Brian Aker

Data Differential

Brian Aker

Brian Aker explains that Drizzle is 'infrastructure' rather than 'cloud', meaning that Drizzle's operation is as foundational as pavement within a database environment, allowing the database to function smoothly, generating few bugs, and enhancing productivity. For example, replication infrastructure is basic to 'data buses,' which companies like LinkedIn use to move data. This is commonly and less accurately called 'the cloud,' says Aker.

In 2010, when this lecture takes place, Aker relates how several developers migrated from Sun Micro. Their aim was to explore, develop, and improve the Drizzle MicroKernel. According to him, the result was Drizzle 7 Plus, which has updated replication features such as 'multimasters.' These permit slave servers to have multiple masters for more productive database activity. Also during the lecture he clears up a few common misunderstandings, such as one about the web's base storage format, UTF-8. The idea that UTF-16 is better for web storage and display of Asian language data than UTF-8 is false because modern day developed- and developing-world languages are, internationally, almost completely intermingled, according to Aker.

Finally, relational transaction databases such as Drizzle show how open source is still thriving thanks to students, tinkerers, and lay people many of whom provide patches and updates because they are able to provide fresh perspectives. Dozens of developers contributing code regularly has benefited Drizzle greatly. While wrinkles in code called bugs are found and removed in testing zones called ratholes, the open source culture and its developers continue to blunt skepticism and improve user experience without the limitations of corporate profit needs.


Brian Aker has spent his life working on the details of  how to build and scale out systems. He is currently working on a new MicroKernel-designed MySQL called Drizzle and is building the plumbing required for a new generation of large scale computer deployment. He also spends time working on Apache Modules, Memcached, and Gearman.

Unlike most engineers you will never find him in a cubicle, he spends much of his time traveling around the planet enjoying the diversity that is our world. In the past, he has been involved with projects for the Army Engineer Corps, The Virtual Hospital, Splunk, MySQL, Slashdot, and was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems. He later founded Data Differential to support open source projects that he has been involved with.

He is very excited about the next update he will be making to this bio.

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