Sep 23–26, 2019

Kubernetes for Stateful MPP systems

Paige Roberts (Vertica), Deepak Majeti (Vertica)
11:20am12:00pm Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Location: 1E 07/08
Secondary topics:  Cloud Platforms and SaaS, Data Management and Storage, Data, Analytics, and AI Architecture

Who is this presentation for?

Software Engineers, Architects, Product Managers



Prerequisite knowledge

A general familiarity with software development.

What you'll learn

Why you would want to, and how you would go about putting a large stateful application into containers and Kubernetes. What specific strategies will benefit you, and what strategies will cause you serious problems further down the road.


a. Containers de-couple applications from the underlying infrastructure. With the advent of low-cost public infrastructure providers such as Amazon, Google, etc., many applications are now being modified to run inside containers to enable simpler and faster deployment on any platform. Containers with the aid of deployment tools such as Kubernetes also enable applications to scale quickly on clouds.

De-coupling distributed databases from the underlying infrastructure would provide many benefits. You could run analytics on any hardware at scale, for instance. K8 could also make recoverability on cloud deployments automatic, making applications far more resilient.

However, Kubernetes started out only supporting applications that could be decomposed into micro-services, which are independent and stateless.

Spikes in demand hit database users hard, and node failures can bog down whole clusters without proper recovery. GoodData, for example, saw that node failures on the cloud could affect their Vertica MPP database, which caused a reduction in customer satisfaction.

The Vertica R & D team set out to find a way to make failure handling seamless and node recovery automatic.

Kubernetes was the obvious choice, but K8 is traditionally used for micro-services, not something like a stateful MPP database that might need hundreds of containers. In order to merge the power of an MPP analytics database with the flexibility of Kubernetes, a lot of hurdles had to be overcome.

In this talk, you will learn the challenges with networking, storage, and operational complexity we encountered while extending a stateful distributed database system to work with containers and Kubernetes. We will also describe one implementation, Gooddata that overcomes these challenges, and serves as a practical example of how this can work.

This presentation will explore some of the mistakes we made, and lessons we learned along the way to save you from having to make the same mistakes when incorporating Kubernetes into your software architecture.

Photo of Paige Roberts

Paige Roberts


In two decades in the data management industry, I have worked as an engineer, a trainer, a marketer, a product manager, and a consultant. Now, I promote understanding of Vertica, MPP data processing, open source, and how the analytics revolution is changing the world.

Photo of Deepak Majeti

Deepak Majeti


Deepak Majeti is a systems software engineer at Vertica. He is also an active contributor to Hadoop’s two most popular file formats: ORC and Parquet. His interests lie in getting the best from high-performance computing (HPC) and big data by building scalable, high-performance, and energy-efficient data analytics tools for modern computer architectures. Deepak holds a PhD in the HPC domain from Rice University.

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