Michael Stonebraker at UC Berkeley in 2009.
|Born||October 11, 1943|
|Institutions||University of California, Berkeley,
University of Michigan,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
|Alma mater||Princeton University,
University of Michigan
|Thesis||The Reduction of Large Scale Markov Models for Random Chains (1971)|
|Doctoral advisor||Arch Waugh Naylor|
|Notable students||Diane Greene
Joseph M. Hellerstein
Clifford A. Lynch
|Known for||Ingres, Postgres, Vertica, Streambase, Illustra, VoltDB, SciDB|
Through a series of academic prototypes and commercial startups, Stonebraker's research and products are central to many relational database systems on the market today. He is also the founder of a number of database companies, including Ingres, Illustra, Cohera, StreamBase Systems, Vertica, VoltDB, and Paradigm4. He was previously the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Informix. He is also an editor for the book Readings in Database Systems.
Stonebraker earned his bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1965 and his master's degree and his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1967 and 1971, respectively. He has received several awards, including the IEEE John von Neumann Medal and the first SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award. In 1994 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. In 1997 he was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Michael Stonebraker was a Professor of Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley, for twenty-nine years, where he developed the Ingres and Postgres relational database systems. He is currently an adjunct professor at MIT, where he has been involved in the development of the Aurora, C-Store, H-Store, Morpheus, and SciDB systems.
- 1 Major projects
- 2 Students
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Stonebraker's career can be broadly divided into two phases; his time at Berkeley when he focused on relational systems, and the past decade at MIT where he has developed several new data management systems.
The Berkeley years (1971–2000)
Stonebraker joined UC Berkeley as an assistant professor in 1971. It was there that he did his early pioneering work on relational databases in the Ingres and Postgres projects.
In 1973, Stonebraker and his colleague Eugene Wong decided to start researching relational database systems after reading a series of seminal papers published by Edgar F. Codd on the relational data model.
Their project, known as Ingres (Interactive Graphics and Retrieval System), was one of the first systems (along with System R from IBM) to demonstrate that it was possible to build a practical and efficient implementation of the relational model. A number of key ideas from INGRES are still widely used in relational systems, including the use of B-trees, primary-copy replication, the query rewrite approach to views and integrity constraints, and the idea of rules/triggers for integrity checking in an RDBMS. Additionally, much experimental work was done that provided insights into how to build a locking system that could provide satisfactory transaction performance.
By the mid-1970s, Stonebraker's team had produced, using a rotating team of student programmers, a usable relational database system. At the time INGRES was considered "low end" compared to IBM's System R, as it ran on Unix-based Digital Equipment Corporation machines as opposed to the "big iron" IBM mainframes.
By the early 1980s, however, the performance and capabilities of these low-end machines were seriously threatening IBM's mainframe market, and with the threat came the ability of INGRES to become a viable, "real" product for a large number of applications. INGRES was offered using a variation of the BSD license for a nominal fee, and soon a number of companies took advantage of this to create commercial versions of INGRES.
These included Stonebraker, who with fellow Berkeley professors Larry Rowe and Eugene Wong helped found Relational Technology, Inc., later called Ingres Corporation. Subsequently sold to Computer Associates, Ingres was re-established as an independent company in 2005. Other startups based on the INGRES code line include Sybase, founded by Robert Epstein, a student on the INGRES project, and Britton Lee, Inc. Sybase's code was later used as a basis for Microsoft SQL Server.
After founding Relational Technology, Stonebraker and Rowe began a "post-INGRES" effort, to address the limitations of the relational model. The new project was named POSTGRES (POST inGRES), and was designed to add support for complex data types to database systems and improve end-to-end performance of data-intensive applications. Postgres provided an object relational programming model in which fields could be complex datatypes, and where users could register new types as well as scalar and aggregate functions over those types. POSTGRES was extensible in a number of other ways, making it easy for programmers to modify or add to the optimizer, query language, runtime, and indexing frameworks. These features improved both database programmability and performance, and made it possible to push large portions of a number of applications inside the database, including geographic information systems and time series processing. This had the effect of substantially broadening the commercial database market.
