Tony Bain

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Groovy Baby, Yeah

July 11, 2009 | Tony Bain

Groovy Corp put out a press release last night that starts the official launch of their SQL Switch relational database platform.

I have been speaking with Groovy for a few months, and while the press release is a bit noisy there is actually some interesting stuff in it.

First, an overview

  • They are an in memory RDBMS
  • They have worked with Intel to architect from the ground up for large multi processor concurrency
  • Initially they are launching as a multi-core appliance
  • They claim 200,000 sql operations per second from a single box
  • They are proprietary (not built on MySQL or any other open source database) which means they have had a lot of control around their architecture
  • They are a pretty cool company with some interesting people

So one of their key claims to fame is they can be a lot faster & cheaper than a traditional RDBMS.  In some case significantly so, expect more on this.

But, this is only part of the story.  The bit which has been getting them traction around Silicon Valley, and has rocketed them into relevance, has been their real time focus.  They have developed a push extension to SQL where the RDBMS actually pushes data out as and when required out through the real time layers of the application stack (Ajax, XMPP etc).  This removes the need for the high volume database refreshing/polling queries, these queries currently sit under everything that calls itself “real-time” today when a RDBMS is involved.  If you want to know more about why, you may be interested in this post I wrote a little while back.

I do know that anyone who is big on the web and is focused on real time is checking them out.  While it is early days for them, I think they tick the unique and innovative boxes which are key requirements to staking some ground in the highly active database market.

I will follow with some more technical info.

UPDATE: If you are at the TechCrunch real time event today, check them out.  They are running the bar, their slogan for this is "the only thing refreshing is the beer".