The Druid real-time database moves to an Apache license

Druid, an open source database designed for real-time analysis, is moving to the Apache 2 software license in order to hopefully spur more use of and innovation around the project. It was open sourced in late 2012 under the GPL license, which is generally considered more restrictive than the Apache license in terms of how software can be reused.

Druid was created by advertising analytics startup Metamarkets (see disclosure) and is used by numerous large web companies, including eBay, Netflix, PayPal, Time Warner Cable and Yahoo. Because of the nature Metamarkets’ business, Druid requires data to include a timestamp and is probably best described as a time-series database. It’s designed to ingest terabytes of data per hour and is often used for things such as analyzing user or network activity over time.

Mike Driscoll, Metamarkets’ co-founder and CEO, is confident now is the time for open source tools to really catch on — even more so than they already have in the form of Hadoop and various NoSQL data stores — because of the ubiquity of software as a service and the emergence of new resource managers such as Apache Mesos. In the former case, open source technologies underpin multiuser applications that require a high degree of scale and flexibility on the infrastructure level, while in the latter case databases like Druid are just delivered as a service internally from a company’s pool of resources.

However it happens, Driscoll said, “I don’t think proprietary databases have long for this world.”

Disclosure: Metamarkets is a portfolio company of True Ventures, which is also an investor in Gigaom.

MemSQL throws a curve, adds column store on flash

MemSQL, the database startup from two former Facebook engineers, has already raised a lot of money and roped in some big customers. Now it’s looking to broaden its footprint with a flash-optimized columnar store to complement its in-memory row-based one.

Grad students fuse flash and FPGAs for fast data processing

A pair of MIT graduate students is working on an interesting system they think can help speed the process of analyzing data without putting it on expensive DRAM. The project uses a cluster of flash drives to store the data, with each one connected to a field-programmable gate array, or FPGA. The FPGA is really the key because it can perform calculations on the data in place before it’s sent over the network to the main processor. The architecture could potentially underpin a functional interactive database system for budget-conscious, data-heavy fields such as science.

Fast-growing database startup MemSQL raises $35M

Database startup MemSQL has been on fire since it launched in mid-2012, and now it has a lot more money to keep up that momentum. The company has closed an oversubscribed series B round worth $35 million.