Welcome to Runtime! Today: new Redis CEO Rowan Trollope talks about old databases, new licensing strategies, and future IPO plans, why Supermicro thinks the server market is ready to double, and this week in enterprise moves.
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We live in public
Founded in 2011, in-memory database vendor Redis has raised $347 million to date and has flirted with the IPO market several times over the past few years before pulling back more recently as the market for IPOs basically fell apart last year. Rowan Trollope, who ran publicly traded contact-center giant Five9 for five years before joining Redis as CEO in February, definitely wants to bring the company over that hurdle.
"I think there's a very good discipline with being a publicly managed company," he said in a recent interview. "My intent is to IPO the company, that's very much in the cards."
In the interview, Trollope touched on the changing nature of enterprise tech spending, less-than-open software licenses, and the benefits of understanding the product as a new CEO.
Trollope on enterprise data spending:
One of the things that we've seen — this has been more in the last six months than we have seen previously — is companies coming to us saying, "now that we've got Redis running in our infrastructure there's two big questions we have." And they're both basically about how we can help the company save money.
The first one is, "hey, we're using you guys and we're using (AWS's) ElastiCache, or (Google's) Memorystore or whatever: Could we consolidate and do this in a more cost-effective way?" One of the big differentiators of the Redis Cloud and our technology — not the open source — is that we can be way more efficient when you're running this technology at scale because we have a true multitenant serverless architecture.
And then number two, we've been seeing companies say, "Do I need to keep the same level of scale?"
If you think about the evolution of an architecture, typically you would have a kind of a legacy data platform that's not fast enough or not providing you the capabilities you need. You put Redis and it kind of sits in front of it. And (the older platform is) still the primary data store, right? It still sits there, whether it's PostgresDB or whatever, it's still kind of operating in the background.
But very quickly as that scales up, what happens is the load really all goes to Redis, and only the cache misses really have to flow through to the backend database. So it actually takes a ton of load off of your back-end database. So what happens is if 90% of the load is taken by Redis, you no longer need 100% capacity on your core database.
On Redis's decision to switch to less-than-open software licenses:
The SSPL license that has been applied to Redis Stack really only had one intent. And that is to ensure that the CSPs (cloud service providers) — the people that are providing open source technology to their customers as a service — that those companies provide access to the source code that touches their management layer and anything else that touches it, just kind of like how you would see in a classic open-source license.
On a potential IPO:
We have lots of money on our balance sheet, and there's no urgency on that front for us to go public; we are well funded.
At the same time. I ran a public company for five years. I think there's a very good discipline with being a publicly managed company. And I think it's an important milestone for our employees and investors in the sense of providing liquidity.
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Shiny metal boxes
As cloud infrastructure computing growth slows, are traditional server vendors poised to pick up the slack? Supermicro certainly thinks so.
The Next Platform took a look at Supermicro's most recent earnings results from earlier this month, after the company recorded a 37% jump in revenue for its fiscal year compared to last year. Supermicro CEO Charles Liang also outlined plans to double the $10 billion it expects to record during its upcoming fiscal year within the next few years.
There are a lot of factors behind Supermicro's growth, but the increasing desire among enterprise companies to train AI workloads on premises — rather than paying steep cloud bills — can't be discounted. The budding "cloud repatriation" movement might have stalled, but it's looking like a lot of AI workloads might skip the cloud migration step entirely.
That's promising news for traditional server vendors that have struggled to grow over the last decade, and if the AI trend plays out, could present one of the biggest existential challenges for the cloud infrastructure business in a very long time.
Chris Opat is the new senior vice president of cloud operations at BackBlaze, joining the company from StackPath.
Jesse Green was named vice president of sales for the Americas at Rubrik, after eight years in sales at MongoDB.
Scott Dussault joined Vectra AI as its new chief financial officer, following a stint in the same role at Workhuman.
The Runtime roundup
Cisco enjoyed a strong fiscal year but much of that lift came from a 10% increase in prices across the board in 2022, according to Marketwatch, and its disappointing guidance suggests that growth will not be repeated.
Databricks is looking to raise another big funding round following heavy losses over the last several years and a rough market for IPOs, The Information reported.
AWS CEO Adam Selipsky is a new minority owner of the Seattle Sounders MLS franchise, mortal enemies of the Portland Timbers, Runtime's official (not really) soccer team.
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Thanks for reading — see you Saturday!