Q&A with Darpan Dinker of Schooner Information Technology
VSM: What are some of the biggest challenges facing database administrators today?
DD: With the explosive growth of high-volume web sites, software-as-a-service (SaaS), cloud computing, and other emerging web-based applications, datacenter workloads have increased exponentially. Having a better interface in the application – making it richer, more dynamic – is very important to potential customers. All these things are adding up to more data and more requests.
At the same time, it is essential for businesses to reduce their response time for the applications, because a reduction in response time is directly proportional to an increase in revenue. The business opportunities that are created from the deployment of these new applications are substantial, but the demands they place on the datacenter are daunting.
VSM: What is the problem with how database administrators are currently trying to meet today’s demanding data-access needs?
DD: Database administrators will often employ a software cache to increase application performance, which as I mentioned is key for business growth. Unfortunately, traditional caching solutions (such as the widely used Memcached protocol) have a dark side that is also shared by the many NoSQL databases available today. As you scale up your software cache or data store, you are forced to keep your data in DRAM in order to achieve a satisfactory level of performance, which is extremely inefficient and expensive.
VSM: How is Schooner addressing these challenges?
DD: Schooner recently released Membrain 4.0, a flash-optimized cache and persistent NoSQL key-value store that is optimized to fully exploit flash memory. Membrain harnesses the powerful technological advances of flash memory to allow organizations to vertically scale with DRAM-like speeds and performance, without the inefficiencies. It also works on any standard x86 servers from Dell, HP, and IBM taking advantage of inexpensive, multi-core processors.
The net result is more efficient and highly-available datacenter operations and the ability to create new revenue-producing business opportunities based on rapid access to terabyte-scale data.
VSM: How does Membrain compare to other NoSQL offerings or traditional Memcached?
DD: Schooner Membrain is designed to exploit the high input/output operations per second (IOPS) of flash memory and storage area networks (SAN) and the cores of today’s commodity servers. That means organizations can glean more value from their flash investment and that’s unique in this industry. Schooner has filed over 20 patents based on flash-optimizations in database/data store architecture and resource management.
Relative to traditional Memcached and the other NoSQL keyvalue stores, Membrain delivers order-of-magnitude improvements in performance, scaling, downtime, power, and space, while cutting total cost of ownership (TCO) by 70 percent or more.
VSM: What are some of the results your customers can expect to see?
DD: Schooner customers already value the server consolidation and TCO savings afforded by Membrain. For example, we have a social networking customer that reduced its servers by 10:1, and a media company that saw a 12:1 reduction in the number of servers needed to service the same workload.