Press Release

NorthScale (now Couchbase) Showcases Membase NoSQL Database at OSCON

Membase, the open source database powering FarmVille, to be demoed in OSCON session and at booth #322

OSCON 2010 (BOOTH #322), PORTLAND, Ore. – July 21, 2010 – NorthScale, Inc., the leading provider of elastic data infrastructure software, today released an updated version of membase. Unveiled as an open source project last month, membase is the distributed key-value database management system behind FarmVille. NorthScale will be demoing the “simple, fast, elastic” properties of membase at its booth, and later in the day, in a session led by membase project lead Matt Ingenthron.

Launched as an open source project in June 2010 by co-sponsors NorthScale, Zynga and NHN Korea, membase is optimized for storing data behind interactive web applications. These applications must service many concurrent users, creating, storing, retrieving, aggregating, manipulating and presenting data in real time. Supporting these requirements, membase processes data operations with low, quasi-deterministic latency and high sustained throughput. Membase is protocol compatible with memcached, so it is easy to use and supported by virtually every programming language and application framework. It also provides memcached users with a seamless path to NoSQL database adoption, while preserving the simplicity, speed and elasticity they enjoy with memcached.

News Highlights

  • NorthScale refreshed membase beta code today; new capabilities in the beta 2 release include:
    • Support for data sets that exceed the aggregated size of cluster main memory (storing “colder” data on disk only);
    • A rich array of real-time and historical statistics, with graphical presentation; and
    • A standalone membase proxy – NorthScale Moxi Server.
  • NorthScale software engineer and membase project lead Matt Ingenthron will present a session entitled, “ The Simple, Fast, Elastic NoSQL Database Powering FarmVille is now an Open Source Project,” on Wednesday July 21 at 4:30 PM in Room E143. The talk will provide a technical overview of membase and its deployment behind some of the largest sites, as well as information about how to get involved in the project.
  • NorthScale will demo this latest version of membase beta at booth #322 during OSCON expo hall hours today and Thursday, July 21-22.
  • Of the hundreds of downloads of membase since its public beta release three weeks ago:
    • Over 50% came from online networks or directories, gaming sites or other consumer web properties;
    • Nearly 20% came from large financial service, telecom and healthcare firms, indicating that membase (and NoSQL technology, in general) has appeal beyond the web 2.0 world to enterprise environments; and
    • Outside the U.S., Japan ranked as the second largest geographic source for downloads.
  • NorthScale engineers have contributed 90% of the membase source code to date. These engineers are also the leading contributors to the memcached, the world’s most widely deployed distributed data caching software.

Supporting Quote

“Does the world really need another NoSQL database? It’s a legitimate question. Before embarking on a project of this magnitude, NorthScale, Zynga and NHN carefully evaluated existing solutions to ensure the effort was warranted. Our collective need was focused: we wanted a simple, fast, elastic data management solution that could reliably store the data behind interactive web applications. It had to be easy to develop against and even easier to manage; provide consistently low latency with high throughput; and support dynamic reconfiguration of a live cluster, without impacting running applications. No existing solution came close to meeting all the criteria. So, more than 20-man years later, we introduced membase, and are now consumed by our mission to never keep an application waiting for data.”
— James Phillips, NorthScale Senior Vice President, Products

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

Media Contact

James Kim
Couchbase Communications

Couchbase in news and press