Applications drive the global economy. With gateway devices like phones and tablets providing instant online access, applications bring us a rich variety of digital services that range from retail to travel, cinema, pharma and what have you.
Designed to meet new needs, they must have the hallmarks of high responsiveness, personalized experience, 100% uptime, support for real-time activities, security, and compatibility to run in multiple environments, from cloud to edge. Even the smallest erosion in any of these parameters raises questions about their usefulness.
“What customers are looking to do is deliver killer application experiences to their users. That means the applications need to be personalized, they need to be available anywhere, so it often incurs mobile considerations,” commented Jeff Morris, VP of Product Marketing at Couchbase, at their recent presentation at the Cloud Field Day event in Boston.
Couchbase is motivated to clear the obstacles that lie in its customers’ way. Its solution is a multimodel database that packs power, performance, and flexibility required to power cutting-edge applications. Couchbase markets it as a single solution to replace multiple legacy solutions.
A Need to Uplevel
Modern applications have ignited a scramble to modernize legacy infrastructures to facilitate accelerated development, reduce costs and support developers’ skills.
“The applications are now starting to move into cloud deployments, away from datacenters, and even in many cases, away from their own self-managed clouds. What these companies are telling us right now are that their cloud bills are becoming extraordinary, and they want to help the developers be able to build better applications faster, support their best practices like CI/CD, and avoid building complex architectures that end up sprawling data,” he added.
Specifically, they are faced with a crisis around databases. As they rush to deliver applications, they worry that their databases aren’t up to the task, making meeting high levels of performance and flexibility that accumulate to the desired digital experience a frustrating struggle.
Developers are stuck with databases that fail to deliver microsecond responses, and a slow-burning complexity problem weighs the process down. And the rate at which the infrastructure is ratcheting up their cloud spend, organizations are distressed that even more dollars will be squeezed out in the process of upgrading it.
Another shortfall of antiquated solutions is excessive resource consumption that has made it too costly for companies to afford them. Couchbase argues that in the tug of war between spending more dollars and sacrificing quality of service, organizations can win if they can achieve a higher degree of technical sophistication.
A Modern Database for Modern Applications
Couchbase was born when two companies – Membase, the developers of the Memcached project, a high-performance, in-memory, key-value store, and CouchOne, the proprietors of Apache CouchDB – merged. Leveraging these technologies, the platform provides high levels of performance and breakthrough cost economics, while supporting a broad range of computing applications.
Couchbase is a NoSQL cloud database whose biggest strength is high-volume transactions. “We are the original multimodel database combining in-memory key-value access with a JSON flexibility, kind of a document store,” said Mr. Morris.
Being multimodel makes it adaptable to multiple data technologies that developers can mix and match and compose as needed. They can use SQL – a language they know – for query access, while storing data as JSON, a format preferred for its high level of interoperability and ease of parsing and generating.
Couchbase has a managed cache built into it that enables a memory-first architecture which is fundamental to delivering lightning-fast performance and microsecond latency.
It is an in-memory key-value database that promises drastically improved performance of reads and writes. Storing data in the RAM which is inherently many times faster than disk enables it to deliver supremely faster reads for both sequential data and random access data.
“Customers need the flexibility of a JSON database and a multimodel system to supply great features to these applications,” he said. These capabilities include query tools, streaming and eventing, analytics on active data, multi-record transactions, and geographic replication.
With built-in cache, Couchbase assimilates all these capabilities into a single solution. Couchbase tops them with add-on features like schema constructs for flexibility, a native search tool for the environment, operational analytics for aggregating and processing data, and automatic cluster to cluster replication as well as synchronization of mobile and IoT devices.
There is also a lightweight version of this for mobile applications – “We have our own mobile database called Couchbase Lite which is basically the big database boiled down to something that runs on your Android or Apple or whatever embedded system you need,” he said.
The biggest benefit, he pointed out, is that by choosing Couchbase, organizations can sidestep using an assortment of databases and eliminate redundant infrastructure.
“You can eliminate a lot of redundant data and dataset that you’re moving around, or replicating between these data stores and really simplify and reduce the complexity of your architecture and of your environment,” assured Mr. Morris.
With less data duplication and reduced sprawl, it’s much easier and faster to maintain the infrastructure. This keeps costs of operation and infrastructure low, while making it possible for developers to work faster.
With its granular resource scaling, Couchbase can take each service and allocate the right environmental resource to it for the application to perform at its peak.
“It’s really easy to get involved with Couchbase, and in fact if you know SQL, it’s really easy to get on board with it.”
In a world where applications drive industries and societies, a slow app means that it has outlived its usefulness. Therefore, it is non-negotiable that they perform efficiently at scale. The Couchbase database platform addresses the inefficiencies of traditional databases by embracing an approach that helps drive up the value of the applications. It impresses by delivering the speed and scale that otherwise take several legacy databases to match, making other contemporary solutions look archaic.