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Thoughts on NoSQL Now! 2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One of the best parts about working for a growing start-up is the chance to leave keyboard and office behind and escape to meet users. I spent last week in San Jose at NoSQLNow– a conference designed to bring together users and vendors of “Not Only SQL” products.


VoltDB is, quite proudly, a SQL system and some passers-by raise an eyebrow as we explain this. But our modern OLTP database shares some of the same design vocabulary as many NoSQL systems: we shard data; we run on commodity and cloud hardware; we scale horizontally; we design for update and write intensive workloads; we replicate for availability.


Contrasting with previous conferences, I see increasing clarity forming between document stores, column family stores, graph DB technologies and NewSQL products like VoltDB. However, builders and vendors of these technologies still have considerable work to do to communicate their products’ applicability and differentiation to potential users. It’s a fun conversation and as an engineer – it is energizing to talk to a steady stream of peers thinking through their unique data management problems.


The community of practitioners struggling with scaling data is diverse. In just a few days I spoke to people working on subjects ranging from sensor-data-collection to traditional television. Big data in Silicon Valley is like a movie script in Hollywood – apparently everyone has one.