Thursday, September 30, 2010

NoSQL's Tim Anglade in Seattle

You know that a meeting is important if a friend from San Diego forwards you a meeting announcement for Seattle. Tim Anglade is the initiator of the NoSQL Summer which I actually attended a few times here in Seattle. Tim is on a trip around the world to videotape interviews with all the important NoSQL guys... interesting task and probably a great job if you can get it ;-) In his presentation he talked about the following topics:

Open source or not?
He thinks that Open Source might lead to compromises in quality since everybody can add whatever they want. More importantly he believes though NoSQL systems are complicated and need plenty of support right now this might not hold true for the future as companies build up capabilities in house. Hence the Open Source business model might not be sustainable for the NoSQL companies in the long run.

Fanboys ahoy
Most people like one NoSQL implementation, e.g. Couch vs. Mongo, over another without properly looking at strength and weaknesses of each. I guess what he wanted to say that if your only tool is a hammer everything looks like a nail. So it seems to be important to take a step back and look for the best NoSQL solution for a given problem rather than the other way around.

Is it an industry yet?
Most definitely not but they are getting there. A wildcard in Tim's view is if some heavyweight like Oracle is getting in. This would validate the technology and accelerate growth...

Nobody cares?
He through up a slide from a recent eWeek survey where about 44% didn't care about NoSQL. My impression is that NoSQL is gaining traction a lot of places and will be quite relevant in developing new products. I am not sure how long it will take to trickle down to everyday operations -- will your SAP run on NoSQL next year? Probably not...

Where's the ceiling?
With the database world growing at a rapid pace (there is more and more data each year) the market is getting bigger and hence the slice for NoSQL is getting bigger (by just growing with the market). So the jury is still out there if it is a 100 Mio market or several billions....

Consolidation or Balkanization
As he pointed out in the fanboy thought the NoSQL community is torn between fans of one project over another which suggests Balkanization. On the other hand projects could take ideas from other projects and incorporate them (to even merging - like Struts 2 attempted for the web). I have seen a lot of Balkanization myself but with the NoSQL summer a little bit more understanding of other technologies seems to happen.

Lowering the bar
NoSQL is hard to understand so he is urging all the projects to "lower the bar" by providing good documentation and example configuration files which allow developers to have a system up and running in minutes...

He is also hoping that his efforts like the NoSQL summer will foster understanding of the technology and therefore "lower the bar".

Some new stuff he has planned are the NoSQL tapes and the NoSQL winter.



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