Database Legends Starkey and Stonebreaker: Still Going Strong

Cloud DatabaseA few decades ago, two legends in the database industry, Jim Starkey and Dr. Mike Stonebreaker, established their reputations building relational database engines such as Interbase and INGRES, respectively. Although these database engines never achieved the level of commercial success of a company that I worked for during this period (Oracle), I nonetheless paid close attention to their work and respected the achievements and innovation that these pioneers contributed to the database industry.

As databases now move toward the cloud in what I feel is the next great evolution in database technology, these two Boston-area database gurus aren’t resting on their laurels. Starkey is the CTO of the cloud database startup nimbusDB, while Stonebreaker has a similar role with an on-premise database startup VoltDB. (I have to imagine that, eventually, VoltDB will have a cloud implementation. Mike?)

I’m very fortunate to work for salesforce.com and evangelize our cloud database offering, Database.com. So you can bet that I’ve got a lot of interest in seeing what Jim and Mike are up to. But their competition, as well as the NoSQL movement, is welcome and helps to drive innovation. It’s also validation that things are finally moving forward with database technology after a somewhat stagnant period.

If you’re a database geek like me, what a great era we are all about to experience!

[Cross Posted at The Cloud View Blog]

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