April 2010

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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April 5, 2010

NorthScale and Open Source contributions

Though a number of core developers in the memcached project know, the casual memcached user may not be aware that over the last few months NorthScale released a bevy of memcached client and server contributions. NorthScale is continuing to work with the other project contributors and leaders to get these contributions in shape for inclusion into the various core projects.

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