Amazon’s Werner Vogels on the Stonebraker/NewSQL debate

Werner Vogels - CTO, Amazon.com - Structure 2011

The furor over Michael Stonebraker’s criticism of Facebook’s scaling of its MySQL database we covered last Thursday has continued to keep that post at the top of our viewer stats and generate comments on the post itself and on Twitter. Friday, Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels weighed in with a tweet of his own that seemed to accuse Stonebraker of hubris.

Vogels isn’t alone. Other tweets and even blog posts from folks in the industry have accused Stonebraker of throwing Facebook under the bus in order to sell his VoltDB software, such as this one from networking guru and CEO of Boundry Ben Black:

The comments in the post range from those that shed more details on how Facebook uses its database layer to those that show a fairly sophisticated understanding of the tradeoffs of using an existing database technology versus investing in putting a production system on a new and possibly untested new system. However, most of all it illustrates how scaling data has become not just a hot-button issue — but one so complex that it’s difficult to reduce it to cute soundbites like NoSQL or NewSQL. There also seems to be a fundamental schism between those who want the most elegant and appropriate solution and those who want something that works, which they will tweak it as needed. And for technologists, that debate is as old as computers themselves.

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