Pat Helland has a wealth of knowledge on building distributed data stores. He has been working on distributed data stores since 1978, when he worked on the tandem fault-tolerant database. Since then he has been involved in many distributed database projects.
Here is the key thing, he is also a master at explaining the key ideas of distributed systems using simple language and practical everyday examples. Can you get married on the phone? How are messaging systems and idempotence like regional offices communicating via fax machine? These are the type of metaphor that Pat uses. Today, Pat sits down with me and teaches me about dealing with data in a distributed, fault tolerant, infinitely scaling world.