Press Release

NorthScale (now Couchbase), Zynga, NHN Establish Membase Open Source Project, Contribute NoSQL Database Software launched as home for membase open source project and community

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Velocity 2010 – June 23, 2010 – NorthScale, Inc., the leading provider of elastic data management software, today established the membase open source project with co-founders Zynga and NHN. Membase is a simple, fast and elastic “NoSQL” database technology 100% compatible with memcached, the de facto standard for distributed object caching behind web applications. Optimized for storing the data behind interactive web applications, membase is an extremely low-latency, high-throughput system and delivers highly predictable performance unmatched by any other NoSQL solution. Initial source code was contributed under the Apache License, Version 2.0.

News Highlights

  • Membase is an elastic key-value, “NoSQL” database optimized for storing web application data and delivering substantial cost, performance and scalability advantages over relational database technology.
  • NorthScale today released the first public beta of its membase distribution, NorthScale Membase Server, available for download.
  • For the tens of thousands of applications that already “speak membase,” through its memcached-compatibility guarantee, NorthScale provides a quick and easy way to try it out. 
  • is co-founded and co-sponsored by NorthScale, Zynga, the online gaming company, and NHN, Korea’s number one search and gaming portals. Both Zynga and NHN are using NorthScale Membase Server in production today behind applications that serve millions of users daily.
  • NorthScale, which emerged from stealth in March 2010, was founded by leaders of the memcached open source project, a key-value caching technology at the core of 18 of the top 20 most heavily trafficked websites, and thousands of others.

Supporting Quotes

“Membase was built in the spirit of memcached: provide a simple, fast and infinitely scalable place to store web application data, leveraging commodity hardware. Without compromising these properties, membase adds durability, consistency and availability guarantees with support for dynamically adding servers to, and removing servers from, a running cluster. Using membase, even the world’s busiest web applications are never kept waiting for data.”
— James Phillips, Senior Vice President of Products, NorthScale

“Zynga’s objective was simple: we needed a database that could keep up with the challenging demands of our games while minimizing our average, fully-loaded cost per database operation – including capital equipment, management costs and developer productivity. We evaluated many NoSQL database technologies but all fell short of our stringent requirements. Our membase development efforts dovetailed with work being done at NorthScale and NHN and we’re delighted to contribute our code to the open source community and to sponsor continuing efforts to maintain and enhance the software.”
— Cadir Lee, Chief Technology Officer, Zynga

“NHN is proud to co-sponsor the membase open source project with NorthScale and Zynga. We are very proud of our collective efforts to define, drive and produce the software that we are now contributing to the open source community where we hope it will flourish and grow. As the operator of Korea’s number one search portal,; the number one children’s portal,; and the number one gaming portal,; NHN collectively serves nearly 70 million unique users. It is imperative that we provide each of them with the user experience they deserve. Membase provides us with the predictable sustained performance we need to ensure responsive applications and satisfied users.”
— Chang Song, Chief Performance Architect, NHN

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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