Blogs

July 6, 2010

Membase Beta Refreshed…Ubuntu Support and More!

Greetings all! As the Membase beta program manager, I want to let everyone know that we’ve put out an update to the Membase beta. The most notable addition is official support for Ubuntu, version 9.04 and higher. There are also a number of bug fixes, and release notes are available. Download the refresh here. On a related note, we had the first of our weekly beta webinar calls last week. These will be every Thursday until the end of the beta, and all are welcome to join. I’ll be performing demos, talking about bugs and “gotchas” and answering any and all questions. You will automatically be invited to join the call when you download the beta.

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June 28, 2010

Scaling memcached with vbuckets

For years, people have used memcached to scale large sites. Originally, there was a simple modulo selection hash algorithm that was used. It still is used quite a bit actually and it’s quite easy to understand (although, it’s shown regularly that some people don’t truly understand it when applied to their full system). The algorithm is basically this:

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June 23, 2010

NorthScale Unleashes Membase Server

Today is an exciting day for us at NorthScale. Along with our partners Zynga and NHN, we announced the formation of the membase open source project. Membase is a simple, fast, elastic "NoSQL" (absolutely hate that term, and we'll happily support anyone who can rally the world around a better moniker) database management system. Membase is currently serving data for some of the busiest web applications on the planet. The project is hosted at membase.org where source code, documentation and community information is now available.

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May 24, 2010

NorthScale Selected to Present at GigaOM's LaunchPad

We just got word from GigaOM that they’ve chosen NorthScale as one of 11 companies to present at this year’s LaunchPad (during the Structure 2010 conference in San Francisco). We are excited to take the stage on June 23 to unveil the next wave of our elastic data technology and noSQL strategy. 30 days and counting…

May 17, 2010

Simply Transformational

It’s great to be posting my first blog as NorthScale’s new chief executive. This is a unique company with a unique opportunity to drive the incredible transformation taking place in the data management space. I’m thrilled to be a part of it. So, what attracted me to NorthScale? And for that matter, why did our investors just pour $10 million into our company coffers? In a word: simplicity. The simplicity of NorthScale’s technology, the simplicity of our market strategy, and our commitment to make it as simple as possible for customers to get from where they are today to where this new wave of technology transformation leads. Drilling down a bit, there are a number of things about NorthScale that get me excited:

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April 20, 2010

Tuning Memcached Timeouts for a Cloud Environment

These days, more and more apps are running in the cloud, and they're starting to take memcached with them. For example, as we announced earlier this week, nearly 300 applications are using NorthScale's memcached as a service on Heroku's Ruby-based PaaS cloud platform.

In the past, most environments using memcached have run it on a single, controlled LAN: usually the frontend web servers sitting on the DMZ, without even the normal firewall or router sitting between the DMZ and the database. In this environment, one can reasonably expect that server failures are far more likely than even a single dropped packet, and waiting for a retransmit is likely to take longer than a hit to the database, so it makes sense to set extremely aggressive timeouts, on the order of 100-250ms or less, for memcached operations.

In contrast, cloud networking environments tend to be far less controlled, since they're shared with other customers, and even the location of a given service is not necessarily under the control of the user.

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April 20, 2010

NorthScale at Zynga

We launched NorthScale with our story on working with Zynga.

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April 19, 2010

Elastic Data and the Cloud

(Also see video blog)
Today we announced a very exciting relationship with Heroku: Heroku’s Memcached Add-On is powered by NorthScale Memcached Server and NorthScale is operating the add-on service on Heroku’s behalf. For those who haven’t checked out Heroku, they are the leading Ruby on Rails Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud service provider, with over 55,000 applications running on their platform. In just a few weeks since opening the add-on for public beta, we’ve added over 300 new companies to the NorthScale Memcached Server customer roster; with adoption accelerating.  This week the NorthScale add-on is generally available from Heroku with pricing announced by Heroku today.

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April 9, 2010

What We're Doing in Memcached

We’ve been steadily hacking on memcached. We think it’s going very well, but we do want to make sure everybody who cares has the opportunity to see what’s going on behind the proverbial curtain. The basic theme is to build a platform that allows a company to solve its scaling problems without preventing you from solving your own. Extensibility The biggest thing we’ve been working on is getting the storage engine interface really solid. Trond has been thinking about this for two years and did an excellent presentation on an application of it at last year’s MySQL User Conference.

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April 5, 2010

memcached client and server source from NorthScale

I guess most people don't know this, but I'm the only member of the technical team in NorthScale located in Europe. I live just outside Trondheim in Norway, so it's pretty far from everything.

So why did I join NorthScale? A lot of my friends in Trondheim have been asking me that question. To them it sounds strange that I want to work from home for a company located 9 timezones away. I've known Dustin Sallings and Steve Yen a couple of years through their work on memcached in the community, and I was excited to hear what they where up to. I've worked closely with Matt Ingenthron and Eric Lambert from my time in Sun, so I knew that they already had a talented team.

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