Interview: VoltDB Powers Fast and Smart Data in Gaming World and Beyond

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Any market handling huge volumes of fast-moving data knows the value of scalability. VoltDB is stepping up with an innovative in-memory, relational database. We caught up with VoltDB Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Vescuso, to get a better understanding of this technology.

Peter Vescuso

insideBIGDATA: Please give us an overview of VoltDB’s products and services.

Peter Vescuso: VoltDB is an in-memory, distributed, relational database that exceeds the performance needs of modern data-intensive applications in industries including mobile, gaming, advertising technology, financial services and energy. VoltDB 4.0, announced in January 2014, is available in two versions: VoltDB Enterprise available with a commercial license and VoltDB Community available on Github with an open source license. VoltDB provides support services at three levels: Enterprise Developer, which is limited to non-production questions and issues; Enterprise Standard, and Premium Support, offered for production questions and issues.

insideBIGDATA: What is the underlying architecture behind this technology?

Peter Vescuso: VoltDB is the commercialized version of Brown University, CMU and MIT’s H-Store, a natively scalable, fault-tolerant, transactional database designed under the leadership of database innovator Dr. Michael Stonebraker. Unlike traditional relational database management systems (RDBMSs), which force a “one size fits all” approach, VoltDB handles the most challenging workloads and operations with speed, scalability and zero data loss. It achieves exceptionally fast performance, virtually unlimited scalability and high availability through the use of automatic partitioning (sharding); an in-memory data architecture which eliminates the need for multi-threading and associated locking; automatic replication and data persistence for high availability; data interaction using data types including Relational SQL, JSON, JDBC, Ad hoc and stored procedure interfaces, and an integrated export system for connection to analytic systems. VoltDB is ACID-compliant and features both scale up and scale out architecture, high availability, and in-memory performance with data durability.

insideBIGDATA: You recently announced a partnership with gaming industry player, deltaDNA. How did this relationship come about?

Peter Vescuso: deltaDNA has massive real-time data needs with its micro-personalization Player Relationship Management (PRM) platform. The company selected VoltDB after performing an extensive market evaluation of Big Data and in-memory databases. VoltDB supports deltaDNA’s high throughput and scalability requirements while also enabling complex decision making on real-time data streams.

insideBIGDATA: What does this partnership mean for deltaDNA? How does VoltDB help them?

Peter Vescuso: deltaDNA uses VoltDB to give its PRM platform the ability to ingest and perform real-time analysis on hundreds of millions of ‘events’ as they occur. In a quarter of a millisecond, the company can use these events to create actionable data intelligence that fosters player loyalty, extends a game’s value and increases overall game revenues.

insideBIGDATA: This is really cool stuff and the applications for your company’s offerings seem to be limitless. Where else can we expect to see VoltDB–which verticals in other words?

Peter Vescuso: Any business or vertical requiring access to real-time data and analytics to achieve or maintain competitive advantage can benefit from VoltDB. For example, in the energy market, utilities are deploying smart meter and smart grid technology. The volume of utility and customer-related data is exploding. Smart energy applications need real-time analytics on this fast-moving data to manage grids more efficiently, improve stability and operations, and increase customer service levels. The mobile market is another beneficiary, as operators leverage fast-moving data produced by millions of subscribers in real time. Combining fast data with real-time analytics, mobile operators can run micro-segmented campaigns with personalized offers and recommendations to up sell and cross sell products and services, increase revenue, reduce churn, enhance loyalty and create new revenue streams. VoltDB is very active in these and other fast-moving verticals, including advertising technology, financial services, and retail, among others.

insideBIGDATA: What about down the road in the Big Data world? What is on the horizon for in-memory analytics?

Peter Vescuso: Big Data is actually most valuable once it begins to approximate ‘small data’ – intelligence that can be applied per event, per transaction, per person, etc.  We’re seeing the market shift towards smart applications that transform unprecedented volumes of fast-moving data from gamers, mobile users, sensors, etc., into actionable intelligence.  VoltDB is the only database that can power these new fast and smart applications with unlimited scalability and throughput while enabling millions of complex decisions on a per event basis in real-time.  New market and business opportunities are being created with fast and smart data, and those markets are being powered by VoltDB.

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