Meet the expert: Hieda

Google’s open-source fully managed relational database service Cloud SQL is a popular choice among businesses of all sizes. At GC Innovate, the Google centre of expertise within The Cronos Group, we work with a network of experts in various aspects of Google’s services. In this edition of our ‘Meet the Expert’ series, we talk to Bart Callens. Bart is one of the co-founders of Hieda, a company that specialises in open-source databases with a clear mission to modernise database infrastructures..

When does your company use Google’s services?

Bart: At Hieda, we strongly believe that data is the foundation of everything in this new digital era, and databases are often overlooked in modernisation projects. We definitely want companies to reflect on the importance of their data and its availability. Despite the heightened awareness in general, many of them still severely underestimate the importance for their business.

Our philosophy is to deliver high-quality data infrastructures that are safe and up to the latest and highest standards, with a keen focus on open-source technologies. This lets our customers focus on their core business, instead of operations and licensing costs. That’s where Google Cloud comes in: we use Google’s services when we want to offer our clients a secure, reliable and cost-effective cloud environment for their open-source databases. We leverage Google’s best practices and database migration services to optimize database migration and day-to-day management.

We believe in taking a prepared and thoughtful approach to cloud migration, which is why we offer a pre-migration assessment as the foundation for a successful and effortless transition. We aim to be a true partner to our clients, not just an implementation party. 

Our commitment to our clients doesn’t end with cloud migration. We understand that maintaining cost and performance monitoring is one of the most significant challenges of migrating databases to the cloud. Therefore, we make it our top priority to ensure that our clients’ databases are running at optimal performance while keeping costs in check. And with our extensive experience in legacy technologies, we can provide unique insights when migrating our customers to a more modern platform to avoid migration issues.

Ensuring a smooth migration and top-notch performance is one thing, but ensuring the security of your database is equally important! While we take proactive measures to prevent security breaches, we also emphasize being fully prepared for potential incidents. Our disaster recovery and backup strategy ensures a quick recovery and minimal downtime in case of an attack or data loss.

Why Google?

Bart: Our focus on open-source technologies aligns perfectly with Google Cloud’s investments in the same area. As a technology company, Google is one of the biggest investors in open-source technologies and is literally at the basis of Kubernetes, one of the technologies that became a standard in a modern DevOps environment. A lot of  Google’s services run on containers, and they have a reputation for excelling in data management, making them an obvious choice for us.

We also find Google Cloud to be intuitive to work with compared to other cloud providers. The Google Cloud console is user-friendly and clearly built by and for a technical audience. Moreover, our close bond with GC Innovate provides us with regular opportunities to meet with people from Google, which makes a real difference in terms of support and accessibility.

In terms of specific database solutions, we are impressed with both AlloyDB and Cloud SQL. AlloyDB is fully optimised for Google and much faster. It has other features like AI-based forecasting of peaks and an uptime guarantee of 99.9%, making it an ideal solution for certain demanding clients. Especially because you only pay for your computing time. With Google announcing that AlloyDB can also be used on premise, they certainly lower the barrier for organisations to reap the benefits of Google’s state of the art technology.

Cloud SQL, on the other hand, is a fully managed relational database service that is ideal for mission-critical applications. It provides automatic backups, replication for high availability, and the ability to scale as needed.

Overall, while Hieda is a technology-agnostic company that migrates to other clouds, GC Innovate’s close connection to Google Cloud and their commitment to open-source technologies make them a trusted partner for our clients’ database needs.

What direction is Google evolving in according to you?

Bart: To me, the direction Google is evolving in is clear: AI is no longer a buzzword, it’s becoming a part of our daily lives. And it’s not just about fancy chatbots or image recognition anymore, but also about making our infrastructure smarter and more efficient. In the short term, I believe we’ll see self-learning systems that can identify optimisation opportunities and act on them without human intervention. And knowing Google’s track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re at the forefront of this evolution as well.

But that’s not all. I think we’re also heading towards a future where you no longer need to be an expert in your database to get the information you need. Think about it: instead of querying your databases and interpreting the results yourself, you’ll just ask them a question and they’ll be able to respond on their own. No more manual tasks, no more dealing with complex database structures. And again, I think Google will play a big role in making this a reality.

Of course, despite all the advances in AI technology, we still need human experts who understand the intricacies of databases. After all, AI needs data to learn and make decisions, and databases are the foundation for storing, organizing, and retrieving that data. Plus, AI is not a magic wand that can fix all problems; configuring the data environment is still a crucial step in the process. So, expert database knowledge is still essential to laying a solid foundation and making sure AI technology can work effectively and efficiently to achieve the desired results.

Which keywords would you use to Google your company?

Bart: Of course, ‘databases’ is the obvious choice, and in particular ‘open-source databases’. Other interesting options are ‘modern database approach’ and ‘data Kubernetes’. Last but certainly not least: ‘DBA’ and ‘DBRE’, the people that make it happen! 

At GC Innovate, we specialise in helping businesses like yours leverage the power of Google Cloud’s database solutions to improve efficiency, scalability, and data security. Whether you’re just starting out with cloud databases or looking to optimise your existing infrastructure, our team of experts is here to connect the dots for you. Contact us today to learn more and start your journey towards data-driven success with Google Cloud.

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