Posts focused on live presentations, typically by Curt Monash.

January 31, 2010

Flash, other solid-state memory, and disk

If there’s one subject on which the New England Database Summit changed or at least clarified my thinking,* it’s future storage technologies. Here’s what I now think:

*When the first three people to the question microphone include both Mike Stonebraker and Dave DeWitt, your thinking tends to clarify in a hurry.

Related links

Other posts based on my January, 2010 New England Database Summit keynote address

January 31, 2010

Data-based snooping — a huge threat to liberty that we’re all helping make worse

Every year or two, I get back on my soapbox to say:

But this time I don’t plan to be so quick to shut up.

My best writing about the subject of liberty to date is probably in a November, 2008 blog post. My best public speaking about the subject was undoubtedly last Thursday, early in my New England Database Summit keynote address; I got a lot of favorable feedback on that part from the academics and technologists in attendance.

My emphasis is on data-based snooping rather than censorship, for several reasons:

Read more

November 25, 2009

New England Database Summit (January 28, 2010)

New England Database Day has now, in its third year, become a “Summit.”  It’s a nice event, providing an opportunity for academics and business folks to mingle.  The organizers are basically the local branch of the Mike Stonebraker research tree, with this year’s programming head being Daniel Abadi. It will be on Thursday, January 28, 2010, once again in the Stata Center at MIT. It would be reasonable to park in the venerable 4/5 Cambridge Center parking lot, especially if you’d like to eat at Legal Seafood afterwards.

So far there are two confirmed speakers — Raghu Ramakrishnan of Yahoo and me.  My talk title will be something like “Database and analytic technology: The state of the union”, with all wordplay intended.

There’s more information at the official New England Database Summit website. There’s also a post with similar information on Daniel Abadi’s DBMS Musings blog.

Edit after the event:

Posts based on my January, 2010 New England Database Summit keynote address

November 23, 2009

Boston Big Data Summit keynote outline

Last month, Bob Zurek asked me to give a talk on “Big Data”, where “big” is anything from a few terabytes on up, then moderate a panel on cloud computing. We agreed that I could talk just from notes, without slides. So, since I have them typed up, I’m posting them below.

Read more

October 15, 2009

MapReduce webinars and annotated slides

As previously noted, I’m giving a webinar twice today — i.e., Thursday, October 15 — at 10:00 am and 1:00 pm Eastern time.

October 9, 2009

I have some presentations coming up (all on October Thursdays)

On Thursday, October 15, and two different times (10:00 am and 1:00 pm Eastern time), I’ll be giving a webinar for Aster Data on MapReduce. The content is very much work in progress, but it definitely will:

Then, on the evening of Thursday, October 22, there’s something called the Boston Big Data Summit, in Waltham, where “Big Data” evidently is to be construed as anything from a few terabytes on up.  (Things are smaller in the Northeast than in California …) It’s being put together by Amrith Kumar (who I don’t really know) and Bob Zurek (who everybody knows). This is the inaguaral meeting. It seems I’m both giving the keynote and running the subsequent panel, one of whose participants will be Ellen Rubin. Read more

September 10, 2009

Thinking about analytic speed

For a variety of reasons, I don’t plan to post my complete Enzee Universe keynote slide deck soon, if ever. But perhaps one or more of its subjects are worth spinning out in their own blog posts.

I’m going to start with analytic speed or, equivalently, analytic latency. There is, obviously, a huge industry emphasis on speed. Indeed, there’s so much emphasis that confusion often ensues. My goal in this post is not really to resolve the confusion; that would be ambitious to the max. But I’m at least trying to call attention to it, so that we can all be more careful in our discussions going forward, and perhaps contribute to a framework for those discussions as well.

Key points include:

1. There are two important senses of “latency” in analytics. One is just query response time. The other is the length of the interval between when data is captured and when it is available for analytic purposes. They’re often conflated — and indeed I shall do so for the remainder of this post.

2. There are many different kinds of analytic speed, which to a large extent can be viewed separately. Major areas include:

There certainly are relationships among those; e.g., a really great analytic DBMS could help speed up any and all of the last three categories. But when assessing your needs, you can go quite far viewing each of those areas separately.

3. It is indeed important to carefully assess your need-for-speed. Acceptable levels of analytic latency vary widely, ranging from sub-millisecond to multi-month. Read more

July 30, 2009

Netezza’s worldwide show-and-tell

In this economy, conference attendance is way down. Accordingly, a number of vendors have reevaluated whether it makes sense to have a traditional big-bang user conference, or whether it might make more sense to do a tour, bringing their message to multiple geographical areas. Netezza has opted for the latter course, something I’ve been well aware of for two reasons:

Apparently, I’ll be talking late morning each time. My dates are:

The brand name of the events is Enzee Universe. Locations, registration information, and other particulars may be found on the Enzee Universe website.

May 4, 2009

37 Ways To Get More From Analytics, Version 2.0

As I hoped, there were some very helpful responses to my post listing ways to improve analytic effectiveness. Here’s a second draft incorporating them. Comments continue to be very welcome. I need to finalize this soon. Read more

April 29, 2009

37 Ways To Get More From Analytics

I posted several stages of my thinking in connection with a February presentation on how to buy an analytic DBMS. The whole process seemed like a success, with good input early on, and at least one new client directly attracted by the uploaded slide presentation. So now I’m trying the same idea again, starting at an even earlier stage of the process.

I’m going to be speaking this September at six of the seven installments of Netezza’s 2009 traveling regional user conference, namely those in London, Milan, and the United States. (Edited for schedule changes.) The topic is going to be something like “N Ways to Get More From Analytics”, for N a decent-sized two-digit integer. The talk is meant to be more conceptual, upbeat, rah-rah, and/or inspirational than is my usual style, at the cost of perhaps being less complete, detailed, or carefully organized. Right now I’m at the point of sharing an initial list of ideas, and throwing open the question: What did I leave out?

The initial list is: Read more

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