InfoWorld CTO 25: Mike Stonebraker

CTO and co-founder, StreamBase Systems

It may have been “a million years ago” that he co-built Ingres and Postgres, but Dr. Mike Stonebraker is no dinosaur. Today, he’s co-founder and CTO of StreamBase Systems, a company on the cutting edge of CEP (complex event processing) for streaming data.

Stonebraker and Brown University’s Professor Stan Zdonik came up with the idea for StreamBase after noting the rise of “high-volume firehoses of information” untapped by commercial CEP technology. And that information will only become richer as sensors are deployed “to tag everything on the planet,” Stonebraker says.

In 2001, Stonebraker and Zdonik developed a prototype of StreamBase, a real-time processing engine that can analyze hundreds of thousands of messages per second; today the company boasts customers in the military and government security sector. StreamBase differs from competing products in that it operates at the database level, Stonebraker says. “We’re doing for streams what SQL did for storing data.”

Next-generation applications combined with geopositioning would allow StreamBase to power cutting-edge location-based services such as outpatient tracking and real-time traffic coordination. “The downstream value of the technology is dramatic,” Stonebraker says.