Kusnetzky Group LLC | January 2015
What is the problem ScaleBase is addressing?
Organizations are increasingly needing to collect large and complex stores of rapidly changing data as a way to better understand their customers, understand what their competitors are doing and to comply with regulations. This puts a great deal of stress on more traditional relational and non-relational database engines. Relational database engines simply weren’t designed to address the rapid growth in the size of the data store, the many different types of data that must be analyzed, or the number of people needing access to the data simultaneously.
The traditional approach of meant that the organization got the fun of riding an IT roller coaster, that is over provisioning to address future needs, having enough capacity and then having the applicaiton overshoot the current configuration and facing the need to buy more capacity. This, of course, also meant that meeting service level objectives was challenging.
This has lead some organiztions to consider how to expand beyond the capabilities of traditional clustered database solutions and consider other approches.
How does ScaleBase support transactional applications in a big data environment?
While NuoDB is an advocate of adding a relational, ACID compliant front end to a Big Data engine, ScaleBase suggests that intelligent middleware combined with a large number of servers supporting more traditional relational database engines will do the trick as well.
How ScaleBase describes what it is doing
- Employ complex algorithms that analyzes relations, structure and size of data
- Utilize parallel (map reduce) execution to reconstruct a single result from multiple databases
- Seamlessly integrates with customer environment – 100% compatible with standard database protocol
- Policy based command routing to maintain data distribution and achieve high availability
- Provides a single point of management for a complex, distributed database environment
- Delivered as simple, easy-to-use, software that runs on commodity hardware – requiring NO changes to existing infrastructure
Here’s how ScaleBase presents its approach
It is alwas interesting to watch the process of innovation. As Big Data concepts are applied by more and more organizations, it was inevitable that some would want to use huge and rapidly changing data stores to support transactional systems. Unfortunately, most Big Data, NoSQL, tools are designed to address the needs of discovery and analysis rather than supporting ACID compliant transactional applications.
NuoDB says the answer is building a new database engine, one that combines the best of Big Data tools and more traditional database engines.
ScaleBase disagrees and suggests if the problem is segmented into many smaller pieces, traditional database engines still have plenty of life left.
Which is right? It all depends upon the application in question. What’s exciting is innovative solutions are being offered to address the market’s needs.
To read the full article, click here.
CIO Review | November 24, 2104
Cloud based solutions are power boosting today’s businesses, giving entrepreneurs the freedom to be more innovative. Breaking part from the outdated ‘manual process’, the industry is bent on using scalable cloud computing platforms that offer the suppleness to enable customers to use a variety of applications. When it comes to flexibility in the cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a broad set of global compute, storage, database, analytics, application, and deployment services that help organizations move faster, lower IT costs, and scale applications.
These services are trusted by large enterprises and startups to leverage a wide variety of workloads. In terms of security, AWS’ highly secure data centers utilize multi-factor access control systems and hightech electronic surveillance. The built-in-firewalls, security logs and encrypted data storage have not only strengthened data security on a global level but have also helped companies tackle challenges in their businesses.
In the last few months, we have looked at hundreds of solution providers and shortlisted the ones that are at the forefront of tackling challenges faced in the industry.
In our selection, we looked at the vendors’ capability to fulfill the needs of buyers through Amazon Web Services that supports core business processes for several industries. Also, we evaluated the vendors’ support through the integration of latest technologies into their system.
The relational database was purpose-built for the cloud and is said to be able to scale out easily and cost effectively.
By Linda Musthaler, November 14, 2014
When Mark Zuckerberg and his associates developed a little application called Facebook back in 2004, they had no idea how wildly popular it would become. Designed to replace a college directory, Facebook took off among college students and had 12 million regular users within two years. At Facebook’s ten year mark, the application has more than 1.23 billion users worldwide. More than half a billion people access the application every day.EARN MORE
Now picture yourself being the database administrator (DBA) who has to figure out how to accommodate such rapid growth. All those users and all their postings have to be organized and managed without impacting performance and availability of the application.
