Confirmed Speakers

We're just beginning to announce the speakers for the Distributed Data Summit. We'll continue to publish new speakers as they are confirmed. We have at least 40 more speakers to announce. If you would like to present at the Distributed Data Summit visit our proposals page for details. Don't dally, send your proposal now.

Nate McCall (New Zealand) @zznate

Nate McCall, Formerly Co-Founder and CTO of The Last Pickle, has over 17 years of server side systems and software development experience. A long time contributor and committer, Nate is currently the Apache Cassandra Project Chair. Prior to TLP, Nate was development lead for the AppServices platform at Apigee where he ran a team of developers and worked directly with enterprise clients. He is a frequent speaker at meetups and conferences including Oracle’s JavaOne, Apache’s ApacheCon and O’Reilly’s Strata and OSCON. Nate’s involvement in the Cassandra community started in 2009 when he became one of the original developers on the Hector Java client. He has been a DataStax MVP every year since the inception of the program.
Nate will present the keynote session: Apache Cassandra: The Road to 4.0.

Jonathan Ellis (Austin) @spyced

Jonathan Ellis is CTO and co-founder at DataStax. Prior to DataStax, Jonathan worked extensively with Apache Cassandra while employed at Rackspace. Prior to Rackspace, Jonathan built a multi-petabyte, scalable storage system based on Reed-Solomon encoding for backup provider Mozy.
Jonathan began working with Apache Cassandra back in 2008, when Rackspace hired him to build their next generation architecture. For most of the last decade, he was the Project Chair for Apache Cassandra.
Jonathan gave the keynote at the first Cassandra Summit back in 2010, and in 2011 as well. We extremely happy to have him join us for the first Distributed Data Summit.
Jonathan will present the session: Five things I wish I'd known about distributed systems.

Ben Bromhead (SF Bay)

Ben Bromhead (Linkedin) is Co-founder and CTO at Instaclustr, where he sets the technical direction for the company. Ben is well known as an active of the Apache Cassandra community. Prior to Instaclustr, Ben had been working as an independent consultant developing NoSQL solutions for enterprises. He ran a high-tech cryptographic and cyber security formal testing laboratory at BAE Systems and Stratsec.
Ben will be giving the following presentation: Cassandra and Kubernetes.

Jeff Carpenter (Phoenix)

Jeffrey Carpenter (Linkedin)
leads the Developer Advocate team at DataStax, where he leverages his background in system architecture, microservices and Apache Cassandra to help empower developers and operations engineers build distributed systems that are scalable, reliable, and secure. Jeff has worked on projects ranging from a complex battle planning system in an austere network environment, to a cloud-based hotel reservation system and is the author of Cassandra: The Definitive Guide, 2nd Edition.
Jeff will be giving the two following presentations:
Deploying Cassandra in Multi-cloud
Getting the most out of Cassandra

Vinay Chella (Sunnyvale)

Vinay Chella (Linkedin) is a Cloud Data Architect and Engineer, possesses great understanding of Cassandra, Distributed systems and Relational databases. As an Engineer and Architect, he has extensively worked on building scalable distributed services over a decade, helped several teams @ Netflix in designing highly efficient persistent solutions. He is a core a contributor to Cloud Database Engineering team, focussing on Cassandra.
Vinay will be co-presenting the two following sessions:
Query and Audit logging in Cassandra
Looking towards an Official Cassandra Sidecar

Alexander Filipchik (SF Bay Area)

Alexander Filipchik spent last 5 years of his life building the next generation of PlayStation Network. He is honored to be a part of a small team of engineers who managed to build from scratch a platform that scaled from 0 users to 1 million PS4s in just 1 day and have being landing 1.5 million of new devices per month since and now reached tenth of millions of active users. Alex is passionate about technology, innovations, walking his dog and building scalable software using Cassandra.
Alexander will be giving the following presentation: Taking advantage of the open-source to sidestep SizeTierCompactionStrategy limitation.

