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Why Couchbase Server

With all the NoSQL databases to choose from, why choose Couchbase?

Not all NoSQL solutions are created equal, and the best fit for you depends a lot on your use case. If you're building serious, revenue-generating applications, you may want to consider these four factors when you make your NoSQL database decision.

Easy Scalability

When your app is a success, you don’t want to have to change your database mid-stream to handle the increased users and data. We help you scale up (or down) fast, when you need it. Of course, all NoSQL databases are scalable, but they’re not all created equal. Here’s how we’re different:

Simple node management. Every server in a Couchbase cluster is the same and easy to set up. Also, you can add or remove nodes with one click, no downtime and no changes to your application. Compare this with other NoSQL databases, which have multiple node types, complicated ways for adding or removing nodes, or require you to go offline if you want to change the number of nodes.

Effective auto-sharding.  Our auto-sharding balances load evenly across a cluster so there are never any “hot spots” on a few overloaded servers. Auto-sharding in other NoSQL databases leads to performance-sapping hot-spots.

Geographic strength. We’re scalable across geographies, allowing users to read and write data from the closest data center. Most other NoSQL databases don’t have this.

Draw Something

Scaled to 50 million users
in 50 days with Couchbase

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Consistent High Performance

Users expect a great interactive experience. At the database layer, that means fast, predictable access and high, predictable throughput. NoSQL databases are generally faster than relational databases, but performance can really vary. Some have coarse-grain locking schemes that increase read and write latency under load, creating unpredictability and making it hard to meet performance targets. Some have range-based partitioning strategies and create hot spots that torpedo performance. And per node throughput can vary widely.

By comparison, we have consistent submillisecond read/write latency regardless of the kinds of operations, even under very high loads. Throughput per node is always high, regardless of the mix of read/write operations. Throughput scales linearly with the expansion of your database cluster. You don’t have to oversize your cluster (and server costs) in an attempt to limit throughput per node and maintain acceptable latency. While minimizing costs, we give you consistent high performance, which grows with the success of your app.

Third-party benchmarks show Couchbase Server sustains throughput at 2-3x that of other NoSQL databases. Learn more about these benchmarks.


Always On

Many apps are used in every time zone, so they’ve got to be up 24x365. That means no downtime – not for hardware upgrades, not for software upgrades, not for anything. Relational databases often struggle with round-the-clock operations, and need offline maintenance windows. The same is true for our NoSQL competitors, which don’t have online upgrades or maintenance operations.

Couchbase is always on 24x365, so your data is always available.

  • Always on  means your database never needs to be taken offline.  
  • Software upgrades are done without downtime, using rolling online upgrades.
  • Hardware upgrades are done without downtime by temporarily removing nodes that need maintenance, and using online rebalance to shift data to active nodes.
  • Backup and maintenance operations like compaction can all be done online.
  • Should an entire datacenter fail, our cross datacenter replication lets you fall back to a hot-standby cluster.

Orbitz relies on Couchbase Server for always-on operations. This chart shows zero downtime for Orbitz’s Couchbase Server cluster. Hear more about Orbitz and Couchbase


Flexible Data Model

Rapidly changing web apps is the new norm. That means you need a data model that lets you quickly add new fields, without downtime or database administrators.

Document-oriented NoSQL databases like ours have a schemaless, JSON-based data model that’s more natural (and efficient) for developers to work with than fixed schemas of relational databases.

With us, you can quickly add new fields, without dealing with the complexity and time it takes to change a schema. Since there’s no rigid structure, you can use different structures for different documents, integrate data from different sources, and handle unstructured and semi-structured data. You can also easily represent complex data. All of which leads to faster and – more efficient – development cycles.

McGraw Hill Education is taking advantage of Couchbase’s flexible data model to build its next-generation online Learning Portal – and transform its business model in the process.
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