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.

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