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Garantia Changes Name--Again

Jan 29 2014, 8:55am CST | by

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Garantia Changes Name--Again

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Garantia Changes Name--Again

A couple of months ago I posted about the name-change of Garantia, the company that aims to turbo-charge NoSQL product Redis. Garantia is actually a pretty cool company delivering improved performance for Redis users. As a reminder, Garantia offers Redis customers:

  • Reliable memory – Zero data loss: built-in in-memory replication, data persistence, autofailover and backup capabilities
  • Auto scaling – Fully-automated continuous scaling from megabytes to gigabytes to petabytes; All Redis commands supported at any dataset size
  • Zero management – Takes seconds to activate and configure; no need to worry about nodes, clusters, server lists, data persistence configuration, scaling or failure recovery
  • Cost savings – “Pay-as-you-go” charging model in GB granularity. Same per-gigabyte price of plain instances from existing cloud providers. Big savings on devops time

All of this performance goodness was overshadowed however when Garantia, in a move that was either ill-advised or arrogant, chose to change its name to RedisDB and, in the process, alienate the originator of the Redis open source project, Salvatore Sanfilippo who came out swinging saying:

If this is true, it is not a good thing as the current informal rule was: use “Redis” in company names that are selling Redis services, but in a way that makes it distinguishable from Redis as a project. There are many examples like OpenRedis, RedisToGo, and so forth. However “RedisDB” is different as it is more like “We are Redis”, (I even own the “” domain name since 2009! you can WHOIS it to check). So in my opinion calling the company “ RedisDB” is wrong, especially since I and Garantia Data from time to time have friendly conversations as we are both part of the “Redis ecosystem”, but I did not received any prior question about this issue. Even Pivotal, the company I work for, that is currently sponsoring all my efforts on Redis, in its open source page has a the description ”Redis is an open source, BSD licensed, advanced key-value store.” linking to the open source project site

The company did a sudden and somewhat embarrassing backflip and reverted to its original name. Now, only a couple of months later, Garantia is at it again, this time changing its name to “Redis Labs” in an attempt to position itself as the leading vendor in the Redis ecosystem. I’m not sure what is at play here – the original name change was a fiasco, if I was Garantia I would have left the name intact and not poured salt on open wounds but that’s exactly what they’ve done. It was bad enough last time with Garantia CEO Ofer Bengal first being staunchly defensive about the name change and then reversing that position to revert to the original name. Sanfilippo was positive this time, telling me in a Twitter exchange that:

the new name is fine and it was good that GD retracted the first promptly, so congrats to them to the new naming. Redis is very “Open Source” in which its main goal is to be available to everybody and also to encourage an economic ecosystem around it.

Companies should focus on delivering product that makes a difference to customers. Garantia/RedisDB/Redis Labs already did that – all this time wasted on name changes just diverts focus away from what is important. Bengal responded to my criticism by saying that:

In November 2013, we announced $9M in Series A funding and a name change to RedisDB. However, after listening to the Redis community’s concern about possible confusion between the open-source project name and our company name, we decided to stick with our original Garantia Data name for the time being. Two months later, after gathering additional feedback from the community on the name Redis Labs, and confirming that no such confusion exists in this case, we’re ready to unveil our new name. The open source community is something that we respect and believe in contributing to. Although to the outside it may seem like a wild ride but to us finding the sweet spot between contribution and enhancement is what we strive for.. even if it takes a few times.

Meh. I’m not so convinced. back to executing real product for real customers guys.

Source: Forbes


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