Building A Real Time Event Data Warehouse For Sentry


November 26th, 2019

1 hr 1 min 15 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


The team at Sentry has built a platform for anyone in the world to send software errors and events. As they scaled the volume of customers and data they began running into the limitations of their initial architecture. To address the needs of their business and continue to improve their capabilities they settled on Clickhouse as the new storage and query layer to power their business. In this episode James Cunningham and Ted Kaemming describe the process of rearchitecting a production system, what they learned in the process, and some useful tips for anyone else evaluating Clickhouse.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Ted Kaemming and James Cunningham about Snuba, the new open source search service at Sentry implemented on top of Clickhouse


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you start by describing the internal and user-facing issues that you were facing at Sentry with the existing search capabilities?
    • What did the previous system look like?
  • What was your design criteria for building a new platform?
    • What was your initial list of possible system components and what was your evaluation process that resulted in your selection of Clickhouse?
  • Can you describe the system architecture of Snuba and some of the ways that it differs from your initial ideas of how it would work?
    • What have been some of the sharp edges of Clickhouse that you have had to engineer around?
    • How have you found the operational aspects of Clickhouse?
  • How did you manage the introduction of this new piece of infrastructure to a business that was already handling massive amounts of real-time data?
  • What are some of the downstream benefits of using Clickhouse for managing event data at Sentry?
  • For someone who is interested in using Snuba for their own purposes, how flexible is it for different domain contexts?
  • What are some of the other data challenges that you are currently facing at Sentry?
    • What is your next highest priority for evolving or rebuilding to address technical or business challenges?

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Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?

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The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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