Press Release

NorthScale (now Couchbase) Showcases Membase NoSQL Database at OSCON

July 21, 2010
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

  • James Phillips, NorthScale Senior Vice President, Products
    “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.”


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. Membase is behind some of the world’s busiest web applications, including popular social games by Zynga, played by millions of users daily. 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 a 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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