Memcached Appliances Ahoy!I'm particularly encouraged by the last week's frenzy of Appliance Startup Announcements:
- Schooner Information Technologies coming out of stealth with MySQL and Memcached appliances.
- Gear6 launching their own Memcached appliances.
- Virident launching their MySQL and Memcached appliances.
Open Protocols Make It PossibleWhat makes this possible (particularly that everybody's targetting the currently very-much-in-vogue Memcached) is that there is a standard protocol. While the memcached protocol isn't a de jure standard, it is a de facto standard, and one that at this point is unlikely to change given the amount of software doing interesting things with it as a protocol. It's only a matter of time before we see the same types of innovation in messaging or anything else for that matter if you can define a stable network interface to it. If you can define an open protocol (whether de facto or de jure), you can build an appliance to serve it. And it would probably be a better quality of service than rolling your own on top of the same hardware and OS combination. Systems which are heavily I/O bound (messaging, databases, network caches) benefit greatly from advanced tuning of the entire stack from hardware through to application code. Thus, they make sense to optimize holistically, whether you're using general purpose hardware or specialized hardware. Appliance vendors can do this. Generic software vendors have to rely on teaching their customers how to do it.
Cloud Hardware CombinationThe one problem with this move going forward is that you can't do it with Cloud Computing, because you don't have access to the physical environment and can't put your own hardware in place. And there's a lot of stuff you can't do as a result:
- Appliances like Schooner, much less ultra-high performance messaging brokers like Tervela or Solace
- Direct network connections to the proprietary or specific network of your choice.
- Storage optimization through the use of any type of Flash acceleration
- Anything requiring significant local bandwidth on a single box
Footnotes: Meta-note: haven't been posting recently, even with the AMQP F2F and Solace announcements, because I've been busy working on some big stuff that I can't talk about at all yet. If it happens, I'll let my adoring public know.
: Because Red Point, which backed Radik in the past, funded them in their Series A. I like to see what they're investing in.