Monthly Archives: September 2013

Introducing zBase – an elastic fluid open source NoSQL engine

Today Zynga announced the open source project zBase.

zBase represents a multi-year effort to create an elastic storage infrastructure that is optimized for gaming. And not only is this unique for gaming, it represents a unique entrant in the storage space.

zBase delivers the unique combination of excellent write performance, scale-up and crucially to gaming scale-down, storage efficiency and operational efficiency. Gaming, uniquely in the web-space, requires a storage infrastructure that allows for significant and simple fluidity in location and capacity and performance. And zBase delivers on that.

Zynga, in 2009, had the world’s largest NoSQL database put together out of memcache + mysql  + memqueue + php scripts. We built our business on an infrastructure that required at least two full time employees monitoring and running the storage per-game, it’s efficiency was suspect, and it’s robustness was notorious…

Cadir Lee had the vision to look at that infrastructure and replace it with an engineered solution. He wanted a solution that worked well with backups, allowed for incremental growth, protected against data corruption and does not require as much manual support to work.

The zBase team working in India, and at times with the CouchBase team, for almost four years, turned the vision into reality. There were some false starts along the way, a lot of incremental value delivered along the way  and some pain and misery, but that team delivered a great solution.

As I survey the broader tech eco-system, zBase represents a unique contribution to the storage/NoSQL infrastructure space and I am delighted that Zynga has decided to open source the technology.

How to change the future

Business Insider ran this article today that caught my eye:

5 time travel questions to ask Google 

The idea is suppose you end up 10 years into the future, what would you ask Google before you came back?

This got me intrigued, beyond the obvious avarice inducing questions which presume biological and physical determinism that I reject because I believe in free will, what would you ask that could change the future?

And what I realized is that if you look at science, there is about a twenty year time horizon between an idea being valuable and an idea turning into a commercialized success. And so what I could do to change the future would be to find out what was novel in the future 10 year future, and bring it back thus moving humanity 10 years in some disciplines.

The question is which disciplines and where to get that information?

If I could bring backward some idea, in what discipline would it be?

The first practical challenge would be that I know a tiny sliver of human thought… and I am aware of a tiny amount of real science… So if I was going to time travel, before I got into my device, I would do some research about where to go to ask the questions. Then armed with those disciplines and and places to ask I would go ask.

Now suppose I found myself thrust forward in time due to a rift in the space-time continuum and I had only a few moments, I suppose I would ask

  1. Top ten breakthroughs in physics 2023
  2. Top ten breakthroughs in medicine 2023
  3. Top papers in computer science
  4. Key note speech siggraph
  5. top y-combinator 2023

quickly copy the results and head back to the past, and hopefully, somewhere somehow someone could use that data to move the human race 10 years faster than anticipated…