GenieDB is one of the newer and smaller NewSQL companies. GenieDB’s story is focused on wide-area replication and uptime, coupled to claims about ease and the associated low TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).
GenieDB is in my same family of clients as Cirro.
The GenieDB product is more interesting if we conflate the existing GenieDB Version 1 and a soon-forthcoming (mid-year or so) Version 2. On that basis:
- GenieDB has three tiers.
- GenieDB’s top tier is the usual MySQL front-end.
- GenieDB’s bottom tier is either Berkeley DB or a conventional MySQL storage engine.
- GenieDB’s bottom tier stores your entire database at every node.
- If you replicate locally, GenieDB’s middle tier operates a distributed cache.
- If you replicate wide-area, GenieDB’s middle tier allows active-active/multi-master replication.
The heart of the GenieDB story is probably wide-area replication. Specifics there include:
- Lamport clock.
- Self-healing technology to detect errors and out-of-sync conditions, and to request data retransmission accordingly.
- VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to tie the whole thing together.
Obviously, replicating the whole database to every node imposes some limitations, most notably:
- GenieDB database sizes are limited to what fits well on a node — unless, for example, some transparent sharding technology is added to the mix.
- GenieDB doesn’t offer the regulatory compliance benefits of partitioning data in line with its geographical origin.
However, GenieDB does offer:
- Redundancy among cloud data centers.
- Response-time benefits of keeping data close to the user.
- Support for occasionally-connected topologies. (The example GenieDB cites is oil rigs.)
Oddly, I can’t find any notes on GenieDB company particulars. But I think GenieDB’s employee count is in the teens and a couple of customer sites are going into production just around now. Technically, I don’t think GenieDB has raised a Series A round yet; but Stuart Frost is involved, and his fund-raising skills are exemplary.