Although traditionally databases have either focused on real-time transactions or longer-term analytics of data, newer technologies like Hadoop and a related open-source system called Hbase can combine those two things in many cases, attendees at GigaOM’s Structure Europe conference in Amsterdam learned during a panel on Tuesday morning.
Amr Awadallah, the CTO of Cloudera, said that more and more companies are finding that Hadoop is a way of keeping all their data in one place so that they can combine real-time and analytical functions — and both he and NuoDB CEO Barry Morris agreed that this ability is appealing to more traditional companies as well as to primarily web-oriented companies.
For example, Awadallah said that Facebook’s email system runs on Hbase, and it supports millions of users and billions of messages even though it isn’t a traditional transactional database. If you want to do banking transactions that involve layers of security and other issues, he said, then Hbase might not be the way to go, but for lots of other applications it makes sense.
The Cloudera founder said that one of the things his company wondered when they first began was whether this would appeal to companies that weren’t primarily web-focused, and it turns out that it does. Among the company’s customers are large players like agricultural giant Monsanto, which uses Hbase to manage the genomics side of its business, where it monitors testing on new varieties of seeds.
Check out the rest of our Structure Europe 2012 coverage here, and a video recording of the session follows.