Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
31 May–1 June 2016: Training
1 June–3 June 2016: Conference
London, UK

Data gravity and complex systems

Dave McCrory (Basho Technologies)
14:55–15:35 Friday, 3/06/2016
Data-driven business
Location: Capital Suite 8/9 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: *....
(1.88, 8 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

Attendees should be interested and engaged in how their business is designing its data management architectures as well as the implications of how data interacts in order to understand the needs for different types or combinations of data.


Dave McCrory explores the concept of data gravity—the effect that as data accumulates, there is a greater likelihood that additional services and applications will be attracted to this data, essentially having the same effect gravity has on objects around a planet. As the mass and density increases, so does the strength of the gravitational pull; as things get closer to the mass, they accelerate towards it at increasing velocity. Although services and applications have their own gravity, data is the most massive and dense, meaning it has the most gravity. If data becomes large enough, it can become virtually impossible to move. Usually as services and applications interact with data, they cause even more rapid growth of the data itself, creating a continuous cycle of data growth.

When designing data management architectures, it’s important to take data gravity into consideration. It’s easy to get data into your services and applications, however getting it out can be difficult and expensive. Dave explains why you need to consider the implications of data gravity whether you’re creating a single-user application or deploying a company-wide project. The stronger the data gravity involved, the more cautious you should be when choosing or designing your data storage solution and where you implement it (locally or in the cloud).

Photo of Dave McCrory

Dave McCrory

Basho Technologies

A successful innovator and entrepreneur, Dave McCrory came to Basho from Warner Music Group, where, as SVP of engineering, he led the team that built their digital service platform. Dave was previously senior architect in Cloud Foundry at VMware and cloud architect at Dell. He also experienced successful exits from two companies he founded: Hyper9 (acquired by SolarWinds) and Surgient (acquired by Quest Software). Dave holds nine technology patents in virtualization, cloud, and systems management as co-inventor and created the “data gravity” concept, which states that as data accumulates, it’s more likely that other services and applications will be attracted to it.