Press Release

NorthScale (Now Couchbase) Releases High-Performance NoSQL Database

June 23, 2010
NorthScale Membase Server, downloadable now for beta testing, is a simple, fast, elastic data store that manages web application data efficiently and cost-effectively

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Velocity 2010 – June 23, 2010 – NorthScale, Inc., the leading provider of elastic data management software, today announced that Membase Server, a high-performance, high-availability NoSQL database, is downloadable now for beta testing. Membase is optimized for storing data behind interactive web applications, and does so far more efficiently and cost effectively than a relational database, with an uncompromising commitment to provide applications the data they need, without any waiting. Directly compatible with memcached APIs and client libraries, NorthScale Membase Server inherits the benefits of simplicity, speed, and elasticity that users enjoy with memcached, as well as the ability to leverage low-cost commodity hardware to scale-out the data layer.

News Highlights

  • Membase Server, downloadable today for beta testing, is “drop-in compatible” with memcached, allowing the tens of thousands of applications already using memcached to quickly and easily begin leveraging membase.
  • Membase Server is currently in production behind web applications at Zynga and NHN, which serve millions of users daily, and is deployed at other customer sites including Red Aril and mig33.
  • NorthScale today also announced the launch of the membase open source project, along with founding co-sponsors Zynga and NHN.
  • Membase Server was built by the leading contributors to open source memcached, which is today the de facto standard in web caching technology.

Product Highlights

  • Membase is simple
    • Takes five minutes or less to build a working cluster. Users can start with a single node and join nodes to a cluster with the press of a button.
    • Key-value approach means no need to create and manage schemas, normalize, shard or tune the database.
    • 100% compatible with memcached, meaning virtually every language and application framework can already “speak membase.”
  • Membase is fast
    • The lowest latency, highest throughput NoSQL database technology available, providing predictable performance.
    • Quasi-deterministic latency and throughput ensure web applications get the data they need, when they need it, meaning applications are never kept waiting for data.
    • Auto-migration of hot data to lowest latency storage technology (RAM, SSD, disk); multi-threaded; low lock contention.
  • Membase is elastic
    • Scale-out architecture enables customers to spread I/O and data across commodity servers or virtual machines, maintaining performance with linear cost as a cluster grows.
    • Expand a live membase cluster by simply cloning an node and joining it to the cluster, while continuing to service application requests.
    • Highly extensible with plug points for external systems such as full-text search, data analytics or archiving.

Supporting Quotes

  • Matt Aslett, Senior Analyst for Enterprise Software, The 451 Group
    “There is clear interest from Web application and service providers in high-performance, scalable, distributed database technologies, and we see a good opportunity for products that provide users with a transition path towards a NoSQL database that complements, rather than replaces, their existing investments. NorthScale is well-positioned with Membase Server, given the widespread adoption of memcached, to provide a stepping-stone to encourage enterprises to adopt new distributed database approaches.”
  • Bob Wiederhold, President and CEO, NorthScale
    “Across the NoSQL landscape, Membase stands head and shoulders above other alternatives, providing an easy onramp to a NoSQL database, especially for the thousands of organizations already using memcached. Further, Membase provides the best, most predictable performance for web applications - by a wide margin – ensuring snappy applications and happy application users. We’re thrilled to make publicly available this new class of data management software that provides blazing speed, is incredibly easy to install and use, and delivers great price/performance for storing data behind interactive web applications.”
  • David McClure, Director of Engineering, mig33
    “mig33 has built a successful global mobile business from being one of the most downloaded mobile phone applications in the world. With more than 40 million users, supporting the growing user base is our first priority and it has become clear that our existing relational database technology can’t handle this alone. So we’re looking for an alternative that allows us to achieve our scalability objectives while avoiding heavy sharding and other data management gymnastics. We’re excited about working with NorthScale Membase Server’s beta offering as the solution for dynamic scalability and high performance, whilst being very easy to use and manage.”
  • Kiril Tsemekhman, Chief Scientist, Red Aril
    “In our business, the most crucial success factor is the ability to decide which ad to serve and how much to pay for it, all in real-time with minimal latency – in fact, there’s a direct correlation between the speed of our decision system and our revenue. NorthScale Membase Server is a great fit for our needs, enabling us to create an elastic data layer that’s persistent, dynamically scalable and highly available, while giving us the sustained high performance our applications – and users – require.”



NorthScale, memcached, membase, elastic data management, NoSQL, cloud computing, database

About NorthScale

NorthScale, Inc., the leading provider of elastic data management software, provides products that enable customers to dramatically lower costs while simultaneously improving the scalability and performance of their web applications. NorthScale NoSQL database technology is behind some of the world’s busiest web applications: it is the primary database for the popular FarmVille and Café World applications at Zynga; and it provides a shared data management platform for NHN, Korea’s largest web application operator with nearly 70 million unique users. Equally at home serving small web applications, NorthScale operates the memcached service behind the Heroku Cloud Platform, where more than thousand applications benefit from its secure multi-tenant capabilities. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., NorthScale is a privately held company funded by Accel Partners, Mayfield Fund and North Bridge Venture Partners.

About Couchbase

Couchbase's mission is to be the data platform that revolutionizes digital innovation. To make this possible, Couchbase created the world's first Engagement Database to help deliver ever-richer and ever more personalized customer and employee experiences. Built with the most powerful NoSQL technology, the Couchbase Data Platform was architected on top of an open source foundation for the massively interactive enterprise. Our geo-distributed Engagement Database provides unmatched developer agility and manageability, as well as unparalleled performance at any scale, from any cloud to the edge.

Couchbase has become pervasive in our everyday lives; our customers include industry leaders Amadeus, AT&T, BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Carrefour, Cisco, Comcast, Disney, DreamWorks Animation, eBay, Marriott, Neiman Marcus, Tesco, Tommy Hilfiger, United, Verizon, Wells Fargo, as well as hundreds of other household names. For more information, visit


Press Contact

Christina Knittel
(775) 209-2461

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