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NuoDB launches new cloud-friendly database

The company's approach combines traditional relational database features with ones aimed at today's changing workloads

Startup NuoDB is hoping to position itself as having the ideal database for the post-cloud world, now that its Cloud Data Management System is generally available.

NuoDB made the announcement on Tuesday during a webcast event. Some 3,500 customers participated in the beta program for NuoDB, according to the company.

The CDMS constitutes a "modern superset of a relational database," said NuoDB co-founder and CEO Barry Morris. NuoDB's design principles follow a set of 12 rules for next-generation databases, Morris said. Among them are the ability to run anywhere, elastic scalability, nonstop availability, a single logical database and distributed security, according to the company.Workload requirements have changed in recent years, especially due to the rise in mobile devices, Morris said. The number of networked devices will only grow further in coming years, he added. "And what will they be talking to? Databases."

Dassault Systemes, maker of 3D design software, has tested NuoDB on its Web and desktop applications extensively over the past year, said CTO Dave Tewksbary. In a presentation, Tewksbary went through NuoDB's list of feature and performance claims and gave the company strong passing grades.

However, Dassault focused on smaller implementations of the database during its tests, according to Tewksbary. "We haven't gone as far as we'd like to go." Given the complexity of Dassault's products, officials are eager to see how NuoDB performs when running on hundreds or thousands of nodes.

NuoDB also sought to project an aura of simplicity and pain-free administration over its product, even while touting its speed and power. In a demonstration, a NuoDB engineer showed how a user could download the database, install it and have a database up and running in minutes.

Later, he demonstrated how additional nodes could be added to the system as scalability was needed, via a mouse click.

NuoDB's software underwent a Yahoo Cloud Serving Benchmark test and achieved 1 million transactions per second across 24 nodes. The company is issuing a challenge to other database vendors, saying they should offer similar performance on US$50,000 worth of standard hardware.

NuoDB has run its database on "much more than 24 machines," Morris said, although he didn't provide a specific figure.

The CDMS can be used in concert with other stack components, such as an application server, just like any other relational database, according to Morris.

It is also "free forever at the low end" of usage, Morris said. As users' implementations get bigger, they'll be charged license fees, he said.

The free edition allows up to two hosts and 4GB of data. The paid Pro edition starts at US$1,200 per year. A developer subscription is also available at no charge, but doesn't allow production deployments.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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