Matija Gobec (Serbia) @mad_max0204

Matija Gobec, Co-Founder and CTO of SmartCat, is a polyglot engineer with open minded approach to technologies. Always looking for new challenges and seeking for knowledge. Datastax MVP for Apache Cassandra.
Matija will be presenting the following session: Relational model in Cassandra: Will it fit?.

Kurt Greaves (Canberra, Australia)

Kurt Greaves is an Open source software developer working for Instaclustr with a focus on Apache Cassandra. Kurt has spent 6 years working with and administrating various popular "cloud" and "big data" technologies such as Apache Hadoop, Spark, Kafka, and Cassandra. Over the past 3 years he's spent countless hours administering Instaclustr's Apache Cassandra managed service and have dealt with literally every use case you can think of, both bad and good, and has now moved on to lead Instaclustr's effort to improve Apache Cassandra for the community.
Kurt will be presenting the following session: VNodes... and 4.0.

Jon Haddad (Los Angeles) @rustyrazorblade

Jon Haddad (Linkedin) is the Principal Consultant at The Last Pickle, as well as a committer and PMC member for Apache Cassandra. Prior to The Last Pickle, Jon was a technical evangelist at DataStax. He has worked on dozens of Cassandra clusters across a wide variety of hardware, both on-prem and in the cloud. Jon has contributed to a wide variety of open source projects and has almost 20 years experience in the field.
Jon will be presenting the following session: Cassandra Performance Tuning and Crushing SLAs.

Jim Hatcher (Dallas/Fort Worth Area) @thejimhatcher

Jim Hatcher (Linkedin) is a Senior Solution Architect at DataStax. He has over 20 years experience working with high volume transactional applications and various database systems. After spending most of his career working with SQL Server and .NET applications, he developed a passion for Big Data technologies and started working with Cassandra, Spark, and most recently Graph Databases. With DataStax, Jim has worked on several Graph projects and is eager to share some of the lessons he learned working on those projects.
Jim will be presenting the following session: Running Apache Cassandra on Docker.

Shogo Hoshii (星井 祥吾) (Tokyo)

Shogo Hoshii (Linkedin) manages the NoSQL team at Yahoo! JAPAN. A systems engineer by trade and contributor to Apache Cassandra, Shogo presented at the Next Generation Cassandra Conference 2016 and the Cassandra Summit 2017.
Shogo will be co-presenting the following session: Cassandra and ScyllaDB at Yahoo! Japan.

Dinesh A. Joshi (SF Bay) @dineshjoshi

Dinesh A. Joshi (Linkedin) has been a professional Software Engineer for over a decade building highly scalable realtime Web Services and Distributed Streaming Data Processing Architectures serving over 1 billion devices. Dinesh is an active contributor to the Apache Cassandra codebase. He has a Masters degree in Computer Science (Distributed Systems & Databases) from Georgia Tech, Atlanta, USA.
Dinesh will be presenting the following session: Need for speed: Boosting Apache Cassandra's performance using Netty.

Karthik Katooru (San Francisco) @KarthikKatooru

Karthik Katooru (Linkedin) is a Staff Software Engineer, Technical Lead of Real-time Storage Team at Twitter. He spent his last four years working on Manhattan, a large-scale, distributed database at Twitter, serving millions of QPS. He has contributed to key features in the database ranging from customer-facing features, performance tuning to architectural improvements. Before that, he worked on real-time event processing framework at
Karthik will be presenting the following session: Distributed Secondary Indexes in Manhattan @ Twitter's scale.

Avi Kivity (Israel) @avikivity

As CTO of ScyllaDB, Avi Kivity (Linkedin) is a main contributor to Scylla, a NoSQL database offering a million ops/sec/node, and to Seastar, the underlying asynchronous I/O engine. Previously, Avi started and maintained the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) project which is the most widely used hypervisor in clouds today.
Avi will be presenting the following two sessions:
OLTP or Analytics? Why not both?
Shard per core vs threads in databases.