Facebook isn’t the only company with a database scalability issue. Numerous startups with a cool application hope to become the next Facebook, Snapchat or eBay, attracting tens or hundreds of millions of users practically overnight. Moreover, extreme database growth isn’t just for startups. Companies across all types of industries are outgrowing the scalability of their existing applications built on relational databases.
Simply moving from big iron in a datacenter to AWS or Rackspace in the cloud doesn’t solve the problem. The fact is, relational databases can’t scale efficiently to a really large environment, and databases such as Oracle, DB2, SQL Server and MySQL weren’t designed to run in virtualized or cloud environments. As the applications built on these databases grow exponentially, they have to support a growing number of reads and writes. They eventually run into capacity and performance issues.
There are two traditional approaches to address this problem: scaling up by adding more hardware, and do-it-yourself sharding. Adding more hardware, even in the cloud, gets expensive. But sharding, which is breaking up the database into smaller pieces, usually means having to write code into the application to manage the pieces.
Now ScaleBase offers a third option to add database scalability and availability without adding more hardware or modifying the application code. ScaleBase takes a single database and separates it out into multiple distributed databases by utilizing fully automated sharding. The ScaleBase solution was purpose-built for the cloud and is available on Amazon’s, IBM’s and Rackspace’s clouds. It leverages MySQL, the open source database from Oracle, and other readily deployable commodities.
Companies can migrate an existing application to ScaleBase’s distributed database without making any changes to the underlying application; i.e., no coding is necessary for the sharding. ScaleBase handles the database distribution in real time and in a fully automated fashion.
The following architecture slide illustrates how ScaleBase works.
The MySQL data layer shown at the bottom can be on any cloud. This layer provides a horizontally scalable database that automatically grows by spinning up new instances of MySQL as needed and performing dynamic data optimization, almost like a load balancer. In the above illustration, the vertical orange MySQL boxes represent automated redundancy of the main databases.
The ScaleBase Analysis Genie shown at the left in the illustration is at the heart of how this solution works to provide dynamic growth. The Analysis Genie looks at the existing application and database, as well as all the queries and traffic, and it performs an analysis which builds an optimal data-distribution policy customized for the app. The Analysis Genie basically figures out the best way to break out the database and distribute it to other instances. This recommendation is made before the database ever goes into production on ScaleBase so that a DBA can approve or tweak the custom built data distribution policy. ScaleBase views this plan as a living policy that can be adjusted as needed going forward.
Consider the case of a web-based gaming application. After a launch, a popular game can attract millions of simultaneous users worldwide within days. By building the sharding into the database level instead of the application level and allowing the data distribution to be based on analysis by the Analysis Genie, the gaming company can eliminate the risk of bottlenecks that would drive players away. ScaleBase would also help the company control costs and reduce its time-to-market.
There are basically two use cases for ScaleBase: migrating an existing application, and developing a new application from the start on ScaleBase. Customers that migrate an existing application from, say, Oracle or SQL Server, can reduce database license fees, the company says, while gaining the automatic scalability ScaleBase delivers.
Customers that develop new applications for web scale on ScaleBase can get those applications to market quicker and in a cost effective manner. In fact, ScaleBase offers a free edition that is limited only by deployment size. A developer can try ScaleBase, put it into production, understand how it works, and then go into an unlimited version of the solution once the application hits scale.
There also is a startup edition for new companies that are just getting off the ground. The database capabilities are unlimited, so the startup can grow an application quickly, and it remains free of charge until the startup company hits a certain revenue or investment level.
In short, ScaleBase can take one big bursting database and split it into multiple database instances (or nodes) that are automatically managed at an enormously scalable level. Benchmarks show that ScaleBase scales at a near linear level, so when an application goes from 0 to 1.23 billion users in a few years’ time, there are no growing pains with the database.
To view the full article, click here.
By Philip Howard, October 16, 2014
ScaleBase is a vendor and product for distributing MySQL databases. It is not a database but a layer of software that sits on top of MySQL databases. So it offers a different solution from those proposed by the likes of NuoDB and Clustrix, which require investment in their specific databases.
