Memcached is an open source, high-performance, distributed memory caching system used in data centres around the world. Eighty-five percent of top web sites, such as Wikipedia, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, and approximately fifty percent of the top 5,000 sites use the technology. Additionally, many public and private Cloud providers have Memcached installed to provide faster access to content that resides in storage systems.
Although this popular caching system works well, today's ever increasing network traffic and rapidly growing datasets are presenting throughput and scalability challenges. In order to keep Memcached response times low, organisations are adding more servers. Yet adding more servers causes a different challenge. As the number of servers increase, the number of Memcached instances increase, causing a cascading amount of requests. At a certain point, these requests overwhelm the network and actually decrease throughput.
Instead of adding servers, Convey believes that a better approach is to increase the performance of the servers themselves, allowing each server to service more requests. Convey's Memcached appliance does just that - dramatically increasing throughput and reducing latency in a single platform.
The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, installed a Convey HC Memcached appliance in July of this year. "Data-enabled science puts extreme pressure on storage systems and intelligent use of tiered storage is an essential strategy to maintain throughput and minimize latency", stated SDSC Director, Mike Norman. "Convey's Memcached appliances accelerate a key layer of the storage hierarchy, delivering high throughput even under heavy loads."
According to Bruce Toal, CEO of Convey, the selection of a Convey HC Memcached appliance by SDSC is significant. "Accelerated access to data enables better science and faster analytics. As a leader in data-intensive computing, SDSC provides resources, services and expertise to the national research community. Were pleased to see such a prestigious organisation use our innovative, hybrid-core technology."
The Convey HC Memcached appliance is based on Convey's proven hybrid-core technology, combining the economies and programmability of industry standard processors with the performance and efficiency of a
hardware-based, application-specific design. Performance-critical portions of the Memcached server are accelerated directly in hardware - providing seven to ten times the throughput of a contemporary multi-core server while maintaining sub-millisecond response time.
The Convey accelerated Memcached appliance is completely transparent to the rest of the cluster; one appliance can be a direct plug-in replacement for multiple conventional Memcached commodity servers. The appliance runs standard Linux, supports standard fabric interfaces, and is easy to deploy and incorporate into a typical data centre.
The Convey memcached appliance not only achieves order of magnitude performance increases, it also saves money on infrastructure, power, cooling, and maintenance costs. When used as nodes in a cluster, the appliance delivers substantially better performance per watt than conventional servers.
Replacing multiple racks of commodity servers with a single rack of Convey systems reduces OS instances, cabling, floor space, and other infrastructure costs. Total three-year cost of ownership can be reduced by sixty to eighty percent.