NorthScale, Inc., a Silicon Valley software startup, has launched with the introduction of data infrastructure software optimized for the data management requirements of web applications and cloud computing environments. The company was founded by leaders of the memcached open source project, and NorthScale's technical team collectively represents about 60% of the lines of code behind the memcached project, James Phillips, co-founder and chief strategy officer of NorthScale, tells 5 Minute Briefing.
Memcached is used in 18 of the top 20 websites, and thousands of other organizations have used memcached in order to cache data that is eventually stored in a relational database management system, notes Phillips. Building on this foundation, the NorthScale Server family of products represents what the company describes as a new class of data management technology offering cost, performance and scalability advantages over relational database technology for the majority of data associated with web applications. Because of all the "transactionality" that relational technology provides for, as well as many other capabilities that are unnecessary for most web applications and their data, users are paying about 10 times more than they need to in order to store information in that class of database technology, versus the class of database technology that NorthScale is bringing to market, says Phillips.
As a first step to alleviate database load, NorthScale has introduced NorthScale Memcached Server, an enhanced distribution of memcached. A distributed, in-memory caching technology, memcached is used alongside relational database technology - caching frequently used data, thereby reducing the number of database queries an application must perform.
A second product, NorthScale Membase Server, is a high-performance, distributed key-value database that builds on the NorthScale Memcached Server foundation. Directly compatible with memcached APIs and existing client libraries, NorthScale Membase Server provides a place to store web application data more efficiently and cost effectively than it can be stored in a relational database, according to NorthScale. Using NorthScale Membase Server, an organization can identify and gradually "drain" data from a relational system to Membase, taking advantage of benefits of memcached, while lowering data management costs. NorthScale Membase Server looks to an application like Memcached Server, but it is a database versus simply a data cache, explains Phillips.
NorthScale Memcached Server software can be downloaded from the NorthScale website, with subscription-based maintenance and support plans available. The NorthScale Membase Server is currently deployed in select customer environments and will be available for public beta testing in Q2. Those interested in participating can register here.