Michael Stonebraker

CTO StreamBase Systems, Inc.

Data and Capital Markets
26 minutes, 12mb, recorded 2008-02-07
Michael Stonebraker

In today's high demand capital markets, there is an inherent performace bottleneck in leading database systems. It does not lie in the language used by the database systems, but instead it can be found in the implementation of these systems. Dr. Michael Stonebraker, CTO of Streambase, advocates a stream processing model, instead of a traditional RDBMS. Where the traditional RDBMS is storage based, meaning that these systems first store the data to some medium, and then process it. A next-gen, stream processing solution can instead be considered memory based, basically keeping everything in memory, avoiding any extra latency. This and other improvements discussed in this speech are considered key items in next-generation database engines, according to Dr. Stonebraker.

Stonebraker's StreamBase offers a substantial increase in performance compared to a standard RDBMS. Even compared to other stream processing based solutions, StreamBase comes out on top. What secret sauce lies behind this seemingly unreal increase in performace? The answer lies in dropping the arcane idea that 'One size fits them all' when it comes to data-centric applications, and instead focusing on the special needs of the different data-centric markets.


Dr. Stonebraker has been a pioneer of data base research and technology for more than a quarter of a century. He was the main architect of the INGRES relational DBMS, and the object-relational DBMS, POSTGRES. These prototypes were developed at the University of California at Berkeley where Stonebraker was a Professor of Computer Science for twenty five years. More recently at M.I.T. he was a co-architect of the Aurora/Borealis stream processing engine as well as the C-Store column-oriented DBMS. He is the founder of four venture-capital backed startups, which commercialized these prototypes. Presently he serves as Chief Technology Officer of StreamBase Systems, Inc., which is commercializing Aurora/Borealis and Vertica, which is commercializing C-Store.

Professor Stonebraker is the author of scores of research papers on data base technology, operating systems and the architecture of system software services. He was awarded the ACM System Software Award in 1992, for his work on INGRES. Additionally, he was awarded the first annual Innovation award by the ACM SIGMOD special interest group in 1994, and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1997. He was awarded the IEEE John Von Neumann award in 2005, and is presently an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at M.I.T., where he is working on a variety of future-generation data-oriented projects.

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