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ScyllaDB Summit Speaker Spotlight: Miles Ward, CTO at SADA

SADA CTO Miles Ward shares a preview of his ScyllaDB Summit keynote with Joseph Shorter (VP of Platform Architecture at Digital Turbine) 

ScyllaDB Summit is now just days away! If database performance at scale matters to your team, join us to hear about your peers’ experiences and discover new ways to alleviate your own database latency, throughput, and cost pains. It’s free, virtual, and highly interactive.

While setting the virtual stage, we caught up with ScyllaDB Summit keynote speaker, SADA CTO, and electric sousaphone player Miles Ward. Miles and the ScyllaDB team go way back, and we’re thrilled to welcome him back to ScyllaDB Summit – along with Joseph Shorter, VP of Platform Architecture at Digital Turbine.

Miles and team worked with Joseph and team on a high stakes (e.g., “if we make a mistake, the business goes down”) and extreme scale DynamoDB to ScyllaDB migration. And to quantify “extreme scale,” consider this:

The keynote will be an informal chat about why and how they pulled off this database migration in the midst of a cloud migration (AWS to Google Cloud).

Update: ScyllaDB Summit 24 is completed! That means you can watch this session on demand.

Watch Miles and Joe On Demand

Here’s what Miles shared in our chat…

Can you share a sneak peek of your keynote? What should attendees expect?

Lots of tech talks speak in the hypothetical about features yet to ship, about potential and capabilities. Not here! The engineers at SADA and Digital Turbine are all done: we switched from the old and dusted DynamoDB on AWS to the new hotness Alternator via ScyllaDB on GCP, and the metrics are in! We’ll have the play-by-play, lessons learned, and the specifics you can use as you’re evaluating your own adoption of ScyllaDB.

You’re co-presenting with an exceptional tech leader, Digital Turbine’s Joseph Shorter. Can you tell us more about him?

Joseph is a stellar technical leader. We met as we were first connecting with Digital Turbine through their complex and manifold migration. Remember: they’re built by acquisition so it’s all-day integrations and reconciliations.

Joe stood out as utterly bereft of BS, clear about the human dimension of all the change his company was going through, and able to grapple with all the layers of this complex stack to bring order out of chaos.

Are there any recent developments on the SADA and Google Cloud fronts that might intrigue ScyllaDB Summit attendees?


GenAI is all the rage! SADA is building highly efficient systems using the power of Google’s Gemini and Duet APIs to automate some of the most rote, laborious tasks from our customers. None of this works if you can’t keep the data systems humming; thanks ScyllaDB!

New instances from GCP with even larger SSDs (critical for ScyllaDB performance!) are coming very soon. Perhaps keep your eyes out around Google Next (April 9-11!)

SADA just got snapped up by the incredible folks at Insight, so now we can help in waaaaaay more places and for customers big and small. If what Digital Turbine did sounds like something you could use help with, let me know!

How did you first come across ScyllaDB, and how has your relationship evolved over time?

I met Dor in Tel Aviv a long, long, (insert long pause), LONG time ago, right when ScyllaDB was getting started. I loved the value prop, the origin story, and the team immediately. I’ve been hunting down good use cases for ScyllaDB ever since!

What ScyllaDB Summit 24 sessions (besides your own, of course) are you most looking forward to and why?

One is the Disney talk, which is right after ours. We absolutely have to see how Disney’s DynamoDB migration compares to ours.

Another is Discord, I am an avid user of Discord. I’ve seen some of their performance infrastructure and they have very, very, very VERY high throughput so I’m sure they have some pretty interesting experiences to share.

Also, Dor and Avi of course!

Are you at liberty to share your daily caffeine intake?

Editor’s note: If you’ve ever witnessed Miles’ energy, you’d understand why we asked this question.

I’m pretty serious about my C8H10N4O2 intake. It is a delicious chemical that takes care of me. I’m steady with two shots from my La Marzzoco Linea Mini to start the day right, with typically a post-lunch-fight-the-sleepies cappuccino. Plus, my lovely wife has a tendency to only drink half of basically anything I serve her, so I get ‘dregs’ or sips of tasty coffee leftovers on the regular. Better living through chemistry!

We just met with Miles and Joe, and that chemistry is amazing too. This is probably your once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend a talk that covers electric sousaphones and motorcycles along with databases – with great conversation, practical tips, and candid lessons learned.

Trust us: You won’t want to miss their keynote, or all the other great talks that your peers across the community are preparing for ScyllaDB Summit.

Register Now – It’s Free

About Cynthia Dunlop

Cynthia is Senior Director of Content Strategy at ScyllaDB. She has been writing about software development and quality engineering for 20+ years.