Although it does not offer the ability to do nuanced, highly structured queries in the same way a SQL relational database would, the database doesn't require a fixed underlying schema, so organizations can add new columns as new types of information need to be captured, Neimat said.
The software allows administrators to vary the speed of responsiveness against the time needed to reach consistency, or the state when a piece of data is completely stored.
"When an update is issued, it can be applied to a single node or the majority of nodes, or to all of them. That makes it easy for the user to manage consistency," Neimat said. The database will be able to scale at a near linear rate, meaning capacity can be increased in a uniform rate as more servers are added to the cluster. Oracle itself has built a 300 node cluster with this database, though, theoretically, there is no limit to the size of the cluster that could be built, Neimat said.
Keeping track of the location of all the data falls to a client library, which can be linked to by an application. The Java-based library routes requests to the node holding the a copy of the data. Programmers have their applications interact with the database through a Java API (application programming interface).
Primary keys themselves can have sub-keys, which point to different fields within the same record. Subkeys can be advantageous in that they could be used to add more data fields to existing records. "You can have flexibility in which attributes to have with which records. You're not sure what you want to do with the data, but you do know you want to keep it and analyze it later," Neimat said.
"All the records that share the same root key are all on the same partition, all on the same node," Neimat said. "You can update multiple records, insert, retrieve, delete multiple records using the primary key." Administrators can interact with the database through a Web console, which offers the ability to manage and monitor topology, as well as to set up load balancing across multiple nodes.
The company will offer a free community version of the database, as well as a commercial version that will eventually be augmented with additional features. The company is promising that the installation will be polished to the degree that one would expect from Oracle, and that the company will offer full support for the paid editions.