Version 3 of FoundationDB's Key-Value Store database announced

FoundationDB wants developers to stop reaching for a traditional RDBMS as the answer to every data management problem.

FoundationDB®, a database supplier offering a key-value store database that brings exciting concepts from the past into today's Web- and Cloud-oriented world (see FoundationDB: Back to the future with key-value store and FoundationDB adds SQL personality to its database for more information about the company) recently launched a new version of its product. This version was designed to improve the performance, reliability, and scalability to support very large scale computing environments and continue enhancing the database's support of layers.

Here's what the company says about version 3

Here's how FoundationDB describes the new features found in FoundationDB version 3.0.

  • Unparalleled performance - Version 3.0 of the Key Value Store sets a new bar in transactional workload performance. It is the fastest, most scalable, transactional database in the cloud with a 32-machine cluster running on Amazon EC2 sustaining more than 11,000,000 random writes per second.
  • All layers benefit - With FoundationDB's "layered" architecture, the benefits of 3.0's performance and scalability gains translate seamlessly to all layers. This means that SQL, Graph, and even customer's custom layers all get faster, more scalable, and lower latency without any code changes.
  • Enhanced centralized monitoring - 3.0 introduces enhanced centralized database monitoring. These improved tools make it easy for operations teams to manage and run databases in the real world. Rather than just monitoring each machine in the cluster, FoundationDB is able to diagnose dozens of potential hardware bottlenecks centrally and easily integrate that high-level info with existing monitoring infrastructures.
  • IoT market expansion - 3.0 expands FoundationDB's market opportunity to support a new realm of applications for the rising Internet of Things market. IoT applications are often write-intensive, gathering dozens or hundreds of data points per minute from millions of devices. Version 3.0 makes the power of a multi-model, ACID transactional database available to a set of new connected-device applications that are generating data at previously unheard of speed.

Snapshot Analysis

Let's get around all of the hype in FoundationDB's release and get to the point. Relational databases have been pressed into service in many applications because it has become a tradition, not because it is the best or most cost effective tool in the shed. I suspect this is because many developers were trained to use relational databases and now see the world though that lens. I'm reminded of something Abraham Maslow once said "If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail."

Other approaches to database management can be more cost effective, offer better performance in some applications, be more reliable and also use system resources much better. FoundationDB, and a number of other "No-SQL" or "Big Data" databases demonstrate this when they discuss impressive customer success stories.

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The challenge developers often face is that they're familiar with the leading RDBMS products and really don't have the time to examine in detail the differences other database tools bring to the table. So, they continue to force a square rod into a round hole.

FoundationDB, through its layers feature, has sought to bring the benefits of a different database architecture to the market while still offering developers a familiar view of their data. Behind the scenes, the database engine supporting their workloads is really much more flexible, more efficient and can support higher levels of performance, reliability and now, very high levels of scalability.

As with other database tools, FoundationDB's approach isn't the best answer to every question. It does, however, answer many Big Data and operational data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) and even transactional questions very well.

FoundationDB is offering a free version of their product. If you're a database guru, it would be wise to download a copy and see for yourself where it fits into your IT infrastructure.

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