Aerospike: An Open Source, Flash-Optimized, In-memory, NOSQL Database

Date:   Thursday , December 11, 2014

Aerospike, the first distributed database built to take advantage of flash storage, represents the next generation of caching technologies, in-memory technologies and NoSQL databases. It delivers RAM like speed with the economics of flash or solid state drives (SSDs). It is often used to replace memcache, redis deployments that need to scale without having to deal with sharding and cassandra deployments that need predictable performance with significantly smaller, more cost effective clusters.

Aerospike was founded to make database technology previously only available within the walls of Internet giants like google, available to all developers. The company was founded in 2009, first customer deployments went live in 2010, and the company open sourced it\'s proven technology in 2014.

Rapid Scaling
In a short amount of time, Aerospike has been recognized as a leader and a visionary by industry analysts. It used as a cache at e-commerce and retail companies like SnapDeal, Williams Sonoma and Kayak and Aerospike has become the database of choice in real-time bidding - new internet infrastructure - for holding an auction to determine who can place an ad in front of a consumer. This is an eco-system of internet wide platform companies like AppNexus, Inmobi, Chango, eXelate and others that are personalizing consumer experiences across web, mobile, video, search, gaming, social media and other properties.
These platforms operate at millions of transactions per second and process tens of terabytes of data in order to track big data or user context -every click, swipe and user action on the internet - in order to understand what the user wants and respond with relevant and personalized offers in milli-seconds. The entire real-time bidding process, from the time a user clicks on a web page to the time that the page is painted, along with personalized messages, offers or ads, is about 100 milliseconds. This means that every entity in the process - the publisher or supply side platform, the ad network, the ad exchange, the demand side platform and data management platforms - has just 5-10 milliseconds in which to determine what data they have and decide whether to bid, how much to bid and if the auction is won, what offer to put in front of a consumer.

Modern Stack
Companies using big data to sense and respond are adopting a new stack - first, a tier of stateless web application servers that scale up and down based on consumer demand. Next, Aerospike, the front edge, operational database, used as a server side cookie store or session store, for device id mapping and user context. It also contains additional data processed in and loaded from the third tier - relational databases or analytic systems like Hadoop or Vertica.

MySQL to NoSQL to Next Gen NoSQL
Developers often go from mySQL to NoSQL for scale, but some popular NoSQL databases promote high performance, but still require a cache to solve problems with simultaneous reads and writes. Many caches don\'t scale easily either; they have unsophisticated persistence models, and require an all-RAM build out with costs that can escalate rapidly.
\"Aerospike database technology is centered around row-based random access with indexes in memory and data in memory or on SSD (solid-state drive) storage. This along with a proprietary log structured file system built for flash, ensures consistent high performance for a new generation of internet scale apps,\" adds Srini V. Srinivasan, Founder & VP Engineering & Ops of Aerospike.

Startup Special
Aerospike customers like AppNexus now have $1Bilion valuations and others have been acquired by eBay, Yahoo! and Twitter. In order to support innovation, Aerospike not only open sourced it\'s technology, but is now making it\'s Enterprise edition available free to startups. As this revolutionary technology spreads, the company expects to see more applications emerge that were previously deemed not possible or not economically viable.