Real Time Operational Intelligence | Ep. 202

Sima is happy to have Venkat Venkataramani joining her for today’s episode of Data Gurus! Venkat is the CEO and Co-founder of Rockset. 

Venkat shares his background, dives into the benefits of real-time data analytics and cloud-based infrastructure, and discusses the interesting work they are doing at Rockset.


Venkat Venkataramani is CEO and Co-founder of Rockset. In his role, Venkat helps organizations build, grow, and compete with data by making real-time analytics accessible to developers and data teams everywhere. Before he founded Rockset, he was an Engineering Director for the Facebook infrastructure team managing online data services for 1.5 billion users. These systems scaled 1000x during his eight years at Facebook, serving five billion queries per second at single-digit millisecond latency and five 9s of reliability. Before joining Facebook, Venkat worked on tools to make the Oracle database easier to manage.

Venkat’s background

Before he founded Rockset, Venkat managed online data infrastructure for Facebook between 2007 and 2015. He was fortunate to work with some amazing people and learned a lot from them. His team was responsible for building, scaling, and maintaining a set of services on which Facebook’s online products had been built. When he started, Facebook had around thirty or forty million monthly active users, and when he left, there were about a billion-and-a-half active users. 

What makes Venkat the proudest

What Venkat feels proudest of, having been part of the Facebook online data infrastructure, are all their product launches, and their transition from web to mobile. 

Facebook’s Like button

The load and demand on Facebook’s data infrastructure were completely different before and after the installation of the Like button. So they had to keep on innovating and pushing the envelope.

The Facebook Newsfeed

Most people are surprised to hear that before 2008, the Facebook Newsfeed only got updated once a day!

How real-time data has transformed business

Real-time data allows people to know what is happening in the present moment. Before the advent of real-time data, strategic decisions were all intuition or experience-based rather than data-driven, and that caused many problems. 

Facebook’s shift to real-time data

During the eight years Venkat spent with Facebook, he saw the shift to real-time data happening across every aspect of the back end of Facebook.

The benefits of the cloud

The cloud allows everyone to have accessibility without having any specific kind of software or infrastructure within an organization. That enables every company to be a potential client. 

Rockset’s orientation

Rockset’s orientation is cloud, whereas other companies are still transitioning and moving toward the cloud.

The benefits of cloud-only infrastructure

Cloud-only infrastructure allows businesses to access fast and fresh real-time data analytics. The storage separation of the cloud makes it possible to build massively scalable and very efficient real-time databases and platforms that can be easily and cost-effectively scaled up or down, depending on the demand.

About Rockset

Rockset is cloud-only, so it requires neither downloads nor installation. All their customers have to do is create an account and explain where their data sources are, and Rockset will automatically transform their data into fast sequel tables. 

Why do businesses prefer real-time data?

Working with cloud-based real-time data streams makes it much quicker and simpler for businesses to scale, monitor their business metrics, eliminate risk, build better products for their customers, and save revenue that could potentially have been lost.


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Venkat Venkataramani on LinkedIn