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Ravi Murthy: Starting a New Chapter with YugaByte

VP Engineering

In case you missed the announcement, Ravi Murthy has joined YugaByte as our VP of Engineering. Read on to learn more about his experiences leading the teams who managed the explosive growth of applications and data at Facebook, plus what’s next at YugaByte!

After almost 7 years at Facebook, I am super-excited to start in my new role as YugaByte’s VP of Engineering. This post provides a brief history of my career through the years, and highlights why I decided to join this amazingly talented team.

My experience with databases started in the mid-90s (yes, that was 20+ years back). As part of the Masters program at University of Wisconsin, Madison, I was exposed to the early developments of distributed database technology from some of the pioneers in the field.

After my Masters degree, I joined the Database Engineering team at Oracle as my first job. This turned out to be a great move – over the next decade, databases went through a number of fundamental evolutions including object-relational and extensible schemas, new replication architectures, and birth of NoSQL. I was fortunate to be able to contribute to multiple versions of the flagship database product from Oracle DB 8i to 11g over a period of 16 years. In addition to learning the complex art of building and shipping enterprise-grade mission-critical software, I also gained a deep appreciation of the challenges faced by our enterprise customers in developing and deploying data applications, while simultaneously managing the increasing sizes and varieties of data.

I joined Facebook in 2011 and had a front-row seat in witnessing another era of explosive growth in data-driven systems. I led a number of teams in Data Infrastructure focused on enabling exabyte-scale, high performance data analysis. During this period, we incubated and matured a number of systems such as Hive (batch queries), Presto (interactive queries), Scuba (in-memory DB) and Operational Data Store (time series DB) to serve the ever-growing data needs of Facebook products. It was exhilarating to observe the critical impact of data on every part of the company, but also very humbling to see how hard and expensive it is to develop and operate data management systems.

Fast forward to today, data management for mission-critical enterprise applications continues to be challenging and fragmented. There are increasingly larger data volumes managed within complex data architectures. Engineers have little choice but to patch together multiple systems (NoSQL, SQL, distributed caches) with differing capabilities and limitations (in terms of data models and consistency semantics). These systems now need to run within geo-distributed and multi-cloud/on-premise deployments. Developing transactional data applications remains slow and cumbersome, and the operational costs (both in terms of infrastructure spend and technical expertise) remain extraordinarily high.

This brings me to YugaByte DB, a new open source, cloud native, distributed SQL database that provides transactional consistency, high performance and multi-region scalability, all at the same time. It eliminates false choices between performance and consistency while enabling development agility and operational simplicity without proprietary cloud lock-in. It rightfully believes that making SQL horizontally scalable and geo-distributed will fundamentally simplify and revolutionize business-critical OLTP apps at modern software-defined enterprises.

I have known the founders of YugaByte for a long time, and have worked closely with them at both Oracle and Facebook. They have deep technical expertise and real-world experience with building and operating large-scale data systems, and are intimately familiar with the challenges. In my discussions with Kannan, I was impressed by his clarity of vision and the execution roadmap he had in mind to create a truly innovative enterprise-grade product. The team is exceptionally strong and has already accomplished a lot in a relatively short period. I am excited to be a part of this journey as we scale the team and bring our category-breaking database to the broader market.

Finally, I want to take this opportunity to highlight that we are hiring across all key areas! If you are passionate about solving problems at the cutting edge of transactional databases, distributed systems and cloud native infrastructure, check out our open Engineering positions.

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