One of the common comment from those watching the Big Data space is that there are too many projects that makes it too difficult to chose the right set of tools for the user needs. Well, the consolidation process has started with the merger of Membase (see previous CloudAve coverage), the company supporting open source memcached project, and CouchOne, the company behind open source CouchDB project (see previous CloudAve coverage). The new company called Couchbase will offer comprehensive, end to end family of NoSQL database products. This is clearly a big move targeted to attract organizations trying to tap into NoSQL data stores for their big data needs.
A little brief about CouchOne
CouchOne was founded by the creator of CouchDB, Damien Katz, to offer commercial support for the open source document based CouchDB database. If you want to understand CouchDB and why it is important, I strongly urge you to read this post by me on CouchDB few months back. It is a versatile database technology with a potential to become a big player in this mobile and cloud dominated world. CouchOne was commercializing CouchDB by offering an easily installable platform with a unified API across mobile, server and desktop systems. They also offered hosted version of CouchOne platform under freemium model.
What about Membase?
Membase, formerly called as NorthScale, is the company behind membase open source technology with many of the developers of memcached project on the payroll. Membase is a distributed key-value database with integrated memcached caching technology. Membase enables dynamic cluster elasticity and sustained low-latency, high-throughput data operations. Many modern day companies like Zynga and even companies like AOL use Membase use dramatically lower data management costs while improving the scalability and performance of their demanding interactive web applications.
Why is Couchbase interesting?
In order to understand why Couchbase is interesting, we need to shift gears and go back to appreciate what Membase was doing in the first place. Let me do a brief detour on the history and get back to the point. In the good old days of small datasets, we were happy with RDBMS and used the scale-up approach to meet the growth. With the advent of exabyte age, this approach was not working and we needed a commodity hardware based scale-out approach for our data needs. This resulted in the proliferation of NoSQL technologies that took advantage of commodity hardware. But there was a huge gap between the RDBMS world and the NoSQL world. For organizations knee deep in RDBMS technologies and with a need to tap into NoSQL technologies, there were no straightforward ways to bridge the gap. Memcached and, then, Membase filled the gap and offered an easy on-ramp solution to using NoSQL technologies. Even though Membase is a good cacheing technology with persistence built in, there was a clear need for a NoSQL database in the backend that is durable, offering high reliability and availability. CouchOne platform fills the gap making Couchbase a comprehensive solution.
What products do they offer?
Couchbase offers a family of products covering the needs of datacenters, desktops and mobile. In addition to a consistent developer API across products, the Couchbase family will feature automatic end-to-end synchronization, supporting cross-datacenter replication and mobile-to-cloud database synchronization.
- Elastic Couchbase Server – Membase + memcached * CouchDB. This can effortlessly scale from one server to hundred-node cluster
- Couchbase – A lightweight non clustered version for smaller deployments
- Mobile Couchbase – Targeted towards smartphones and other mobile devices. Initially the support is for iOS devices to offer an embeddable database on native iOS apps
- Hosted Couchbase – On demand version of Couchbase server
Well, this is definitely a big news in the big data world where consolidation is definitely a need of the hour. By combining Membase with CouchDB, Couchbase is offering an easy on-ramp to using CouchDB database for both startups and larger enterprises. With the world getting increasingly mobile, CouchDB is going to enter more places than what we envision today. Couchbase is a pretty good combo to take advantage of this future.