Archives: Episodes

Building A New Foundation For CouchDB - Episode 124

CouchDB is a distributed document database built for scale and ease of operation. With a built-in synchronization protocol and a HTTP interface it has become popular as a backend for web and mobile applications. Created 15 years ago, it has accrued some technical debt which is being addressed with a refactored architecture based on FoundationDB. In this episode Adam Kocoloski shares the history of the project, how it works under the hood, and how the new design will improve the project for our new era of computation. This was an interesting conversation about the challenges of maintaining a large and mission critical project and the work being done to evolve it.

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Scaling Data Governance For Global Businesses With A Data Hub Architecture - Episode 123

Data governance is a complex endeavor, but scaling it to meet the needs of a complex or globally distributed organization requires a well considered and coherent strategy. In this episode Tim Ward describes an architecture that he has used successfully with multiple organizations to scale compliance. By treating it as a graph problem, where each hub in the network has localized control with inheritance of higher level controls it reduces overhead and provides greater flexibility. Tim provides useful examples for understanding how to adopt this approach in your own organization, including some technology recommendations for making it maintainable and scalable. If you are struggling to scale data quality controls and governance requirements then this interview will provide some useful ideas to incorporate into your roadmap.

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Easier Stream Processing On Kafka With ksqlDB - Episode 122

Building applications on top of unbounded event streams is a complex endeavor, requiring careful integration of multiple disparate systems that were engineered in isolation. The ksqlDB project was created to address this state of affairs by building a unified layer on top of the Kafka ecosystem for stream processing. Developers can work with the SQL constructs that they are familiar with while automatically getting the durability and reliability that Kafka offers. In this episode Michael Drogalis, product manager for ksqlDB at Confluent, explains how the system is implemented, how you can use it for building your own stream processing applications, and how it fits into the lifecycle of your data infrastructure. If you have been struggling with building services on low level streaming interfaces then give this episode a listen and try it out for yourself.

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Shining A Light on Shadow IT In Data And Analytics - Episode 121

Misaligned priorities across business units can lead to tensions that drive members of the organization to build data and analytics projects without the guidance or support of engineering or IT staff. The availability of cloud platforms and managed services makes this a viable option, but can lead to downstream challenges. In this episode Sean Knapp and Charlie Crocker share their experiences of working in and with companies that have dealt with shadow IT projects and the importance of enabling and empowering the use and exploration of data and analytics. If you have ever been frustrated by seemingly draconian policies or struggled to align everyone on your supported platform, then this episode will help you gain some perspective and set you on a path to productive collaboration.

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Data Infrastructure Automation For Private SaaS At Snowplow - Episode 120

One of the biggest challenges in building reliable platforms for processing event pipelines is managing the underlying infrastructure. At Snowplow Analytics the complexity is compounded by the need to manage multiple instances of their platform across customer environments. In this episode Josh Beemster, the technical operations lead at Snowplow, explains how they manage automation, deployment, monitoring, scaling, and maintenance of their streaming analytics pipeline for event data. He also shares the challenges they face in supporting multiple cloud environments and the need to integrate with existing customer systems. If you are daunted by the needs of your data infrastructure then it’s worth listening to how Josh and his team are approaching the problem.

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Data Modeling That Evolves With Your Business Using Data Vault - Episode 119

Designing the structure for your data warehouse is a complex and challenging process. As businesses deal with a growing number of sources and types of information that they need to integrate, they need a data modeling strategy that provides them with flexibility and speed. Data Vault is an approach that allows for evolving a data model in place without requiring destructive transformations and massive up front design to answer valuable questions. In this episode Kent Graziano shares his journey with data vault, explains how it allows for an agile approach to data warehousing, and explains the core principles of how to use it. If you’re struggling with unwieldy dimensional models, slow moving projects, or challenges integrating new data sources then listen in on this conversation and then give data vault a try for yourself.

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The Benefits And Challenges Of Building A Data Trust - Episode 118

Every business collects data in some fashion, but sometimes the true value of the collected information only comes when it is combined with other data sources. Data trusts are a legal framework for allowing businesses to collaboratively pool their data. This allows the members of the trust to increase the value of their individual repositories and gain new insights which would otherwise require substantial effort in duplicating the data owned by their peers. In this episode Tom Plagge and Greg Mundy explain how the BrightHive platform serves to establish and maintain data trusts, the technical and organizational challenges they face, and the outcomes that they have witnessed. If you are curious about data sharing strategies or data collaboratives, then listen now to learn more!

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Pay Down Technical Debt In Your Data Pipeline With Great Expectations - Episode 117

Data pipelines are complicated and business critical pieces of technical infrastructure. Unfortunately they are also complex and difficult to test, leading to a significant amount of technical debt which contributes to slower iteration cycles. In this episode James Campbell describes how he helped create the Great Expectations framework to help you gain control and confidence in your data delivery workflows, the challenges of validating and monitoring the quality and accuracy of your data, and how you can use it in your own environments to improve your ability to move fast.

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Replatforming Production Dataflows - Episode 116

Building a reliable data platform is a neverending task. Even if you have a process that works for you and your business there can be unexpected events that require a change in your platform architecture. In this episode the head of data for Mayvenn shares their experience migrating an existing set of streaming workflows onto the Ascend platform after their previous vendor was acquired and changed their offering. This is an interesting discussion about the ongoing maintenance and decision making required to keep your business data up to date and accurate.

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Planet Scale SQL For The New Generation Of Applications - Episode 115

The modern era of software development is identified by ubiquitous access to elastic infrastructure for computation and easy automation of deployment. This has led to a class of applications that can quickly scale to serve users worldwide. This requires a new class of data storage which can accomodate that demand without having to rearchitect your system at each level of growth. YugabyteDB is an open source database designed to support planet scale workloads with high data density and full ACID compliance. In this episode Karthik Ranganathan explains how Yugabyte is architected, their motivations for being fully open source, and how they simplify the process of scaling your application from greenfield to global.

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