February 8, 2011
CouchOne + Membase = Couchbase
A little background, I met James Phillips, the co-founder of Membase, for the first time in December. I'd heard a little about Membase up to that point, but I was most impressed with some of their high profile users. For example, Membase is a key part of Zynga, where giving millions of users a fast, low latency experience is critical.
Membase has been targeting large scale mission critical apps, being able to scale out quickly and support millions of users, and getting impressive traction. They'd been going after a very specific pain point, a completely different part of the market than what we were targeting. They've focused on performance and scalability and exploiting all the power and memory available on modern servers. Simple, Fast, Elastic.
At CouchOne we've been focusing on very different problems: mobile, sync and offline use cases. We make it easy to build applications that travel with you, allowing you access to your important data no matter the network conditions. Slow and unreliable connectivity means many businesses can't rely on the cloud for mission critical apps, all their data is gone when their network is down. But with Couch powered apps on your phone, tablet, putting data directly on the machines at the edge of the network, you have your apps and data with you at all times and safely backed up to the cloud.
What James had is the vision to see the great fit between the two companies. While independently we were both doing very well, we both have a lot of growing to do yet. And amazingly, the direction Membase needed to grow, we were already doing very well. And in the direction we needed to grow, Membase was already doing very well. Not only were the part of the stack we were focusing different and complementary, but the way we built out our teams was different and complementary. I'm not sure we could have planned it any better, and we didn't plan it at all!
And so I'm thrilled to announce Couchbase, a merging of both our companies and our technology!
Technologically, we'll be joining the products together to create a high volume, low latency, elastic clustered Couchbase server system. A Couch that's Simple, Fast, Elastic with all the reliability and power of CouchDB. We'll also continue to support the Membase API, for both backwards compatibility and it's performance advantages over HTTP. We will be the only solution out there that can scale to Zynga sized workloads and down to phones and tablets and everything in between, supporting millions of users and keeping everything in sync.
For existing CouchDB users, we will fully support CouchDB's HTTP API with all its associated benefits: seamless integration with other HTTP based infrastructure, a universally supported, human-readable protocol and direct-browser access just to name a few.
Together as Couchbase, we'll have the fastest, most scalable (both scale up and scale down) NoSQL solution. We will become the standard storage for mobile devices, and the standard server technology for syncing them all together. Our unified solution will dramatically simplify your technology stack and maintenance for building fast responsive apps that scale to millions of users, and also scaling down to phones so people can work and play even when not connected to the network.
My role at Couchbase will be CTO, overseeing the technical direction of the company. Dustin Sallings will be the chief architect. Bob Weiderhold will be CEO and co-founder James Phillips will continue to be product-oriented maniac :) CouchOne co-founders Chris Anderson and Jan Lehnardt will take roles to lead our mobile efforts and to work with our developers and community.
What's in it for you?
It's all upside! In the short-term we'll be able to provide a much better developer and support experience for both for CouchOne and Membase technologies, and move the development speed ahead much faster. The long term benefits are that CouchDB users will acquire the high performance, high scale easy-fast-elastic capabilities of Membase, while Membase users will acquire CouchDB's indexing features (map/reduce views, lucene, R-Tree GeoCouch), replication, reliability, and an easy path to mobile.
This is hot stuff! 2011 is the year of Couchbase!