Like both of those mentioned, ScaleBase is ACID (incl. transparent execution of 2-phase commit for transactions that update data in multiple shards), and offers continuous availability. Because it is independent of the underlying database instances it is irrelevant to ScaleBase as to what those instances are being used for: whether transaction processing or analytics. In either case, ScaleBase’s distributed MySQL database retains all relational characteristics.
Where ScaleBase is particularly cool is in what it calls the Analysis Genie. This is available as a free SaaS and download. The Analysis Genie helps you to decide (it provides out-of-the-box recommendations) how best to distribute the data and provides a percentage score (which will change as the environment changes—so it is an ongoing monitoring tool) for you as to how efficient your data distribution is. The Genie examines your data, data relationships and the use of your data to give you a data distribution policy that is tuned efficiently for your application’s unique requirements. There are facilities provided to examine and distribute any existing MySQL databases that you want to move into the ScaleBase environment, without requiring any change to their applications.
A major differentiator for ScaleBase is that distribution is policy-based and transparent. That is, with ScaleBase you can see and control the variables that impact the distribution policy, whereas competitors take a more black-box style approach. A second differentiator is that ScaleBase views a data distribution policy as dynamic. So the software provides policy lifecycle management capabilities to analyse, monitor, maintain and optimise data distributions (and any required re-distributions) to match your application’s ever-evolving requirements.
Distributed database technologies are growing in importance for a number of reasons. For example, there are many companies wanting to move to the cloud and, especially where this is to be a hybrid environment with some data retained on premise and some in the cloud, then a distributed approach makes sense. Another significant market is for geographically-dispersed environments and a third, which is especially suited to ScaleBase, is for small companies that have the potential to grow rapidly. An example of this last type would be companies building social apps and games for mobiles. Many companies start with MySQL because it is freely available and that’s fine as long as you don’t suddenly develop a mega hit game. Now you suddenly need to hugely expand your database capacity and distributed technology allows you to do that relatively inexpensively and rapidly and without changing your application. The same, of course, would apply to a lot of Web 2.0 companies.
ScaleBase is available in the Cloud (Amazon EC2 and RDS, Rackspace, IBM and so on) and also supports hybrid and on-premise environments.
Of course it is possible to take a DIY approach to distributing MySQL databases. I don’t recommend it. As the environment changes you continuously have to change your sharding, change your applications and test those changes. There is no measure of how efficient your distribution is and, overall, this is a high maintenance approach that cannot guarantee efficiency.
From my perspective, if you need to distribute a MySQL environment then ScaleBase is the obvious solution or, at least, one that you should look at seriously. You’d also do well to consider ScaleBase if you are looking to migrate from an on-premise (expensive) relational database to lower cost cloud-based distributed computing.
To view the full article, click here.
By Garrett Heath, September 9, 2014
The cloud ecosystem has given rise to a variety of tools and services that can be easily plugged into applications. Rather that writing code to monitor, load test and/or optimize your cloud environment, consider implementing some of these tools into your application.
The cost of application downtime extends beyond lost revenue. Businesses need to consider the potential for a spike in customer service requests and negative comments on social media, which can damage your company’s reputation. Because system administrators may not be able to diagnose problems 24×7, an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) solution can help.
APM tools like AppDynamics and New Relic provide application intelligence based on user-defined behaviors such as logging in, updating a cart or checking out. They provide information such as page load times and transactions in real time, enabling you to identify issues across the user experience.
The proliferation of mobile devices and social communication has put a strain on application resources. Businesses can identify stress points and potential bottlenecks before going live by load testing their app with companies like LoadImpact and Apica.
Both SaaS solutions generate traffic from different geographic regions while measuring the response rates and throughput of each packet. Results from these tests can include CPU and memory usage along with disk and network I/O, helping you fine-tune your app. These services are particularly helpful for businesses preparing for the holidays or a specific high traffic event.
Speed is important to your users, and companies like CloudFlare and Incapsalaoffer tools to optimize your website. By caching frequently requested content and using a cloud delivery network (CDN) to store files closer to the end user, your site’s load time will be much faster. Additionally, both companies offer security features like in-flight DDoS mitigation, identification and remediation of bot and spam traffic along with software-based Web application firewalls to help keep your site online.
