Virtualising desktops and servers is common practice in the enterprise, but data-management specialist Delphix wants to take things one step further by virtualising the database.
Traditionally, businesses have made copies of databases for different purposes such as testing, reporting or development. However, making additional copies of databases takes up valuable storage and eats into the limited budgets and time that IT departments have at their disposal.
"At the moment you end up with a database that's dragging with it a tail of two, five, or even 30 copies of the physical database," Delphix VP and general manager EMEA, Iain Chidgey, told ZDNet.
"If you've got a 5TB database and you're copying it 30 times, you've got 150TB in your environment."
Replicating databases in this way also means that once a new copy has been made, employees across the enterprise effectively end up working from different databases to each other as the changes they make aren't kept in sync.
This can cause problems when developers use information stored in databases to build applications.
Delphix technology addresses this issue by virtualising the data files within a database — creating a single, highly compressed copy of the original data blocks — then serving this to multiple DBMS servers. Each DBMS receives its own fully functional read/write database, but each new copy does not create new storage demands.
"The Delphix server then presents that fully functioning read-write database to the development world in a very space-efficient manner," said Chidgey.
Quocirca analyst Clive Longbottom told ZDNet: "If you want to be able to run a new application development system against live data, then you can do it with Delphix."
"It allows development teams and organisations to spin up a new instance of a database exceedingly rapidly," said Longbottom. "It's a snapshot of the existing system that can run against it, completely foul it up and corrupt everything that's in there, but it won't affect the proper running system."
Longbottom added: "Going forward, one of the major areas which they'll find themselves being used for is cloud because being able to use this compressed technology means they can move information from on-premise to a cloud easily and quickly."