POSTGRES was also offered using a BSD-like license, and the code forms the basis of today's free software, PostgreSQL. Stonebraker also led an effort to commercialize the code, creating Illustra which was purchased by Informix. PostgreSQL has been used as the basis for a number of other startup companies, including Aster Data Systems, EnterpriseDB, and Greenplum.
Informix acquired Illustra in 1996, and Stonebraker became Informix's CTO, a position he held until September 2000.
Mariposa and Cohera
After the Postgres project, Stonebraker initiated the Mariposa project which became the basis of Cohera Corporation. The main idea behind Mariposa was to build a federated database over an economic model of resource trading, in which data distributed across multiple organizations could be integrated and queried from a single relational interface, governed by site-specific policies that would charge for data processing and storage. These economic policies allowed traditional ideas in query optimization to be carried out over competing sites, and also served as the basis for data storage, replication and movement within a federation.
Cohera's initial mission was to commercialize ideas from the Mariposa project, but eventually focused on a Business-to-Business Catalog Management application implemented on top of the core federated data integration engine. Cohera's intellectual property was purchased by PeopleSoft in 2001, and used as the basis of PeopleSoft's Enterprise Catalog Management. PeopleSoft was in turn purchased by Oracle in 2004.
The MIT years (2001–present)
Stonebraker moved to MIT in 2001, where he began another series of research projects and founded a number of companies.
Aurora and StreamBase
In the Aurora Project, Stonebraker, along with colleagues from Brandeis University, Brown University, and MIT, focused on data management for streaming data, using a new data model and query language. Unlike relational systems, which "pull" data and process it a record at a time, in Aurora, data is "pushed", arriving asynchronously from external data sources (such as stock ticks, news feeds, or sensors.) The output is itself a stream of results (such as windowed averages) that are sent to users.
Stonebraker co-founded StreamBase Systems in 2003 to commercialize the technology behind Aurora.
C-Store and Vertica
In the C-Store project, started in 2005, Stonebraker, along with colleagues from Brandeis University, Brown University, MIT, and University of Massachusetts Boston, developed a parallel, shared-nothing column-oriented DBMS for data warehousing. By dividing and storing data in columns, C-Store is able to perform less I/O and get better compression ratios than conventional database systems that store data in rows.
Morpheus and Goby
In 2006, Stonebraker started the Morpheus project, along with researchers from the University of Florida. Morpheus is a data integration system which relies on a collection of "transforms" to mediate between data sources. Each transform provides a queryable interface to particular web site or service, and Morpheus makes it possible to search for and compose multiple transforms to provide a new service or a unified view of several services.
H-Store and VoltDB
In 2007, with researchers from Brown University, MIT, and Yale University, Stonebraker started the H-Store project. H-Store is a distributed main-memory OLTP system designed to provide very high throughput on transaction processing workloads.
In 2009, Stonebraker co-founded, and currently serves as CTO of, VoltDB a commercial startup based on ideas from the H-Store project.
In 2008, along with David DeWitt and researchers from Brown University, MIT, Portland State University, SLAC, the University of Washington, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stonebraker started SciDB  an open-source DBMS specially designed for scientific research applications.
