Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, AppDynamics Blog, Liz McMillan, John Basso, Igor Drobiazko

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Apache

Open Source Cloud: Article

Memcached Goes Commercial

There’s a new database gun in town -NorthScale's solution is already being leveraged by several large web properties

Well, boys, there’s a new database gun in town.

NorthScale, the start-up du jour, broke cover Tuesday brandishing the premise that your traditional RDBMS ain’t what you want for web application data.

Instead it’s got some free – as well as paid – scale-out data management widgetry that it calls “elastic data infrastructure,” built by the primary contributors and committers to the Memcached open source project – (which, it will point out, is used by 18 of the top 20 most heavily trafficked web sites).

NorthScale’s memcached distribution is designed to scale horizontally and infinitely, working alongside existing RDBMSs to provide data management that’s simple, non-disruptive and cost-effective for modern web applications.

It’s supposed to match the scale-out needs and architecture of modern web applications and compute clouds, and promises substantial reductions in capital and operating costs.

Described as optimized for web applications and cloud computing, its solution is already being leveraged by web properties such as Zynga’s FarmVille, Café World, Mafia Wars and other games that have over 235 million active users a month as well as Korea’s number one search portal, Naver.com, a $1.2 billion operation.

NorthScale observes that web applications generate data at volumes exceeding any other category of interactive software – and waves around IDC estimates that in 2012 the amount of digital information produced a year will equal nearly 2,500 exabytes, thanks to the Internet, which is 2,500 billion gigabytes or five times what was produced in 2008.

And a lot of this data, and the interaction patterns between the software and data, it says, differs fundamentally from those of transactional software systems such as the payroll and ERP widgetry beloved by your average RDBMS. But despite the differences, relational database technology continues to be used as a “one size fits all” approach for both classes of software.

This is where NorthScale comes in.

It says you can forget the ACID guarantees of relational databases, and their cost and scalability limitations, along with what NorthScale co-founder and chief strategy officer James Phillips calls their “intolerable overkill,” and substitute the start-up’s distributed key-value cache and database technologies.

It says users can start with existing relational database technology and expertise, and incrementally evolve towards a scale-out data architecture for their web applications using its Memcached Server and Membase Server.

The freebie NorthScale Memcached Server is an enhanced memcached distribution that features secure application multi-tenancy (it supports multiple applications on a shared cluster); dynamic cluster scaling; browser-based cluster administration (to monitor and manage a memcached cluster); 100% “memcapable” certification (meaning it supports all protocols and operations); and support for Linux and Windows (Windows ain’t usual).

The paid NorthScale Membase Server, on the other hand, is a high-performance distributed key-value database that builds on the server and persists the data, something memcached doesn’t do. It can also replicate data and promises down the line to index and query. Compatible with memcached APIs and existing client libraries, it can be the primary database rather than an RDBMS.

While memcached reduces the number of reads an application must do from the database – because of its distributed in-memory caching technology of course – data is still inevitably stored in a relational database. NorthScale says using its Membase Server an organization can identify and gradually “drain” data from a relational system to Membase and get the “simple, fast and infinite properties” of memcached across both reads and writes, while slashing data management costs.

This widgetry offers a distributed key-value database for storing data objects; supposedly infinite scalability – just add more commodity servers, NorthScale says, to expand data and I/O capacity; extremely high-performance (the speed of memcached for both reads and writes); tunable persistence behavior (optimize write patterns to match application needs); a pluggable storage engine to store data on- or off-node with user-replaceable storage subsystems; and fully configurable data replication (think data-layer fault tolerance for continuous application ops).

Subscription-based pricing for support for its Memcached Server starts at $799/server/year and runs to $1.299 depending on the support level.

The Membase Server is currently deployed in private beta with three customers and has already brought in $500,000 according to Phillips. It will be available for public beta testing in a couple of months. Product availability and pricing will be announced in Q2.

There’s also a free downloadable Developer Kit.

NorthScale started to get organized in January of ’09 and picked up $5 million in funding soon after from Accel Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners. It’s got less

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
The IoT has the potential to create a renaissance of manufacturing in the US and elsewhere. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Florent Solt, CTO and chief architect of Netvibes, will discuss how the expected exponential increase in the amount of data that will be processed, transported, stored, and accessed means there will be a huge demand for smart technologies to deliver it. Florent Solt is the CTO and chief architect of Netvibes. Prior to joining Netvibes in 2007, he co-founded Rift Technol...
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Stratoscale, the software company developing the next generation data center operating system, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Stratoscale is revolutionizing the data center with a zero-to-cloud-in-minutes solution. With Stratoscale’s hardware-agnostic, Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) solution to store everything, run anything and scale everywhere...
Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified – now it's a component-based well-performing framework. This immersive one-day workshop at 18th Cloud Expo, led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay, will provide you with everything you wanted to know about Angular 2.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, will discuss how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to im...
This is not a small hotel event. It is also not a big vendor party where politicians and entertainers are more important than real content. This is Cloud Expo, the world's longest-running conference and exhibition focused on Cloud Computing and all that it entails. If you want serious presentations and valuable insight about Cloud Computing for three straight days, then register now for Cloud Expo.