Press Release

NorthScale (now Couchbase) Tackles Data in the Cloud with Elastic Data Technology, Wins Best in Show at Under the Radar Cloud Conference

April 19, 2010
Company Collaborates with Leading Cloud Platform Provider, Heroku, to Deliver Simple, Fast, and Infinitely Scalable Data Management within the Cloud Environment; Hundreds of Heroku Customers Now Using NorthScale Memcached as a Service

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – April 19, 2010 – NorthScale, Inc., the leading provider of elastic data infrastructure software and winner of Best in Show at last week’s Under the Radar Conference, today announced an integration with leading cloud platform provider Heroku, making NorthScale Memcached available as an infrastructure service in Heroku’s growing catalog of cloud-based add-ons. NorthScale Memcached Server is key-value data caching technology that enables better performance and scalability of dynamic web applications, while alleviating database load and costs. It also provides a critical foundation for tackling scale-out data requirements in both public and private cloud computing environments.


“Using Heroku’s Memcached Add-On from NorthScale has enabled us to optimize the latency of our page rendering code, enabling us to build an advanced web app that is almost as responsive as an ordinary desktop app – something that would be very hard, if not impossible, to do without memcached,” said Niklas Holmgren, CEO and Founder of Bitspace.  The company provides an HTML5-based online music player and backup service for your music files, in the cloud.


“In just the first few weeks, we have seen hundreds of applications adopt the NorthScale Add-On, which points to the demand for cost-efficient, highly scalable data management in modern applications,” said Oren Teich, VP Heroku.  “We’ve enjoyed working very closely with NorthScale over the last several months, and have been blown away by the quality of the team, their software, and the interactions we’ve had with them to bring this memcached add-on to market. With over 50,000 applications running on our cloud service, it is imperative that every component of our infrastructure is rock solid, efficient and easily managed. NorthScale has delivered on all fronts."


NorthScale Memcached Server delivers key-value caching technology in a manner consistent with the needs of cloud providers like Heroku, providing a secure, multi-tenant data management layer that dynamically expands and contracts to support fluctuations in numbers of users and application usage, while enabling instant provisioning of the data layer to accommodate new users.


“We are excited to be working with Heroku to satisfy customer demand for memcached and scale-out data solutions,” said James Phillips, NorthScale co-founder and chief strategy officer. “Our work with Heroku demonstrates the suitability of NorthScale’s elastic data solutions not only for cloud service providers, but also for enterprise IT organizations as they seek to build private clouds to match the flexibility and attractive cost economics achieved by public cloud computing service providers.”

Elastic data: A critical but oft overlooked ingredient for the cloud

There are four key categories of infrastructure software required for cloud computing architectures: (1) virtualization technology; (2) cloud automation software; (3) application framework; and (4) data framework. While the first three categories are well understood, a data framework that matches the scale-out nature of the cloud model is more elusive.


Modern applications are now routinely architected to “scale out,” perfectly matching the cloud model. However, most data is still being stored in relational database management technology (RDBMS), which was designed to scale up (not out), which presents limitations in the context of cloud computing. Elastic data solutions (those that scale-out) are needed to fill this gap, and hold the promise of enabling a fully-automated cloud that can seamlessly scale both application logic and the data behind the application.


“We are seeing significant interest in alternative database approaches, such as NorthScale’s, that are specifically designed and architected to take advantage of the elastic nature of the cloud, unlike relational database technologies,” said Matt Aslett, senior analyst, enterprise software, The 451 Group. “In particular, we expect to see enterprise adoption of technologies that provide an adoption path for IT organizations as they begin to scale out their data layer in support of web applications or private clouds.


The NorthScale Server Family of elastic data infrastructure software is a new class of data management technology that works alongside relational database systems, offering substantial cost, performance and scalability advantages for the vast majority of data associated with web applications and cloud computing environments. Based on the widely used memcached open source technology, the NorthScale Server Family is designed to enable customers to start where they are, with existing relational database technology and expertise, and incrementally evolve toward a scale-out data architecture. It includes:

  • NorthScale Memcached Server, the preferred commercial distribution of memcached, created and supported by leaders of the memcached open source project; and
  • NorthScale Membase Server, a high-performance, distributed, key-value database fully compatible with memcached APIs and client libraries.


Product Availability and Pricing

  • The Heroku Memcached Add-On based on NorthScale Memcached Server is now generally available; monthly pricing is based on memory allocated: 5 MB, Free; 100 MB, $20; 250 MB, $40; 1 GB, $125
  • NorthScale Memcached Server, introduced in March, is available now as a free download.
  • NorthScale Membase Server is now in private beta, with public beta scheduled for later in Q2. Register for public beta.


Additional Resources

  • A January 2010 survey of Heroku customers shows 44% of Ruby developers requesting memcached as a “must have” technology for web application development. See full results.
  • For more detail on the four key components of cloud computing, read the white paper.
  • For more on this announcement, see the video blog.


About NorthScale

NorthScale, Inc., the elastic data infrastructure software company, is in production 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 hundreds of applications benefit from the secure multi-tenant capabilities of NorthScale servers. Founded in 2009 by leaders of the memcached open source project and headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., NorthScale is a privately held company funded by Accel Partners 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

Couchbase in news and press