These tools are software-based solutions that can be found in an online marketplace, but one of the best ways to boost your app’s performance is to consult a cloud expert. The Rackspace Managed Cloud connects you with a team of professionals who know the cloud inside and out, offering expertise on cloud architecture, scaling and assistance with your code.
To view the full article click here.
Database Trends & Applications: ScaleBase Enhances Distributed Database Platform with Version 3.0 and Unveils ‘Analysis Genie’
ScaleBase has announced the 3.0 release of its Distributed Database Platform, which enables users to move from a single MySQL instance to a distributed platform. The company also introduced a beta program for a new product called Analysis Genie.
ScaleBase version 3.0 is a cloud-optimized database platform built primarily for virtual environments. The database is horizontally scalable, built on MySQL and allows customers to keep and maintain their MySQL infrastructure. By logically distributing data across public, private, and geo-distributed cloud environments, this database functionally optimizes workload for greater efficiency.
According to the vendor, ScaleBase version 3.0 simplifies the deployment and management of the software, providing automatic analysis, migration, configuration and schema change; dynamic data optimization and balancing; and transparent failover. The new version also offers enhanced cross-shard joins and is cloud agnostic.
The new Analysis Genie is designed to guide organizations in determining the best way to scale out a database by analyzing a company’s schema and queries. “The Analysis Genie allows users to quickly assess how their application uses the data, what type of command they use, how the schema is built and it allows the relationships that data has to be viewed and then maintained as you move from one instance to many instances,” said Ram Metser, CEO at ScaleBase.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Let’s say you run a company and you’re trying to get more people to visit your Web site. Your advertising agency comes up with an idea for a YouTube video with a tiny pig pulling your company’s product in a tiny wooden wheelbarrow. The video ends with a screen shot of your company’s logo and web site.
Before the YouTube video is posted, your web site functions nicely handling 100,000 visits a day. But the little pig YouTube video goes viral and suddenly your web site is getting two million daily hits. Your web site crashes since it can’t handle all the volume — instead of getting more potential customers to learn about your company, you get embarrassment.
ScaleBase’s products are built to make sure that if your company uses a database such as MySQL, it will automatically scale to meet the spikes in user demand, so that your company can turn that increased traffic into new customers.
ScaleBase does this by “scaling-out” the database so that businesses — such as customers Autodesk, AppDynamics and Mozilla – get the benefits of scaling their databases to meet increased demand — without adding hardware to their existing infrastructure and or re-writing their applications.
To read the rest of the article click here
In the past six months, all three sites went down – at the wrong time – because their databases couldn’t keep up with consumer demand. In every case, unplanned peaks in user traffic pounded the site, and brought performance to a screeching halt.
In this new world of immediate experience and gratification, the database is rapidly becoming the company. Consider Amazon and Pinterest: There’s no storefront, no customer service – they live and die based on each user’s experience. More than ever, that experience is backed every step of the way by data, which means that the dark corners of data performance risk are becoming a bet-the-company vulnerability.
If your data isn’t killing your database today, it will. Maybe next month; maybe next year.
To add a little perspective, one of the largest wireless providers in the UK – O2 – is currently spending close to $20 million in an effort to replace its database following two recent outages that impacted millions of customers. Derek McManus, COO of O2 UK wrote in a blog post that the company is, “…extremely disappointed to have let our customers down again.” He adds that O2 UK is “…not prepared to risk this happening to our customers for a third time and are implementing a proven alternative solution.”
On the flip side, you can get ahead of this chase for big data. It may mean rethinking how big databases are built for growth, because the underlying assumptions of predictable behavior are obsolete.
For just about every company, managing and exploiting the potential of ‘big data’ will be the #1 business opportunity before 2013 is out. Even if your database doesn’t seem like an under-performing asset today, it could easily become one within two or three quarters.
