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Instaclustr acquires Credativ to boost managed databases

The managed open source database services vendor is looking to grow its platform offering by bringing in new expertise to enable PostgreSQL deployments.

Managed database services provider Instaclustr on March 17 said it acquired privately held open source database consulting firm Credativ in a move that will expand Instaclustr's portfolio.

Instaclustr, based in Redwood City, Calif., was founded in 2013, initially providing managed services for the open source Apache Cassandra database. The vendor has expanded in recent years to also provide a managed platform for Apache Kafka, Redis and Elasticsearch.

One key open source database platform that has been missing from Instaclustr's offering is PostgreSQL, which has become increasingly popular in recent years. That's where Instaclustr's acquisition of Credativ will play a key role. Founded in 1999, Credativ has been providing support for PostgreSQL for decades and will help to enable a new managed offering from Instaclustr.

In this Q&A, Peter Lilley, co-founder and CEO of Instaclustr, discusses his company's acquisition of Credativ and provides insight into the open source database landscape.

Why is Instaclustr acquiring Credativ now?

Peter LilleyPeter Lilley

Peter Lilley: One of the strategic themes for us is to build out a more feature-rich suite of open source technologies on our platform. With Credativ they have a team of open source experts that are well credentialed in PostgreSQL and well positioned in the market. They provide a set of services including remote support to customers that are using open source PostgreSQL technology.

In talking to Credativ, they were giving thought to what they could do to operationalize the deployment and management of PostgreSQL more effectively. That's where the strength of the acquisition kind of comes for Instaclustr. We are able to bring our platform, which offers a curated set of open source technologies to the market, in a way that is easy to deploy and efficient to operate at scale. So we can combine our platform with Credativ's expertise to really accelerate the deployment of PostgreSQL.

How to do you see competition with the public cloud providers that already offer managed PostgreSQL?

Lilley: Instaclustr competes with cloud providers and we also work with cloud providers; it's very much a 'co-opetition' kind of arrangement.

The fantastic thing that cloud providers do is they drive broad-based adoption of these open source technologies through what they do, and I think Instaclustr actually benefits from that.
Peter LilleyCo-founder and CEO, Instaclustr

We know that they all offer their own flavors of the various technologies that the Instaclustr platform also provides. When I think about cloud provider offerings, I think about no-touch, one-size-fits-all kind of capabilities in a concept that I call a thin managed service.

The difference between that and what Instaclustr does is we fuse really deep, open source expertise with the automation. You know, the fantastic thing that cloud providers do is they drive broad-based adoption of these open source technologies through what they do, and I think Instaclustr actually benefits from that.

Where does the PostgreSQL database fit into the Instaclustr open source database portfolio?

Lilley: It's all about helping our customers get to the right technology. Open source technologies are very much directed at solving particular use cases, so you need to choose the right technology, because you have a particular problem in your application that you need to solve. So your database, and your data services, need to be the right kind of database technology for whatever you're trying to achieve.

If you're trying to say, for example, use a non-relational database like Cassandra, which is enormously powerful and scalable, for a use case that don't really fit what Cassandra is great for, you can struggle for a long time. Ultimately in that case what you need to do is not choose a non-relational database, but actually use a relational technology as part of the data services for that particular application.

Quite often one of the places where they move away from Cassandra is actually towards PostgreSQL. So, for us as a business, it's actually a fantastic way to keep our customers within the environment of our platform and be able to migrate them from one technology choice to another technology choice that's a better fit for them as needed.

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