Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Schooner Membrain™ 4.0 is released

Schooner’s rapid enhancements and continuous development has resulted in the release of Membrain 4.0. It is now generally available and can be deployed in production environments.

Membrain 4.0 highlights:
  • Increase from 512 GB to 1 TB (1024 GB) in the amount of flash memory supported on each x86 server
  • Full-featured graphical user interface (GUI) for easier management and monitoring of the Membrain instances 
  • Support for monitoring instances of stock memcached, which are often used in conjunction with flash-optimized Membrain 
  • Upgraded installer 
  • Upgraded remote diagnostics tool 
  • Support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 and CentOS 6.2

Read the press release                                                                                

As this is my first blog post on Membrain, let me give you a brief overview on the technology and its benefits.

Brief Overview
Memcache is a distributed memory caching system that is widely used to speed up dynamic web applications by alleviating database load. But there are several limitations-
  • Data is not persistent (cached data is lost if memcache server goes down)
  • No replication or failover mechanism
  • Cached data is limited to the memory available (in most cases 64GB)
  • No effective monitoring, management GUI tool with backup utility

But Schooner Membrain addresses all of the above issues. It is a flash optimized multi-threaded key-vale store providing high performance coupled with synchronous replication and persistent caching.

Membrain is based on the standard memcached protocol and API, which is 100% compatible.
Integrating Schooner Membrain into your Memcached environment is simply a matter of adding the Schooner’s network interfaces to the configuration files of your Memcached clients. No need to alter your application client code unless you require data persistence.

Membrain server can be used as a standard cache or backend storage medium.One can turn off the persistence if they require just a standard cache.

Membrain Benefits

Persistent Data Store
Schooner Membrain provides the ability for users to store the cached data on either fusion IO or any other PCI-e based flash memory or SSD for persistence. Data is safe even if there is a power outage.

High Availability
It provides high availability through synchronous replication and auto failover. Two Membrain servers can be configured as a mirrored pair, in which data to one server are replicated to the other. If one server in the pair goes down, the other transparently assumes its VIPs and serves its clients.

Membrain supports the creation of multiple virtual storage domains called “containers” to provide fine-grained control over cached resources.
Containers provide isolation and policy control, yet efficiently share processor, DRAM, and flash resources. It can support up to 128 dynamic containers.

Protects against Data Corruption or Data Loss
Many applications need to back up the contents of key-value store to recover from user errors or application-driven data corruption. Membrain supports full and incremental backup and restore of persistent containers to hard disk drives.

Robust GUI
Membrain includes an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI) that allows all aspects of configuration, monitoring, management and maintenance that can be performed with intuitive screens and menus.

Huge Consolidation
Membrain can consolidate large number of nodes to fewer nodes.
For example, an application may require a total of 1 TB of memory to achieve a targeted hit rate. If a typical Memcached server has 64 GB of DRAM, this application would require 16 nodes to get the required capacity. Spreading the client workload across 16 nodes results in poor processor and network utilization (<10%). With Membrain one can have the entire working set of the application to be hosted on a single node, enabling balanced use of processor and networking resources leading to huge consolidation.

Download Schooner Membrain white paper below to know more details

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