Data Analysis & Extraction
In addition to his contributions to academia and industry, Stonebraker has trained more than 30 students who have themselves contributed significantly to academia and industry. Notable students include:
- Daniel Abadi (co-founder and Chief Scientist of Hadapt)
- Michael J. Carey (faculty at UC Irvine, formerly at U. Wisconsin Madison, NAE Member and ACM Fellow)
- Robert Epstein (founder and former VP of Engineering of Sybase)
- Diane Greene (co-founder and former CEO of VMWare)
- Paula Hawthorn (founder of Britton-Lee, formerly VP of Engineering of Informix)
- Marti Hearst (Professor at UC Berkeley)
- Gerald Held (former VP of Engineering of Oracle)
- Joseph M. Hellerstein (faculty at UC Berkeley)
- Anant Jhingran (VP and CTO for IBM's Information Management Division)
- Curt Kolovson (Sr. Staff Research Scientist at VMware)
- Clifford A. Lynch (executive director of the Coalition for Networked Information)
- Mike Olson (former CEO of Sleepycat Software and founding CEO of Cloudera)
- Margo Seltzer (Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, founder and former CTO of Sleepycat Software)
- Dale Skeen (founder of Tibco, founder and CEO of Vitria)
- Michael Stonebraker at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
- "Contributors" (pdf). TRANSACTIONS ON SYSTEMS, MAN, AND CYBERNETICS,. IEEE. Sep 1972. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Stonebraker, Michael Ralph (1971). The Reduction of Large Scale Markov Models for Random Chains (PhD thesis). University of Michigan.
- "Michael Ralph Stonebraker - ACM author profile page". Retrieved 2011-07-27.
- Abadi, D. J.; Carney, D.; �Etintemel, U.; Cherniack, M.; Convey, C.; Lee, S.; Stonebraker, M.; Tatbul, N.; Zdonik, S. (2003). "Aurora: A new model and architecture for data stream management". The VLDB Journal the International Journal on Very Large Data Bases 12 (2): 120. doi:10.1007/s00778-003-0095-z.
- Codd, E. F. (1970). "A relational model of data for large shared data banks". Communications of the ACM 13 (6): 377. doi:10.1145/362384.362685.
- Stonebraker, M.; Held, G.; Wong, E.; Kreps, P. (1976). "The design and implementation of INGRES". ACM Transactions on Database Systems 1 (3): 189. doi:10.1145/320473.320476.
- "Relational Roots". Joseph Hellerstein. 1998. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
- "Motivation & DBMS Architecture Overview". Joseph Hellerstein. 1998. Retrieved 2009-11-24.
- Stonebraker, M.; Rowe, L. A. (1986). "The design of POSTGRES". ACM SIGMOD Record 15 (2): 340. doi:10.1145/16856.16888.
- Stonebraker, M.; Aoki, P. M.; Litwin, W.; Pfeffer, A.; Sah, A.; Sidell, J.; Staelin, C.; Yu, A. (1996). "Mariposa: A wide-area distributed database system". The VLDB Journal the International Journal on Very Large Data Bases 5: 48. doi:10.1007/s007780050015.
- Brown, P. G. (2010). "Overview of sciDB". Proceedings of the 2010 international conference on Management of data - SIGMOD '10. p. 963. doi:10.1145/1807167.1807271. ISBN 9781450300322.
- Stonebraker, M.; Brown, P.; Poliakov, A.; Raman, S. (2011). "The Architecture of SciDB". Scientific and Statistical Database Management. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6809. p. 1. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-22351-8_1. ISBN 978-3-642-22350-1.
- "SciDB: Relational daddy answers Google, Hadoop, NoSQL". The Register. 2010-09-13. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- Stonebraker, M. (2010). "SQL databases v. NoSQL databases". Communications of the ACM 53 (4): 10. doi:10.1145/1721654.1721659.
- Stonebraker, M. (2011). "Stonebraker on NoSQL and enterprises". Communications of the ACM 54 (8): 10. doi:10.1145/1978542.1978546.
- Stonebraker, M.; Abadi, D.; Dewitt, D. J.; Madden, S.; Paulson, E.; Pavlo, A.; Rasin, A. (2010). "MapReduce and parallel DBMSs". Communications of the ACM 53: 64. doi:10.1145/1629175.1629197.
- "Michael Stonebraker". Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California. 1995-12-23. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- "Michael Stonebraker". User Profiles. MA, USA: MIT. 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
- Monash, Curt, "Michael Stonebraker", DBMS2, a series of recent interviews and comments about and by Stonebraker.
- "Morpheus: A Data Integration Toolkit". CSAIL Research Abstracts. MA, USA: MIT. Retrieved 2009-11-22.
- Goby, a new search engine to find fun things to do in one’s free time (co-founded by Stonebraker)