Episode 162: Project Voldemort with Jay Kreps

Filed in Episodes by on May 16, 2010 9 Comments

Recording Venue: QCon
Guest(s): Jay Kreps

Host(s): Robert
Jay Kreps talks about the open source data store Project Voldemort. Voldemort is a distributed key-value store used by LinkedIn and other high-traffic web sites to overcome the inherent scalability limitations of a relational database. The conversation delves into the workings of a Voldemort cluster, the type of consistency guarantees that can be made in a distributed database, and the tradeoff between client and the server.


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  1. Roger Armstrong says:

    I second the praise for Robert Blumen’s interviews. Some of the other SE-Radio stuff can be a bit cringeworthy – the interviewer often seems more interested in expressing his own opinions than those of the interviewees. Robert does a great job of keeping it interesting – both the Voldemort and the Spring AOP interviews I heard so far from him were excellent. Keep up the good work!

  2. cvh_se_radio says:

    Hi guys, I think there’s a problem with the download:

    wget http://media.libsyn.com/media/seradio/seradio-episode162-projectVoldemort.mp3
    –2010-05-23 20:36:41– http://media.libsyn.com/media/seradio/seradio-episode162-projectVoldemort.mp3
    Resolving media.libsyn.com…,
    Connecting to media.libsyn.com||:80… connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 500 Internal Server Error
    2010-05-23 20:36:41 ERROR 500: Internal Server Error.

  3. Linola says:

    Very interessting topic since I have to do a seminar on a related topic (cloud databases). The interviewer asked the right questions. If the sound quality would be a bit better, it would much more pleasure to listen.
    What about a flattr button for this page? I would definitly click on it.

  4. Linola says:

    That was fast, and i am number two who flattered you :-)

  5. jthoenes says:

    Is there a reason (I assume it is) why you called it “Project Voldemort”?

  6. suppressingfire says:

    The answer is at the end of a blog post by the guest: http://blog.linkedin.com/2009/04/01/project-voldemort-part-ii-how-it-works/

    Picking A Name

    I should probably also mention how it got its name, since that is something I got a lot of questions about. I wanted to come up with a name that was distinctive and a little self-deprecating (projects shouldn’t take themselves too seriously). At the time I was reading the last Harry Potter book, and Voldemort had split himself into many pieces each of which had to be destroyed to kill him. I thought, “that sounds like a distributed system”. I don’t know whether it is nerdier to be reading Harry Potter or to be wondering what kind of consistency protocol Voldemort uses when keeping all his pieces up-to-date, but regardless, the name stuck.

  7. Jim says:

    I have to say that the interviewer did an extraordinary job. The episode was content-dense because the interviewer had really prepared, and kept things going with good, solid questions.

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