Sunday, May 3, 2009

European HBase Ambassador

I am on a mission! The mission is to spread the word on HBase. There are only a few choices when it comes to large scale data storage solutions. What I am referring to is not your vertical scale, big-iron relational database system. The time is now for a paradigm shift.

There are various key/value or more structured stores that strive to achieve the same - but getting proper information is often a big challenge. Either there is no proper examples, or use-cases for that matter. Even worse are performance details, the usual rap being "all depends!" - of course it does. Without real examples it is difficult to determine if a suitable system design wise is also holding up to the task at hand. How many servers are needed? How should the hardware stack be organized?

Here is where I feel I can help. I am using HBase for over a year now (started prototyping in late 2007), in production with three clusters spread over more than 50 servers. And I pretty much set them up from plugging in the hardware to the designing and running the cluster and the system on top of that. While this is in itself nothing special, I feel that I gained a lot of experience with HBase. I also feel that it could be very helpful to others that are thinking about HBase and how it may help them.

So I hereby declare myself to be a European HBase Ambassador. Mind you, this is no official title. The purpose is to help furthering the adoption of HBase in research and/or commercial projects. So what does this "position" entail? I offer this:

For the cost of travel (and if necessary accommodation) I will present any aspect of HBase in production to whoever is interested.
Yes, I will come to you if you ask, no matter where in Europe (or beyond). I will present on the internals of HBase, its API and so on to developers or higher concepts to architects. Or to management on a white paper level. You want to know about HBase and how it can help you? Let me know and I will show you.

Why me? Besides what I mentioned above I have over 13 years experience in software engineering and am responsible as the CTO at WorldLingo which for example is the sole provider for all machine translations in Microsoft Office for Windows and MacOS - given the text is longer than a few words because otherwise the internal word dictionaries are taking preference. I write and speak German (native) and English fluently. Last but not least I have regular contact with the core developers of HBase and am a contributor myself - as much as time allows.

So there you have it. This is my offer. I hope you see value in and take me up on it! I surely am looking forward to meeting you.


  1. +1 on your new title Lars (from an HBase contributor)

  2. -1 for using 'paradigm shift' in our blog post :)

  3. Microsoft is using Hadoop now too --

  4. Where are you based mister Ambassador?

  5. Hey Tim, sorry for the late reply (slipped through the cracks). In Germany, so quite central I do believe :)

  6. We (Outerthought) were first in taking Lars up to his offer and it was worth every penny of it. We spent a full day talking in-depth HBase while evaluating our decision to go with HBase for our next-generation content store, and were able to learn a lot from his hands-on experience. Afterwards, we got some nice follow-up conversation as well.

    Here's a report on our experiences with Lars:

  7. Can you please share the business domains where hbase is creating value?


  8. Hi Lars,
    Are you still doing HBase consulting? Just curious to know - how far you were successful in your endeavor?