A Look Inside Aerospike’s Journey and the Rise of the New Stack in Enterprise Data Platforms

Srini Srinivasan
Founder and Chief Technology Officer
November 5, 2019|5 min read

This week, we announced that Verizon Media is joining other forward-looking enterprises in consolidating and streamlining its data infrastructure with the Aerospike platform.On the occasion of this announcement, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide an overview of Aerospike’s evolution – our journey of adoption throughout enterprises, and how this is an illustration of a once-in-a-generation technology shift in core infrastructure stacks.

Aerospike Adoption Wave #1 – Aerospike at The Edge

When we founded the company in 2009, Aerospike was designed to address problems on the edge, and in many cases to handle the most extreme requirements for speed, scale and stability. Looking back, this was a risky bet on our part well before “edge” computing was the hot buzzword that it is today. At the time, many of these applications were innovative, cutting edge, and practically impossible (i.e., not affordable) without the unique hardware-optimization of the Aerospike NoSQL data platform.

Today, these types of edge applications have become mainstream components of any data-driven business on the internet. In many ways, the market caught up to Aerospike’s forward-looking endeavors. For example, large scale fraud prevention efforts and real-time bidding companies in ad tech all use Aerospike to power massively scalable applications delivering tremendous business value at the edge. Our years of success powering these applications at top companies like AppNexus, Adform, PayPal and Wayfair put Aerospike on the map and built our reputation for unprecedented speed and scale.

Aerospike Adoption Wave #2 – System of Record

Our customers, with one, two or even half a dozen Aerospike edge applications under their belt, began asking how the same speed, hyperscale footprint, and low total-cost-of-ownership could be applied to different enterprise use cases.Around 2014 or 2015, Aerospike began to serve as a system of record. Using Aerospike Connect, enterprises leveraged Kafka, Spark and other technologies to make Aerospike the single source of truth for our customers. Customers in particular appreciated Aerospike’s durability, protecting their data from server failure. Examples include brokerage houses, telecommunications providers and even more ad tech giants, like The Trade Desk.

One of the best examples of this shift was highlighted at the 2019 Aerospike Summit: Airtel. One of the largest mobile operators in the world, Airtel re-invented their customer engagement model with Customer 360, a methodology that understands each customer intelligently and contextually and powers a completely personalized customer experience. With Aerospike as the real-time data backbone behind this “digital brain,” Airtel could mine trillions of records to create deep learning capabilities at a more than 25,000 transactions per second run-rate with millisecond latency.

An April 2017 Gartner report, “Delivering Digital Business Value Using Practical Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing” covers how Aerospike built an operational system for executing trades and a real-time analytics-based risk monitoring and alerting system for a major brokerage firm. Aerospike empowered the firm to respond to changing market conditions and changing risk profiles in real-time – which is the difference between losing millions of dollars or turning a significant profit.

Aerospike Adoption Wave #3 – Global Transaction Database

We are starting to see now that Aerospike is expanding further into the enterprise as a global real-time transaction database. Transaction databases are nothing new. However, the business conditions, demands, and requirements of transactions are rapidly evolving to match today’s real-time needs.

Let’s look at bank money transfers. The basics of money transfer – simply moving money and tracking those transactions at massive scale – haven’t changed. But the benefits of optimizing – digitally transforming – a core, existing practice are massive at scale. An overnight wire transfer (the old standard), is costly, time-consuming, and very inefficient with various points of human and machine intervention. Today this must happen in seconds without any manual intervention. A good example of this is a major European bank’s instant payment system, which “guarantees settlement within seconds and is unique in doing this directly in central bank money.” Aerospike is a key component of the transaction infrastructure for launching the instant payment system.

In this scenario, Aerospike powers a shared-ledger that empowers banks to move money 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This can dramatically reduce redundant technology and business processes, optimizing business practices, boost customer experience and profits, and eliminate technical debt.

A New Stack for A New Generation of Business

The pace of innovation, the speed of business, user demands for response times, and volumes of data are all skyrocketing. We are at a unique moment in time – one that happens only every 30 years or so – where new technology “stacks” emerge as part of macro shifts that usher in new generations of infrastructure.

All the pieces that have been emerging for several years – cloud, hardware and storage memory breakthroughs, open standards of connectivity (and many others) – have now converged. The intersections and layers are now very clear in the new stack.It’s an exciting opportunity for Aerospike. As the new stack emerges, Aerospike increasingly finds itself as the core real-time data platform behind exciting new applications – and the upgrade and modernization of old ones. But even more exciting than a consolidation of data on the Aerospike platform are the exciting digital transformations our customers boldly undertake every day. It’s a rare sea change of revenue growth, infrastructure simplification and cost reductions that have come together in a time of dramatic change.

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Webinar – OnDemand: Unifying the Data Tech Stack: Across the Edge, Analytics and Operational Tiers