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September 23, 2014

Clustrix Database Targets E-commerce

Just in time for holidays, a scale-out SQL database running in the cloud from startup Clustrix is geared to e-commerce websites characterized by traffic spikes that require databases to scale in order to avoid costly downtime.

The San Francisco-based company said Sept. 23 the latest version of its ClustrixDB includes scale-out SQL that allows database servers to be added to an existing cluster and removed later without downtime. The feature targets capacity and throughput spikes on e-commerce sites during peak shopping seasons.

ClustrixDB also features a distributed processing approach along with a “share-nothing” architecture in which database transactions are automatically distributed to boost performance needed for resource-intensive workloads. For e-commerce sites, those workloads include simultaneous handling of peak user demand measured in the tens of thousands, real-time product catalog updates and the reporting of performance metrics.

Clustrix said its e-commence approach redistributes data in the background without taxing system performance or degrading customer experience. If a database server goes offline, the e-commerce database redistributes data to remaining online servers, it claimed.

The company also said ClustrixDB includes native compatibility with Oracle MySQL and the Magento platform and e-commerce software as a way to boost server performance.

Clustrix CEO Mike Azevedo argued that scale-out databases are among the best ways to avoid crashes on e-commerce websites. Citing the number of outages on retail sites during events like the Cyber Monday holiday promotion, Azevedo said in a statement, “Many companies using MySQL are unprepared to handle website traffic spikes and don’t realize they’re at risk year round, not just during the holiday shopping season.”

The company also cited a recent study concluding that the average cost of website downtime is more than $7,900 per minute. An crash last year reportedly cost the e-commerce giant more than $66,000 per minute. The e-commerce study by the Ponemon Institute also found that an estimated 57 percent of online shoppers abandon their cart if a page takes more than three seconds to load, and 80 percent of those will not return to the site.

The database company is betting that the growth of e-commerce and the resulting spikes in demand will drive retailer adoption of scale-out database architectures. Clustrix claims its approach can handle spikes in database loads to prevent costly slowdowns or outages

Available immediately, the company said an annual subscription to its ClustrixDB e-commerce platform starts at $18,000.

Azevedo was appointed CEO of Clustrix earlier this month as the company seeks to tap into the rapid growth of the cloud database market. He previously served as head of sales for large-scale cloud vendor Platform Computing, which was acquired by IBM.

The startup also appointed former Teradata executive Bruce Armstrong as executive chairman of its board of directors.

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