NorthScale at Zynga: Leveraging Memcached’s New Storage Engine API to Create New Solutions for Production Challenges

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Location: Ballroom H Level: Novice

Everyone knows memcached is useful for alleviating database load. What may be less well known is that memcached’s new storage engine API allows you to create new solutions for myriad needs, building on what makes memcached fast and simple. This discussion of the storage engine API includes a case study of its use at Zynga, where NorthScale Membase Server is the key-value database behind FarmVille.

In this session, NorthScale technologists Matt Ingenthron and Dustin Sallings, both contributors to the open source memcached project, will explain the architectural approach of memcached’s new storage engine API, and how it enables you to write purpose-built storage engines to solve a variety of site-specific production challenges, such as:

  • Current cache behavior.
  • Hybrid RAM/SSD storage.
  • Persistent storage mapping to other underlying mechanisms.
  • Access control mechanisms in multi-user environments.
  • Other trade-offs for size/performance/etc…

They will also provide a specific example of a storage engine that was developed to create a key-value database, which is now being packaged and delivered as NorthScale Membase Server. The session will highlight how Zynga, whose games draw more than 235 million active users per month, relies on NorthScale Membase Server as the database behind Farmville and Café World. According to Cadir Lee, Chief Technology Officer at Zynga, "We expect to improve the performance and availability of our games while reducing hardware and administration costs as we continue to transition data from relational databases to NorthScale Membase technology.”

  • Sponsored by NorthScale

Dustin Sallings


Dustin is a core committer for memcached, and the creator and maintainer of spymemcached, the high-performance memcached client for Java. Previously, Dustin was half of the performance engineering team and core developer of the ecommerce engine. Later, he was the lead engineer responsible for scaling 2Wire’s device network infrastructure enabling it to manage and monitor millions of distributed devices, while simultaneously supporting the continuous addition of features to the system.

Blog and projects:
Twitter: @dlsspy

Photo of Matt Ingenthron

Matt Ingenthron

Couchbase, Inc.

Matt is an experienced web architect with a software development background. He has deep expertise in building, scaling and operating global-scale Java, Ruby on Rails and AMP web applications by leveraging a variety of open source projects, including memcached. Prior to NorthScale, he was with Sun Microsystems where, as a Principal Technologist and member of Sun’s global field organization, he worked with some of the largest web properties in the United States, China, Japan and Korea.

  • Oracle
  • Monty Program
  • Calpont
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Infobright, Inc
  • JasperSoft
  • Joyent
  • Kickfire
  • NorthScale, Inc.
  • Percona
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Solid Quality Mentors (SolidQ)
  • Intel
  • Pentaho
  • Linux Pro Magazine

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