Vertica Blog


Manager, Vertica Education

From the early 1980s, Mark worked with Michael Stonebraker's Ingres RDBMS and then a number of column-store big data analytics technologies.
In 2016, he joined HPE Big Data Platform as a Systems Engineer specialising in Stonebraker’s Vertica.
In September 2017 he followed Vertica as it merged into Micro Focus – one of the world’s largest pure-play software companies.
He is passionate about technology and frequently delivers talks at the London, Cambridge and Munich Big Data & Machine Learning Meetups (of which he is the founder with its 4K+ members), the British Computer Society – Advanced Programming Specialist Group, Vertica Forums, the Institute for Analytics and Data Science at the University of Essex et al.
He is a technical blogger and author.

Connect With Mark on

No need to extract data from your database to do your analytics!

While taking a long-awaited, and, IMHO some well-deserved R&R in the sun, I heard that ping notification coming from my backpack, and not being one who can ignore such things, reached for my iPad. With my OOTO email response already set, I should be able to ignore most incoming messages, texts and otherwise, safe in...

Every second counts in Jaguar Racing Formula E

Races can be won or lost with fractions of seconds separating first, second, and third. Many factors determine who stands on the podium, awarded with points and champagne, and who returns to the pit on a recovery truck. One factor that plays a critical role in helping Sam or Mitch win that race is optimal...

New Vertica Accelerator course puts your SaaS-based data analytics to work, fast

We’re happy to announce a new addition to Vertica Academy’s array of free, self-paced courses designed to put you in the driver’s seat with your data analytics initiatives. The all-new Vertica Accelerator Quick Start course has gone live today on Vertica Academy. If you’re looking for a fast track to highly performant data analytics, and...

Don’t take your foot off the electrons

With blazingly fast query performance, and access to 700 in-database functions, Vertica has meant that Jaguar Race Engineers and Strategists have been able to glean important insights into the data and make critical performance adjustments to the powertrain, suspension, steering, braking and power management that were just not possible prior to the introduction of Vertica.

Take Nothing but Memories. Leave Nothing but Footprints

For those who have read my previous blog postings, attended one of our Big Data & Machine Learning Meetups, or have met me at one of the many trade shows or conferences over the years, you will be all too aware of my love for tracking aircraft using a Raspberry Pi, Kafka and Vertica. For...
The Earth

“awk” sed Grep, “whoami?”. Time CC if bash makes head or tail and sort > plain.txt and make us API

Things to do whilst confined to barracks due to COVID-19 For those who know me well, having worked in IT for four decades, will know that I can be a bit of a Luddite when it comes to new-fangled technology. Give me a character-based, green-screen PuTTY application over any pointy-clicky interface.  Let me use vsql...

Perfect Vision 20/20 – Vertica’s 20 coolest features to see in 2020

I was asked some time ago whether Vertica was just another SQL database.  I could have just said “Yes” and left it at that. However, my passion for Vertica would never have allowed me to leave it at that.  Rewording a famous UK High Street retailer’s tag-line, “This is not just any SQL database, this...
goldfinch songbird in a field of thistle in Wales

COVID-19 Birdsong

For a number of years, when presenting one of my favourite Vertica demos, in which I talk about tracking commercial aircraft in real time, I would typically start with a short, 30-second video clip to get the audience’s attention. The inspiration for this clip came about when I was staring aimlessly into the blue sky...
Flight Tracking

Pennard, We Have a Problem – Troubleshooting Flight Tracking with the Grafana Plugin for Vertica

With Vertica’s Management Console, I have everything I need at my fingertips to manage and monitor my Vertica clusters and databases.  Whether that be investigating query performance issues, checking on the health of the cluster’s nodes, running the Database Designer or marveling at the volume of data being ingested by the Vertica Scheduler from a...
Santa flying over night sky

Tracking Santa’s Flight Plan

You probably all know of my love for Live Flight tracking using a Raspberry Pi (or more precisely a plethora of them) and Vertica. Although I started flight tracking around 2012, my interest grew when I saw this from NATS (National Air Traffic Services) - a series of great video clips from UK, Middle...
Vertica Team at Data Innovation Summit booth

Data Innovation Summit 2019

Having attended the Big Data Analytics – Europe event in Rotterdam on the 12th March, on 14th/15th, Captain Mark Whalley and fellow Captains from Vertica Airways paid a flying visit to the Data Innovation Summit in Stockholm. Whilst there, they crewed the Vertica booth answering questions from passengers and visitors and assuring them that their...
Commercial passenger plane with Vertica painted on the tail

Blog Post Series: Using Vertica to Track Commercial Aircraft in near Real-Time — Part 7

Preparing Vertica to consume messages from Kafka How time has flown (no pun intended!).  At long last getting back to continuing this project on tracking commercial aircraft… Having covered ADS-B, the Raspberry Pi, DUMP1090, Zookeeper and Kafka and then in the previous blog post, how to develop an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) application to...