Dor Laor (Sunnyville, CA) @dorlaor

Dor Laor is the CEO of ScyllaDB, the company behind the open source Cassandra-compatible database of the same name. Previously, Dor was part of the founding team of the KVM hypervisor under Qumranet that was acquired by Red Hat. At Red Hat Dor was managing the KVM and Xen development for several years. Dor holds an MSc from the Technion and a Phd in snowboarding.
Dor will present the session: Was Cassandra the right baseline for ScyllaDB?.

Joseph Lynch (SFBay)

Joseph Lynch is a Senior Software Engineer for Netflix who focuses on building high volume datastore infrastructure. Joey is a core contributor to Netflix's data store platform, which supports a polyglot data tier including Cassandra, Elasticsearch and Zookeeper. He loves building distributed systems and learning the fun and exciting ways they scale, operate, and break. Having wrangled many large scale distributed systems over the years, he currently spends most of his time wrangling Cassandra.
Joseph will be co-presenting the following session: Looking towards an Official Cassandra Sidecar.

Murukesh Mohanan (Tokyo)

Murukesh Mohanan (GitHub) is a DevOps engineer for the NoSQL team at Yahoo! JAPAN. Murukesh presented at the Next Generation Cassandra Conference 2017.
Murukesh will be co-presenting the following session: Cassandra and ScyllaDB at Yahoo! Japan.

Aaron Morton (New Zealand) @aaronmorton

Aaron Morton (Linkedin / GitHub) is the CEO of The Last Pickle. An Apache Cassandra Committer, and DataStax MVP, Aaron has been working with software for over 17 years. In 2011 he left a position at the VFX company Weta Digital in Wellington to pursue his interests in Cassandra. Since then he's been helping clients around the world get the best out of Cassandra. While contributing to the project and the community through involvement in the user list and IRC channels, and code contributions.
At Weta Digital, Aaron piloted the use of Cassandra to provide database services that could stand up to the render farm of 35,000 cores. The key concern at Weta was how to design a scalable persistence layer they could maintain availability in the face of hardware failure and errant clients. Prior to Weta he worked on large E-Commerce projects in London and created a Content Management System for the National BBC Radio stations.
Aaron frequently speaks at meetups and conferences such as the Cassandra Summit and ApacheCon. He runs the Data Driven Wellington meetup group to encourage local engineers to explore new technology.
Aaron will be giving the following presentation: The Why, What, and How of Cassandra Repair.

Carlos Rolo (Lisbon, Portugal) @cjrolo

Carlos Rolo (Linkedin) is a OpenSource Consultant at Pythian. Two times Cassandra MVP and has deep expertise with distributed architecture technologies. He has become known and trusted by his peers for his ability to understand complex problems and for working well under pressure. He prides himself on being a tenacious problem solver while remaining a calm and positive presence on any team. In his spare time he enjoys playing waterpolo, enjoying the local community or playing with his family and dog.
Carlos will be giving the following presentation: Securing Cassandra with Vault.

Vincent Royer (Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France)

Vincent Royer (Linkedin) has worked for a decade in the French banking and finance industry as a system and database team leader. With his team, he dealt with performances, security, availability and scalability of various SQL and NoSQL technologies, helping operations and developers teams to deliver great applications and services. Author of Elassandra, he founded Strapdata to provide professional services and enterprise grade features for Elassandra.
Vincent will be giving the following presentation: Enhancing the Cassandra custom secondary API to support rich plugins.

Nitin Sharma (San Francisco)

Nitin Sharma (Linkedin / Github) is a Senior Software Engineer on the Personalization Infrastructure team at Netflix. His primary focus is on building distributed infrastructure at Netflix to enable personalized recommendations at scale. He is passionate about Large Scale Distributed Systems, Search Platforms and Performance Optimizations. He is an active open source contributor for Apache Solr and a few other apache projects.
Nitin will be co-presenting the following session: Real time Video Impression Store @ Netflix.

Hayato Shimizu (London)

Hayato Shimizu, Co-Founder of, is an experienced technology leader, architect, software engineer, DevOps practitioner, and a Cassandra expert. He is passionate about building highly scalable internet facing systems. He came across Apache Cassandra in 2010 and became an advocate for this open source distributed database technology.
Hayato will be co-presenting the following session: Operational Excellence with Apache Cassandra in Enterprises.

John Sumsion (American Fork, Utah) @jdsumsion

John Sumsion is an experienced Software Engineer who has played key roles in making big-data projects that actually work. Much of John's experience has been gained in building several progressively better implementations of the billion-person tree for FamilySearch. John enjoys using and contributing as much as possible in open source. John has spoken on several topics in formal and informal venues: Cassandra Summit, Apache Big Data North America, NoSQL Matters, internal conferences, meetups.
John will be giving the following presentation: Performance at Scale on Cassandra.

Prasanna Sundararajan (SFBay)

Prasanna Sundararajan is founder and CEO of rENIAC, first company to build FPGA enabled NoSQL storage engine. Perviously, he was ex-computing architect at Xilinx. He has 29 issued patents in the areas of computing and cache architectures, security, fault tolerance & reliability, and design tools and Winner of Innovation Award in 2007 for the work on High Performance Computing on FPGAs.
Prasanna will be co-presenting the following session: Solving IO bottlenecks in Distributed Data Systems: Cassandra Case Study.

Roopa Tangirala (SF Bay) @roopatangirala

Roopa Tangirala (Linkedin) , is an experienced engineering leader with extensive background in databases, be they distributed or relational. Roopa currently manages the database engineering team at Netflix responsible for operating cloud persistent and semipersistent run-time stores for Netflix, which includes Cassandra, Elasticsearch, and MySQL databases, by ensuring data availability, durability, and scalability to meet the growing business needs.
Roopa will be giving the following presentation: Cassandra's Odyssey at Netflix.

Nishant Vyas (SFBay)

Nishant Vyas is VP Products, rENIAC, first company to build FPGA enabled NoSQL storage engine. Previously he was CTO and Head of Product at MariaDB, world's fastest growing OSS relational database. Nishant was first DB Engineer at LinkedIn, where he spend a decade building and scaling database stack at LinkedIn.
Nishant will be co-presenting the following session: Solving IO bottlenecks in Distributed Data Systems: Cassandra Case Study.

Ted Wilmes (Oklahoma City) @trwilmes

Ted Wilmes, Data Architect at Expero, is a graduate of Trinity University where he studied computer science and art history. He started his professional career at a not-for-profit research and development institution where he performed contract software development work for a variety of government and commercial clients. During this time he worked on everything from large enterprise systems to smaller, cutting edge research and development projects. One of the most rewarding parts of each of these projects was the time spent collaborating with the customer.
As Ted’s career continued, he moved on to an oil and gas startup and continued to dig deeper into the data side of software development, gaining an even deeper interest in how databases work and how to eek as much performance out of them as possible. During this time he became interested in the application of graph databases to certain problem sets. Today, at Expero, Ted enjoys putting his deep knowledge of transactional graph computing to work as he helps customers of all types navigate the burgeoning property graph database landscape.
Outside of work, Ted enjoys spending time with his family out-of-doors, listening to and playing loud music, and contributing to the Apache TinkerPop project as a committer and PMC member.
Ted will present the following session: An Introduction to FoundationDB for Cassandra Users.

Jay Zhuang (SF Bay) @cooldoger

Jay Zhuang (Linkedin) is a software engineer working on Uber's Cassandra team. Before that, he worked for A9 (an Amazon company) and designed and implemented AWS CloudSearch and ElasticSearch services. Jay is also an Apache Cassandra Committer.
Jay will be giving the following presentation: Cassandra data ingestion with CDC.