Ex-Facebook developers come up with something useful

Two ex-developers from the social notworking site Facebook developers have built a new database which they claim goes like the clappers compared to MySQL.

According to TechCrunch, Eric Frenkiel and Nikita Shamgunov, have developed MemSQL and claim it is thirty times faster than normal disk-based databases.

The pair used techniques they had used at Facebook. This involved translating the code into C++, so avoiding the need to use a slow SQL interpreter. Data is kept in memory, with disk read/writes taking place in the background.

Shamgunov worked for Microsoft SQL Server for six years and has several patents to his name so is quite well known in the wonderful world of storage.

He has put together a video showing MySQL versus MemSQL carrying out a sequence of queries, in which MySQL performs at around 3,500 queries per second, while MemSQL achieves around 80,000 queries per second.

So far the outfit has yet to show the database running Transaction Processing Performance Council tests. MemSQL gets most of its speed from being memory based, but that has problems when it comes to size limits and potential data loss.

MemSQL writes back to disk/SSD as soon as the transaction is acknowledged in memory. It is that, and a combination of write-ahead logging and snapshotting ensures your data is secure.

The company claims that MemSQL handles terabyte-scale workloads by connecting MemSQL and MySQL nodes together, conferring real-time access for your most valuable data as well as long-term historical lookback.

It runs on 64 bit Linux, and is described as ideally suited for machines with multi-core processors and at least 8GB of RAM.