprietary software. Downloading software is one thing but you need the right expertise and team skills available to develop applications for your business, optimize the deployment and manage any eventualities. At InMobi, we have built teams from the ground up in who help in running our open source software. When betting mission critical applications on the performance of open source software, CIOs need to make sure they are set up for scalability, support and trouble-shooting. For instance, we have the same database instance installed in 2007 and still running today.

Any views on developments like OpenStack, Hadoop or SQL? Or your reckoning of in-memory engines like Exadata/HANA and their equation with database pieces?

InMobi is a data driven company and Hadoop plays a significant role in allowing us to analyze hundreds of terabytes of data in order to provide real-time advertising and business intelligence to our customers.