Sunday, October 24, 2021

Database-Tuning Platform Launches and Secures $2.5M in Funding

PITTSBURGH — A team out of Carnegie Mellon University is launching its automatic database-tuning product today with the help of $2.5 million in funding.  

OtterTune, founded in March 2020, formally announced its private beta at Percona Live Online 2021 as well as the initial seed funding round led by the venture capital firm Accel.

The OtterTune platform is designed to help companies reduce their database costs and database administration (DBA) overhead by using machine learning (ML) to automate database tuning, according to the company this morning. It is also intended to free up database administrators and developers to focus on “more strategic work.”

In automatic tuning, OtterTune continually adjusts the database configuration to optimize for its specific workload, improving efficiency and performance.

The product works for both on-premises and cloud-based database deployments, including PostgreSQL, MySQL and Amazon RDS.

“With hundreds of knobs that affect database performance, DBMSs now exceed the human DBA’s ability to optimize them,” said Andy Pavlo, co-founder and CEO, OtterTune. 

“We’ve put years of research into solving this problem, which we know will lead to significant increases in efficiencies and cost savings for customers.”

See more: Best Database Management Software

A screenshot of OtterTune's performance charts user interface for automatic database tuning.
A screenshot of OtterTune’s performance charts user interface for automatic database tuning. Courtesy OtterTune.

Databases often fall “well short of optimal performance,” the company asserted, as many database administrators rely on trial-and-error tuning or boilerplate configuration settings.

An estimated 40% of cloud databases are over-provisioned, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in wasted spending on IT infrastructure per year, according to OtterTune.

OtterTune’s “self-driving” database management system (DBMS) technology is based on research and development at Carnegie Mellon University by the company’s co-founders: Pavlo, Dana Van Aken and Bohan Zhang

Andy Pavlo.
Andy Pavlo. Courtesy OtterTune.

Their work at Carnegie Mellon focused on developing an ML-based tool for automatic configuration as part of database optimization.

OtterTune has licensed the original academic version of the platform’s source code from Carnegie Mellon and completely re-written the code, Pavlo said.

OtterTune has also been “proving itself” with companies like Booking.com, Societe Generale and others. 

The company is using the funding from Accel and others for its official commercial launch and to “continue innovating.” 

“Databases are critically important but hard to operate at scale,” said Ping Li, partner, Accel. “OtterTune’s founders are uniquely positioned to tackle this value proposition, given their thought-leading academic database research at CMU.”

Prior to seeking a seed round, the company took angel funding. Pavlo asked his database friends, who are co-founders of database companies, for the initial funds, he said.

Users can request a free private beta trial of the platform through the company’s website.

In terms of pricing, there’s a small setup fee for the platform, plus a monthly charge per optimized database, based on database server size, according to Pavlo.

Database tuning tools

There are several other applications in the database performance and tuning market:

  • LogicMonitor
  • SolarWinds Database Performance Analyzer
  • SQL Sentry
  • Percona Monitoring and Management
  • RedGate SQL Monitor
  • Foglight

See more: Guide to Database Management

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