The biggest issue is performance – and staying ahead of the tidal wave of transactions. That’s especially challenging when the ‘conventional wisdom’ about big data points to the importance of analysis. Indeed, it’s the analysis that can be mined for sentiment, patterns, and, once you can decode it, predictability, new opportunities and money.
But it’s the transactions that underlie this intelligence. And it was the breathtaking volume of transactions that caused Amazon, Pinterest and Apple to go dark. Simply too much unexpected activity, likes, posts and uploads. And that – like it or not – is the future of big data. Peaks. Valleys. And not always when you expect them.
Avoiding this mineshaft is, surprisingly, possible. It’s not expensive, either. But it does mean toppling a few sacred cows.
For example, companies like Mozilla – which recently launched an online app store – are putting database scalability and performance systems and solutions in place before they build or launch new apps – in order to guarantee the company will be able to support its anticipated transaction volumes.
Size matters. But not the way you think.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
During last weekend’s frenzied holiday shopping, online retailers pushed the limits of their databases. The strain looks likely to continue during the next four weeks, as retailers continue to promote discounts and incentives in virtually every combination possible.
One way online retailers can prepare for those stressful traffic loads, and handle seasonal jumps in activity, is to optimize their databases. I spoke with Paul Campaniello, vice president of global marketing at ScaleBase, to discuss how the implementation of practices, including distributed databases, can help prevent ecommerce disaster.
SPfR: The holiday season is in full swing. Cybersales were up this year. Have performance expectations changed in recent years?
Campaniello: Performance is critical. So much of what we do is making sure [performance goals are met]. Today, there are many next-gen apps out there — not the traditional Oracle, SAP, and PeopleSoft — but apps like Facebook and Twitter, which are Web based. Our solution is built on MySQL DB, just like Facebook.
SPfR: What do solution providers need to be mindful of when working with retail customers?
Campaniello: What happens when everyone, for example, goes to Zappos and clicks on the same pair of $400 Jimmy Choo shoes? You click into or out of the cart, and you “get the hourglass.” If you “get the hourglass,” that’s a database issue. When you try and optimize a transaction, what you’re really trying to manage is the scale and flow, power and speed of the communication between the application and the database.
SPfR: Some might wonder, why not over-provision? Better safe than sorry, no?
Campaniello: We just did a Webinar and talked about SPRAIN pain: Scalability, Performance, Relaxed consistency, Agility, Intricacy, and Necessity. The idea is that when you stretch a database beyond its normal capacity, SPRAIN will stretch the database. You can solve the problem by throwing hardware at it. But if you don’t look at ways to scale your database, you’re not fixing the underlying problem. You want to find a way to scale your database.
ScaleBase, a Newton, Mass.-based startup that helps companies keep fast-scaling databases up-and-running, today announced that it has landed $10.5 million in series B funding, led by Bain Capital Ventures and Ascent Venture Partners, with participation from its existing investor, Cedar Fund. Having raised $4 million from Cedar in 2010, the investment brings the startup’s total funding to just under $15 million.
As scores of new web and mobile apps launch every day, increasingly companies are finding themselves working overtime to manage the intense processing requirements of big data and struggling to preserve up-time. For this reason, ScaleBase sees a big market opportunity for any company offering uninterrupted database performance solutions.
Being able to deliver realtime scalability obviously can have a big effect on application performance and has the benefit of reducing over-provisioning, which has the tendency to eat holes in the company coffers.
While it’s an auspicious problem for a company to have, exploding user bases and, in turn, significant increases in data production require companies to move fast to scale their databases. Naturally, processing these transactions can be stressful and ridiculously challenging depending on infrastructure and available resources.
More established players had to create ad hoc, internal solutions to solve these problems, but not every company is fortunate to have the available capital that scaling demands. That’s where ScaleBase comes in. As one might expect, high-growth and increasingly active spaces like online gaming and digital media represent big market opportunities for the company.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Another day, another database company on my radar. This one’s a little different, though.
ScaleBase, a Newton, MA, startup that is trying to enhance the capabilities of existing databases, has raised a $10.5 million Series B funding round led by Bain Capital Ventures and Ascent Venture Partners. Previous investor Cedar Fund also participated in the round, which brings ScaleBase’s total funding to about $15 million.
