Alaric Snell-Pym

Chief Software Architect at GenieDB

Alaric is the Chief Software Architect of GenieDB, a fully replicated distributed database that provides SQL and NoSQL functionality with inter-table joins to help developers use database more effectively and efficiently. He has designed distributed systems and worked on high-load and large-scale server clusters for over 15 years. His experience ranges from implementing low-level SQL optimization to developing peer-to-peer media distribution technologies. He is a freelance technical editor and author for QUE Books.

Alaric graduated from Imperial College with a Bachelor of Engineering with Honors in Computer Science. He enjoys working with children and has been a Cub Scout Leader for 3 years.

  •   Featured Stories  
  •   Contributions  
Featured Stories
One Database, Many Interfaces: Have the Best of Both Worlds by Integrating SQL and NoSQL
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by Alaric Snell-Pym
People are intrigued that NoSQL databases are exploring different data models that promise much easier scaling and fault tolerance. But these same people are justifiably daunted by the prospect of abandoning their extensive SQL-based applications, retraining their developers to interact with databases in new ways and then rebuilding applications from scratch (applications are rarely ported from SQL to NoSQL). So it’s an appealing thought: being able to port existing SQL apps with little or no development work, take advantage immediately of scaling and fault tolerance, and adapt to a NoSQL API to take advantage of schema flexibility and enhanced performance.
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NoSQL vs SQL, Why Not Both?
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by Alaric Snell-Pym
There’s no doubt that SQL is getting old. It was developed in the early 1970s, by IBM - in an age where computers were large centralised things; a very different world from today. Indeed, in IBM’s 1974 paper on SEQUEL (as it was then known) in Communications of the ACM, it was designed not only for use by programmers to access a database, but also for “accountants, engineers, architects, and urban planners”. Clearly, either standards of user-friendliness have improved over the past thirty-five years - or our standards of friendly users have dropped. So what about this new “NoSQL” idea?
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Contributions
Cloudbook Video: SQL vs NoSQL
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GenieDB Chief Architect Alaric Snell-Pym discusses SQL vs NoSQL


Presentation: SQL vs NoSQL
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Alaric Snell-Pym from GenieDB talks about the pros and cons of SQL and NoSQL. It's not a simple case of one or the other. The question is: Should we be abandoning ACID properties and the standard SQL interface?


Paper: GenieDB Technology Overview White Paper PDF
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Over the past few years, "scaling" and "availability" have come to vie with "cutting costs" and "delivering new features" as major headaches for the CTOs of online businesses. With Moore's Law starting to lose steam, existing applications can no longer be scaled by simply buying faster hardware each year; instead, scaling an application has become an exercise in rebuilding it to utilize techniques such as sharding or non-SQL databases, while struggling to keep the existing live system going despite rising load, before users start leaving in frustration.


Alaric Snell-Pym


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