Schooner’s Membrain Offers Memcached-Based Smart NoSQL Data Store

High-performance, flash-optimized cache and data store for Dell, HP, and IBM x86 servers

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Schooner Information Technology, Inc. has released its 3.0 release of Membrain: the smart NoSQL data store, based on memcached. Membrain transforms commodity x86 servers and flash memory into easily scalable, highly available super-servers for demanding memcached or NoSQL data store workloads. Membrain is the third generation of Schooner's memcached-based data store. By deploying Schooner Membrain, enterprises achieve optimal performance, easy scaling, and minimal downtime in their data centers.

Caching accelerates data access, and the open-source memcached is the most widely used software cache. NoSQL -- Not Only SQL (Structured Query Language) -- refers to a family of data stores that sacrifice some of the data integrity and other features of SQL databases to get higher performance. Because of the widespread use of the memcached interface, Schooner uses it as the basis for Membrain.

The usual approach to scaling memcached or NoSQL data stores is to keep the data on each server small enough to fit mainly in the available DRAM, and keep adding servers as users need more capacity or better performance. This is expensive because these servers are often poorly utilized, leading to excessive spending on hardware and on the power and people to run the servers. Membrain solves this problem.

Membrain starts with a Schooner implementation of memcached optimized for maximum concurrency, and is extended to support the persistence, synchronous replication, guaranteed consistency, and backup needed for an enterprise-grade data store. This optimized data-access layer is coupled with a Schooner library that tightly integrates and balances the use of all system resources -- multiple cores, flash memory, and DRAM -- to maximize performance and availability, and minimize cost.

As a result, Membrain-powered servers benefits include:

  • Scaling without sprawl by allowing access to terabytes of data in flash memory at DRAM-like speeds, on standard x86 servers

  • Exceptional performance, leading to as much as 10x server consolidation

  • Minimal downtime thanks to industry-leading high-speed synchronous replication with immediate failover and recovery of fully consistent data

  • Maximum data center productivity by handling way bigger loads with fewer nodes to save money on hardware and the power and people needed to run it

  • Install-and-go deployment; Membrain is 100 percent memcapable (a memcached certification suite), including binary protocol

Membrain 3.0 is available on all widely-used x86 servers and blades from Dell, HP, and IBM, running Red Hat Linux 5.4 / 5.5 or CentOS 5.4 / 5.5. It supports any flash memory in SAS/SATA or PCIe formats, including drives qualified by Dell, HP, and IBM, and those from the leading flash memory suppliers including Fusion-io, LSI, Unigen, Intel, OCZ, and Pliant.

Customers can use Membrain to increase the value of their existing servers by upgrading them with flash memory, as well as minimize their spending on new servers. Schooner Membrain will be available for download and free trial now. More information is available at

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