Bigtable paper earns the SIGOPS 2016 Hall of Fame Award

We’re honored and humbled to bring you the news that the original Bigtable paper (“Bigtable: A Distributed Storage System for Structured Data”) has received the SIGOPS Hall of Fame Award. The award was announced at the annual USENIX OSDI conference in Savannah, Georgia, on November 2.

Curated by the ACM Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS), the annual award recognizes the most influential papers published over the previous decade. The Bigtable paper, published in 2006 by Fay Chang, Jeffrey Dean, Sanjay Ghemawat, Wilson C. Hsieh, Deborah A. Wallach, Mike Burrows, Tushar Chandra, Andrew Fikes and Robert E. Gruber, joins a long list of pioneering research that had significant impact on academia, industry and the world. Past recipients include the Google File System paper (Ghemawat et al, 2003), the MapReduce paper (Dean and Ghemawat, 2004), and other historic papers that provided many of the foundational principles for distributed and cloud computing as we know them today.

In that tradition of technical thought leadership, Bigtable helped to kick-start one of the most transformational movements in modern distributed computing: NoSQL. Specifically, the published description of Bigtable and its use cases at Google in that paper either directly or indirectly led to the creation of open source implementations in the form of HBase, Cassandra and Accumulo, which have since become widely-adopted Apache projects. In that sense, one could argue that the Bigtable paper did for the NoSQL database industry what E.F. Codd’s 1970 relational data model paper did for the RDBMS industry.

From thought leadership to customer success on the cloud

There are multiple technical reasons that explain Bigtable’s influence, and reading the paper itself is the best way to understand them. Suffice to say here that Bigtable was among the first distributed stores ever described that could support storage of structured data on a petabyte scale with linear scalability, low latency and high-throughput performance. These characteristics were driven by what were highly demanding, future-looking requirements even at that time, and to this day, Bigtable powers many of our most popular user-facing products serving up to billions of users, including Search, Analytics, Maps and Gmail.

In recent years, perhaps the most significant development in the Bigtable ecosystem is that customers can now directly benefit from these same advantages via Google Cloud Bigtable, a managed service provided by Google Cloud Platform. Spotify, FIS, Energyworx, Qubit and many other customers are happily running their production workloads on Google Cloud Bigtable today, and we’re confident that we can help meet your needs, as well.

Explore Google Cloud Bigtable for yourself: