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.

Since then, we’ve applied it and adapted it to handle a few real-world scenarios and have been pretty happy with the results. We’re looking forward to fewer forks of memcached to solve one-off problems and instead making it easier to bake a solution to your problem directly into the standard code base. Our hope is that this will lead to a variety of open source solutions to common problems. For example, NorthScale released the bucket engine that allows a single memcached instance to support multiple logical engines. Portability Patrick has done a ridiculous amount of work to get us to the point where we can officially support Windows in a maintainable way (i.e. does as little damage to the rest of the codebase as possible). This is another area where forks have existed to solve one-off problems, but have been unable to track bug fixes and new features. Documentation dormando has essentially been doing an informed rewrite of the documentation to make it more approachable, more comprehensive, and just generally more better. The new site was the first part of this, and has been pretty awesome, but the wiki reorg is almost done and I’m pretty excited about that. Releases The 1.4.5 release just shipped. We have plans for a 1.4.6 maintenance release to clear up a bit more of the problems people have seen in the field (mostly targetting people who run operating systems that won’t update their libraries more than once a decade). Come Join Us If you’re somewhere around Santa Clara, come join us at the MySQL User Conference. We’ve got a lot of stuff we’ll be finishing up and are able to answer any questions you might have about storing data, perhaps even some about retrieving it. We’re having a bof that you are personally invited to and I believe I may be joining Matt for a talk about some of the work we’ve been doing.

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