Couchbase in general, and CouchDB project founder Damien Katz in particular, are to some extent walking away from CouchDB. That is:
- The Couchbase product will not be upward compatible with CouchDB.
- Couchbase will no longer offer a CouchDB distribution, and is doing the natural and responsible thing, namely …
- … donating to the Apache Foundation the previously proprietary aspects of that distribution.
- All — or at least “all” — the code Couchbase offers will, at least for now, be open source.
The story unfolded in a bombshell post by Damien, and clarification follow-ups by Damien and by Couchbase CEO Bob Wiederhold. The meatiest of the three was probably Damien’s follow-up, in which he said, among other things:
… maybe I should explain why I think Couchbase is the future?
Simple Fast Elastic.
That’s pretty much it. …
The Membase product was very fast and scalable, but a bit too simple, with no reporting capability or cross-datacenter replication capability.
The CouchDB product has a lot of features, but is too slow, unable to keep up with high loads and inability scale-out on it’s own. …
Our 2.0 product is coming soon, adding CouchDB style views and reporting with a nifty trick for extremely fast failover while maintaining full coherency with the underling distributed data storage (we are calling it our B-Superstar index). We’ll of course have lighting fast reads (same as Memcached) but also very fast durable writes. For 2kb docs, we are currently getting sustained random insert/updates rates of 25k writes/sec, fully durable, with compaction in background so it can go all day and all night. We’ve got some more write work coming soon which we are hoping will give us another performance boost too before 2.0. Stay tuned …
And so while we focus on the features and customers that most quickly make us a viable business (and it’s growing fast), we are still looking to build the features and technology to expand our use cases and, get customers and developers excited. Future versions are planned to have full CouchDB compatible replication technology, with the ability to support all sorts of mobile and embedded databases, such as our new TouchDB projects for iOS and Android.
Meanwhile, in a separate blog post, Bob said that in 2011 Couchbase
… added thousands of open source deployments, as well as more than 150 paying customers who have put thousands of nodes into production throughout the year.