SQL gets supercharged with C++
Facebook alumni launch ‘world’s fastest database’ with backing from Ashton Kutcher
Ex-Facebook engineers Eric Frenkiel and Nikita Shamgunov
today announced the
launch of MemSQL, an in-memory database system claiming to be “30x
times faster than conventional databases on disk”. Utilising
familiar elements such as SQL-style queries and the standard MySQL
API, MemSQL boosts performance by storing data in main memory and
processing it in parallel, much like some NoSQL solutions.
The startup certainly isn’t shying away from the limelight, claiming in bold text on the front page of its site that MemSQL is “THE WORLD’S FASTEST DATABASE”. The hype has already impressed a group of institutional and individual investors -- including Dude, Where's My Car? star Ashton Kutcher and venture firms First Round Capital and New Enterprise Associates -- who furnished MemSQL with $2.1m in seed capital back in March 2011. The company has raised a total of $5m to date.
Speaking to GigaOm, Frenkiel compares it to HipHop, Facebook’s internal (but open source) PHP compiler, which converts the scripting language into optimised C++. We’ve definitely heard good things about HipHop -- during a session at IPC Spring in Berlin earlier this month, Facebook’s Sara Golemon waxed lyrical about its efficiency, claiming that it allowed the company to delay a massive server upgrade and save a significant amount of money.
While today’s press release is datelined from San Francisco, MemSQL also maintains an office in New York, and it looks like it's focusing on the financial sector for at least some of its initial customers. “The solution is ideal for applications that require fast processing of machine data, including financial services”, claims the company -- to top things off, the corporate website features the Manhattan skyline as a panoramic background.
We’ll wait for the initial hype to die down before passing definitive judgement on MemSQL, but it certainly looks like an interesting initial product, sitting comfortably in the niche between MySQL: familiarity and NoSQL performance and scalability. One to keep an eye on . . .