The Cassandra Summit 2012 is a conference where developers and interested business parties can teach and learn about upcoming innovations with Apache Cassandra in particular and database technology in general. The CUBE host John Furrier and Wikibon contributor Jeff Kelly had a chance to sit down with Accenture Senior Manager and Big Data R&D Lead, John Akred to talk about some of the exciting advancements in big data.
One of the first questions posed to Akred was about the sustainability of the old relational database model. In the tech world, everyone is talking about NoSQL, moving beyond relational databases. But will NoSQL completely replace SQL? According to Akred, the relational database is not going anywhere. If anything, he explained, people can now see the value of relational databases because they want to emulate its access and query methods to find better ways of approaching unstructured data.
One of the interesting features of Cassandra and projects like it is that it did not begin with a proprietary application that was later mimicked by an open source project. Instead, the movement began with developers working on the side who needed to solve real-world problems.
The current stage of big data development, Akred said, is to find better ways of making the data available, managing it, and analyzing it. Many companies have emerged with applications that make these large data sets discoverable and actionable. As a result, the technical challenge of implementing them has started eroding away. The new challenge is to find ways to apply context on the data on the ingest, rather than waiting until after it has been stored and becomes unwieldy.
Ultimately, when a company has a solid data platform, it can rapidly build products around it. This allows the company to take advantage of flexible data and build on the agility that comes with it. The data is available and part of the development process, and the applications are then built to simply access that data. According to Akred, people in the IT world now must change their way of thinking in order to effectively approach this new technology.
Watch the full video below.