VoltDB and In-Memory Databases with John Hugg



“There’s a lot of value in moving logic to the data rather than moving data to the logic. And the issue here is the data is a lot bigger than the logic.”

NewSQL is a class of modern relational databases that seek to provide the same scalable performance of NoSQL systems for OLTP, while still maintaining the ACID guarantees of a traditional database system. VoltDB is a NewSQL database, designed in part by Turing Award Winner Michael Stonebraker.

Today’s guest is John Hugg, a founding engineer at VoltDB. Today’s show covers the internals of VoltDB, including concepts like tunable consistency, database replication, and the advantages of a deterministic logical log.


  • What is unique about VoltDB?
  • Could you give some examples of where VoltDB would be a good fit?
  • What are the design challenges of embedding application logic into a database?
  • What are the ways developers can typically set up replication on their database?
  • In the context of databases, what does determinism mean?
  • In practice, what are the difficulties of implementing determinism on a distributed database?
  • As you’re developing a database, what types of tests do you run to model customer use cases?
  • How should systems architects decide which database to choose for their data management requirements?


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