Another Michael Stonebraker start-up out of stealth mode
Software made by two of Stonebraker’s prior companies, Vertica Systems Inc. and Streambase Systems Inc., is part of that advantage. The new company, VoltDB, is out of stealth mode with another tool high-frequency traders can use to gain an edge. High-frequency trading desks use Streambase to run algorithms and execute trades in real time. Vertica is used to test traders’ theories, back-testing algorithms against historical market data. VoltDB, still in alpha testing mode, may be used by firms to hedge exposure during the millisecond when 100 trading desks all take the same position on a security.
“Instead of getting market tics, you’re simply getting a list of trades that every desk in your company makes — and you just want to assemble the complete position of the entire company and then ask questions about it,” Stonebraker said.
Stonebraker, a 2008 Mass High Tech All-Star who is known as the “father of the relational database,” for his role on the Postgres project at the University of California Berkeley in the 1980s, explained VoltDB’s innovation. It is startlingly simple. The product is an online transaction-processing system that, unlike legacy systems, pays no attention to concurrency control, resource contention locking, recovery logs, queues or disk management. “We just get rid of all that stuff,” Stonebraker said. “That allows us to go wildly faster.”