NoSQL Now! 2013 Conference – Day Two

The second day of the 2013 NowSQL Now conference (August 21, 2013) every bit as enjoyable as the first was yesterday. But today was more like a traditional conference, with smaller sessions instead of the half-day sessions of the first day.

The day opened with several keynote sessions, wherein it was announced that this year’s event was attended by just shy of 1,000 folks. The first NoSQL Now conference as held three years ago and it had 500 attendees, so the event is definitely growing… just like the technology being covered here!

Then Andy Mendelsohn of Oracle talked about Oracle’s NoSQL offering and toward the end of his talk he made two product announcements:

  • The Oracle NoSQL Database Community Edition, which is open source, can be downloaded and run for free with no support. If you want support, it costs $2000 per year per server. Details available at
  • The Oracle Big Data Appliance, touted by Oracle as the first hardware appliance for a NoSQL database, can scale out from a six server cluster starter pack.

After the keynote sessions, I attended a session on Microsoft Azure Tables which offered a nice overview of the technology including discussions of its ACID capabilities, pricing, protocols, and more. This was followed by William McKnight’s interesting session on NoSQL for the SQL Professional. William’s approach was refreshing in that it acknowledged the important and on-going role of SQL and relational databases in a way that seemed to be missing from most of the other presentations I attended. Some of the highlights of McKnight’s pitch included these pithy quotes:

  • “What brings Hadoop into production implementations in many large accounts is cold storage. That is, a place to put data that is not being accessed any more but still must be retained.”
  • “Hadoop is not being embraced for data warehousing, in most cases.”
  • “The Big Three of Big Data are sensor, social, and web data.”

Another highlight of William’s session was his countdown of the things that give CIOs heartburn about NoSQL. At the top of the list was developer skills, but it also included lack of ACID capabilities, tools are lacking, and the fast nature of unburdened projects.

This was followed by the next keynote session given by Adrian Cockroft of Netflix. He gave a whirlwind presentation discussing the infrastructure of Netflix built around Cassandra, MongoDB and MySQL. Netflix, which boasts almost 37 million streaming customers (and 8 to 9 million DBD customers), prides itself on the technology that it uses to speed up the OODA loop. OODA is the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act loop and Cockroft’s assertion is that the faster you go around this loop, the better your organization will do against the competition. If you are at a conference where Cockroft will be speaking, do yourself a favor and be sure to catch his session.

I also attended a panel on Enterprise NoSQL and a session on selecting the right NoSQL solutions for your Enterprise Big Data technology stack, both of which were interesting and educational.

The vendor exhibition hall opened today, as well, and there were many NoSQL vendors there hawking their wares, including premier and platinum sponsors 10gen, GridGain, Objectivity, and Oracle. And I even got a couple of few books (one on graph databases, one on JSONiq and another on on riak).

All in all, it has been a well-organized and education conference… one that I would recommend to anybody looking into NoSQL and/or Big Data technology.


I'm a data management strategist, researcher, and consultant with over three decades of experience in all facets of database systems development and implementation.
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