Jeff Hammerbacher says that Facebook tried them all. And none of them did what the web giant needed them to do.
Hammerbacher is the Harvard-trained mathematician Facebook hired in 2006. His job was to harness all the digital data generated by Mark Zuckerberg’s social network — to make sense of what people were doing on the service and find new ways of improving the thing. But as the service expanded to tens of millions of people, Hammerbacher remembers, it was generating more data than the company could possibly analyze with the software at hand: a good old-fashioned Oracle database.
At the time, a long line of startups were offering a new breed of database designed to store and analyze much larger amounts of data. Greenplum. Vertica. Netezza. Hammerbacher and Facebook tested them all. But they weren’t suited to the task either.
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