The startup also announced a new CEO as of today, Ram Metser, who joined ScaleBase as executive chairman in June. Metser, the former CEO of Guardium (acquired by IBM in 2009), succeeds Doron Levari, the founder and now chief technology officer of ScaleBase.
In the IT world, it seems everyone and their brother is trying to develop software that makes database systems (such as MySQL) more scalable and able to handle the explosion of queries and transactions coming through new Web and mobile apps. ScaleBase does this by taking a virtualization approach to managing database loads, so that businesses can still use their existing infrastructure and applications. That’s the idea, anyway. Its big customers include Autodesk and Mozilla.
To read the rest of the article, click here.
Newton startup Scalebase, whose software aims to enable Web firms to rapidly grow their databases, on Wednesday announced a $10.5 million Series B round that includes new backers Bain Capital Ventures and Ascent Venture Partners. The two Boston-based venture capital firms were joined by existing backer Cedar Fund of Israel and Waltham in the round, the company said.
Scalebase also announced that its new CEO is Ram Metser, formerly chief executive of Waltham database security firm Guardium, acquired by IBM (NYSE: IBM) in 2009 for a reported $225 million. Metser had served as executive chairman at Scalebase since the spring.
The company was founded in 2010 by Doron Levari, who’d held the CEO role and is now the firm’s CTO.
In an interview, Metser said Scalebase’s middleware is targeted at companies with explosive growth in both their creation of data and the size of their user base. Those companies face challenges around scaling their databases to process all of the transactions, and can see their growth held back as a result, he said.
“Companies like Facebook had to deal with this problem before Scalebase existed, so they solved the problem with internal resources, and invested a lot,” Metser said. “We are solving this problem for the next companies that are like that — that have massive data growth, and growth to hundreds of thousands of users very quickly.”
To read the rest of the article, click here.
MySQL database management tool ScaleBase virtualizes MySQL database, spreading database load into smaller bite-size chunks
As an open source company, Mozilla developers make a lot of different versions of software code each day, and part of Sheeri Cabral’s job to keep track of them all: which ones work, which don’t, how many times they’ve been downloaded, and which have a bug that needs to be fixed.
To do that, the makers of the Firefox browser have a MySQL database, the common open source structured database system, which organizes the information in a table format. A few months ago Cabral, who is a database administrator and architect for Mozilla and a MySQL community contributor, began running into issues as the database grew to over 100GB. “If that database doesn’t work, the downloads aren’t available,” she says, emphasizing the importance of the database.
Typically the solution to such a problem is to throw more compute capacity at the server housing the database, or potentially switching from hard drive spinning disks to solid state drives, says Paul Burns, an analyst at Neovise. But Cabral found a different solution: Instead of having this one single database, Mozilla has in effect virtualized its database by splitting it up into a group of clusters, each holding a portion of the database. Using technology from a company named ScaleBase, now when a query is made the ScaleBase software identifies the cluster where the data is stored so that the entire database doesn’t have to be searched. This speeds performance without adding additional hardware. “This is not an easy thing to do,” Cabral says, “but they seem to have done it and it’s working.”
To read the rest of the article, please click here.
AppDynamics picks ScaleBase for sharding over Clusterix
Find out why application performance management company AppDynamics chose ScaleBase over the other scaling/sharding technologies.Read the Full Casestudy Here
Scalebase was recently mentioned in Paul Burns article, ‘Shard’ Your Database & Speed Analytics Processing, on All Analytics.com
Check around, and you’ll see a small but growing number of companies — as well as open-source offerings — that deliver various types of sharding support. Some companies provide automatic sharding, which removes the difficulty of partitioning a database into shards. ScaleBase, for example, provides automated sharding and a platform that isolates applications from any changes. This means analytics applications can take advantage of sharded databases without any code changes.
Read the full article to learn more about database sharding and how this technique can help boost performance of your analytics environment.
Take a closer look at Mass High Tech’s recent ScaleBase article: ScaleBase ramps up sales, expects new funding