Press Release

NorthScale (Now Couchbase) Releases High-Performance NoSQL Database

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

“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.”
— Matt Aslett, Senior Analyst for Enterprise Software, The 451 Group

“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.”
— Bob Wiederhold, President and CEO, NorthScale

“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.”
— David McClure, Director of Engineering, mig33

“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.”
— Kiril Tsemekhman, Chief Scientist, Red Aril

About Couchbase

At Couchbase, we believe data is at the heart of the enterprise. We empower developers and architects to build, deploy, and run their most mission-critical applications. Couchbase delivers a high-performance, flexible, and scalable modern database that runs across the data center and any cloud. Many of the world’s largest enterprises rely on Couchbase to power the core applications their businesses depend on. For more information, visit

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