mediaPostLogoRecently, AdRoll CTO Valentino Volonghi sat down with MediaPost‘s Tyler Loechner for a Q&A in the series Real-Time Daily. Below is an exceprt of the article that appeared in MediaPost November 17, 2014. Find the original article here

Real-Time Daily spoke with Valentino Volonghi, chief technology officer of AdRoll, a large retargeting firm, about the programmatic ad industry, the tech underneath it all and the growing pool of data that marketers have to work with. Volonghi shares his predictions on the future and puts Big Data into perspective (the Library of Congress has nothing on some of these data pools.)

Valentino-6744Real-Time Daily:
How has RTB technology evolved over the past five years?

Valentino Volonghi: There are multiple different ways in which RTB in general has changed. The two main points are:

Increasing competition among the main exchanges: This means that your algorithms have to improve or else you could lose out on valuable impressions and waste money on worthless ones. Prices increase rapidly in this competitive environment. We’ve seen significant increase in CPMs over the past year, and this means that the cost of buying the wrong impression has also gone up.

Private Market Places (PMP) deals and inventory access: It has become increasingly important as the pricing trend continues to have first-look access to premium inventory. PMP deals have become a great way to improve the quality and availability of impressions for our customers. Managing an increasing number of deals, though, becomes problematic without access to the tools that allow you to analyze the performance of your campaigns across the multitude of private deals on the exchanges.


RTD: You say you manage 1.5 terabytes of data per day. Can you put it into perspective for us non-technical engineers?

Volonghi: We actually manage 90 TB of data per day. To put this in perspective, every day our machines process over 60 billion events. A typical day across all major U.S. stock exchanges was made up of 500 million trades. Days of turmoil are around 1 billion trades — and all the exchanges combined only put out about 6 billion data points per day. 90TB of data is around 90 times bigger than the volume generated by all the big exchanges.

RTD: Is the amount of data managed per day rapidly growing? What was it three years ago? Ten years ago?

Volonghi: A few months ago we were at 50TB per day, last year we were processing 10TB each day, and a few years ago we were at only a few GBs per day. The trend is increasing rapidly because more inventory is coming online but also because we use more and more data from the exchanges to power our prediction algorithms to buy on them.

Our current total data stored amounts to over 10PB for the past 12 months, the entire digital collection of all HD videos of the Library of Congress and all the documents is half that size.



For more on how AdRoll is driving solutions for Big Data problems, hear from our
CTO Valentino Volonghi himself.