Last month I wrote on some talks by Michael Stonebraker concerning the future of relational databases. Currently he works on the VoltDB project, so I was interesting in learning more about it.

Overview:
Volt is a distributed database system, which supports sharding data across multiple nodes, much like a NoSQL database such as MongoDB. However, it is a relational database, ACID compliant, and uses SQL for data access. It is designed to access data in-memory, avoiding locking behaviors found in a traditional RDBMS, but can still persist data to disk.

Prerequisites:
VoltDB runs on either 64 bit Linux or OS X. Here I detail my set up with a Linux OS.
The only other component I needed to install was the latest Java SDK. From the terminal emulator (command line):
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

Installing VoltDB:
The VoltDB product comes in two editions: Enterprise and Community. I chose to download the Enterprise edition, which comes with a 30 day free trial, as a Debian package.
After downloading the package to the home directory, the product can be installed from the terminal emulator:
sudo dpkg -i voltdb_4.0.2.3-1_amd64.deb
where voltdb_4.0.2.3-1_amd64.deb is the full name of the downloaded Debian package.

The files were installed under the /usr/lib/voltdb directory.

I’ll continue with a part 2 on creating a database in VoltDB.