Interview with V.P. of Marketing, Severalnines – Forrest Lymburner


“The real competition is who can create both value for the market as well as a return on investment”

1. Tell us a little bit about your role and how you got here?
My name is Forrest Lymburner and I am the VP of Marketing at Severalnines. I have worked here since 2016 and recently was promoted to lead Marketing. I have worked in marketing roles at Rackspace, Texas Instruments, RadioShack, Dell and more lesser known brands.

2. Given the massive proliferation of Information and software technology, how do you see the IT market evolving over the next few years?
The biggest trends we are seeing are the moves to containerization, not just for applications but for databases as well. In the database world, we are seeing a steady rise in the enterprise migrating to open source technologies like MySQL and PostgreSQL; even with mission-critical or highly-secure applications.

3. What do you see as the single most important technology trend or development that’s going to impact us?
The biggest trend in our world is the explosive growth and increase in complexity of data. It has become a currency for several new markets which are emerging. In addition, the rise of DevOps means that more and more developers are having to shoulder the buron of database management; despite the fact that they may not have the skills or knowledge necessary to do it effectively.

4. Why do you think there is a need for companies to take control of their database?
Data is that part of your infracture you don’t think about until there is a problem. Most don’t know if their backup strategy is working until they have to restore a database. Most don’t know how strong their data security is until their data is held for ransom. There are very few industries out there now where data ISN’T a key aspect of their business.

5. How does your automation and management software for database cluster help organizations in becoming efficient database managers?
Products like ClusterControl allow users to have a holistic, end-to-end view of their database life-cycle. From the initial setup to monitoring, management, backups, failover, etc, automation programs allow you to benefit from proven methodologies and battle-tested configuration templates that ensure the databases you are running run as well as they can.

6. What’s the biggest challenge that you in your organizational role need to tackle to make any strategic decisions work?
In the open source database world new technologies are emerging fast. They are also disappearing fast. For us, it’s often a challenge to stay on top of the latest happenings. Adoption of database technology moves slowly but innovation is rampant. Just look at TimescaleDB, a company we recently added support for in ClusterControl. They went from startup to a production-ready at day one database that has revolutionized the time-series database market. To go from idea to wide scale adoption in such a short time is an amazing thing to see.

7. How do you prepare for an AI centric World?
When you boil it down, A.I. is just data being accessed at a rapid pace. Being able to ask a box on your table what the weather is and have it listen, search, find the answer, and respond in half a second isn’t the work of an intelligent mind, its a system designed to access data fast and behind that are highly-available, high-performance databases and state-of-the-art applications and programming which are rapidly approaching the ability to simulate human behavior.

8. What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
When you have a Master-Master or Master-Slave database setup it happens sometimes that a node starts having issues or stops working all together. We have developed an advanced failover system that automatically switches the traffic to the healthy node then attempts to repair the one with the issues. This type of setup is essential to any application which requires high-availability.

9. What is the core software technology capability of your firm that you bring to people? Where does your product fit in vis-a-vis the customer life cycle?
At the core of ClusterControl is automation. There is nothing inside the system that you can’t do manually using scripts or with a bunch of cobbled-together tools. Where automation comes in is that we have done the hard work finding the best ways of administering the databases and then pass them on to the SysAdmin, Developer or DBA in a point-and-click GUI. You can deploy a highly-available database cluster in just a few minutes.

10. Are there any new features or upcoming upgrades that you’re excited about and would like to give us a sneak peek into?
This year our main focus is on improving our support for PostgreSQL. Version 11 was recently released with a lot of great features. It is a mature, stable, and well supported technology whose adoption is growing rapidly. We are also working on some other new tools for database management but you will have to stay tuned for that.

11. What is your take on the massive explosion of IT across so many categories? Do you see competition, opportunities to partner and/or integrate?
As with any business it’s not just about having a good product, it’s also about knowing how to monetize it to ensure profitability. There are so many companies out there in the IT space who have still not shown a profit. In the end,

the real competition is who can create both value for the market as well as a return on investment

for their shareholder.

Forrest is responsible for developing programs to educate visitors on the value of database automation and why they should utilize products like ClusterControl to monitor and manage their database environments. With nearly twenty years in the marketing world at companies like RadioShack, Texas Instruments, Rackspace, Dell, etc; Forrest has worked in a variety of industries developing strategies and building programs to increase brand awareness and user adoption. Forrest is an avid Sci-Fan, PC Gamer, world traveler and regularly attends comic con events.

Severalnines provides automation and management software for database clusters. We help companies deploy their databases in any environment, and manage all operational aspects to achieve high-scale availability.
Severalnines products are used by developers and administrators of all skills levels to provide the full 'deploy, manage, monitor, scale'​ database cycle, thus freeing them from the complexity and learning curves that are typically associated with highly available database clusters. Severalnines is a private company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with offices in Singapore, Japan and the United States.

Link to "Severalnines" website

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