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Posted June 28, 2013

Couchbase 2.1 Improves Open Source NoSQL Database Health

By Sean Michael Kerner

Couchbase Inc is out this week with a new release of its namesake open source NoSQL database technology.

The new Couchbase 2.1 release builds on the improvements that first landed with the Couchbase 2.0 release in December 2012.

"Couchbase 2.0 was a huge release for us, and with that release we became a document database and we added cross data center replication, " Couchbase CEO Bob Weiderhold told Database Journal. "A lot of this release is about refining capabilities that we first delivered in the 2.0 release."

Rahim Yaseen, senior vice president of product development, explained that one of the key refinements comes by way of improvements in the caching tier of Couchbase. Couchbase is no stranger to caching and since its inception has integrated the memcached caching technology. Couchbase as a company was formed back in 2011 as a merger of CouchOne and Membase.

In the Couchbase 2.1 release, a multi-reader/writer dispatcher has been added. Yaseen explained that the new dispatcher improves the scalability of collapsed caching and data tier for the database.

"Previously, we were pretty darn good at low-latency, high-performance caching operations," Yaseen said. "Now we've made sure that the I/O channels are fully utilized and we have a thread pooling architecture that can support enormous amounts of data going back and forth from the disk to the cache."

As such, the in-memory caching capabilities are fully optimized with the on-disk data storage.

Cluster Management

Cluster management is getting a boost with new statistics gathering capabilities. The statistics have been improved to enable a Couchbase cluster to re-balance itself faster than previous releases.

Re-balancing is the cluster's ability to reconfigure itself for load balancing when a node is added or removed.

The Couchbase 2.1 release also includes an enhanced health check tool that provides better diagnostics on what's going on within a Couchbase deployment.

Couchbase lite

Moving forward, Yaseen said his company has big items that are set to land in coming releases. Those item include additional mobile support as well as the ability to support ultra large data sets.

In terms of release, the plan is to have updates every three to six months. The updates will include minor updates that deliver bug fixes and incremental updates as well as major releases that will include the big ticket roadmap items.

One of the major release components is likely to include the nascent Couchbase lite effort. Couchbase lite is currently an open source project on Github that aims to deliver a lightweight embedded, syncable NoSQL database engine for Apple IOS.

Weiderhold is very optimistic about the opportunity that Couchbase lite represents to his company.

"We just think we'll have a super solution for mobile developers," Weiderhold said. "Mobile developers already use Couchbase as a back-end database, but with some of the new capabilities in Couchbase lite, we think we will be head and shoulders above everyone else."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Database Journal and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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