As you may have read, MemSQL recently released a community edition of its database software, an important and ambitious move for anyone interested in real-time data analytics. Here’s what you should know about it:
###A bit of background
Compared to other distributed databases, one of MemSQL’s advantages is that it can run on what is often referred to as “commoditized hardware” â€” in other words, your standard cloud-based servers. In practical terms, this means that you can for instance launch a MemSQL cluster directly on Amazon EC2.
This helped it gain popularity in the corporate world, with clients such as Comcast, Shutterstock and Zynga. In addition, it also boosted the startup’s profile among investors (it graduated from Y Combinator and raised a whopping $45 million to date). Still, the lack of a free offering beyond its trial period somewhat hindered its wider adoption.
###Community and enterprise editions
Enters the community edition, now available alongside MemSQL’s enterprise offering. Launched as part of MemSQL 4’s official release, it includes its latest features, such as geospatial data support. The best thing about it? It is entirely free, forever, with unlimited scale and capacity.
“Now anyone, from enterprises to developers, can access MemSQL to achieve the speed and scalability needed to process and analyze real-time data,” the company celebrated on its blog.
If you wonder why enterprises would still bother to get the paid version, it’s for premium features that matter a lot to them. For example, the enterprise edition guarantees high availability and cross data center replication to protect against downtime and data loss. It also offers advanced user permission management and 24x7 support.
While premium features are undoubtedly crucial to anyone handling critical deployments within a large organization, the community edition should still be more than enough to cover your basic needs when it comes to big data analytics.
Interestingly, the startup’s FAQ itself points out that there are use cases for which MemSQL is not designed. Among other things, it is not adapted to run on low hardware. Nor is it meant to run as a library or in an embedded manner. After all, it’s big data oriented.
However, this still leaves plenty of room for experimentation:
“MemSQL excels at real-time and high throughput query use cases. It is a great general purpose database for running both transactional and analytic workloads in many use cases,” its website boasts.
If you want to check it out for yourself, you can download MemSQL’s free community edition here; don’t hesitate to let us know how you are using it.