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Summary:

ScaleArc’s technology sits between applications and their SQL databases, claiming to provide better performance and better operational insights than running MySQL, Oracle Database or Microsoft SQL Server alone. With a $12.3 million Series C round, ScaleArc will try to withstand a glut of competition.

Maybe your old database will work just fine after all. Santa Clara, Calif.-based database specialist ScaleArc has just raised a $12.3 million Series C round to grow its business of making your SQL database better and faster. However, the investment — from Accel Partners, as well as Trinity Ventures and Nexus Ventures — comes as a collection of born-and-bred-to-scale startups is trying to breathe new life into SQL.

transparentidbplacementScaleArc, for its part, wants to let customers keep their MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server databases by making them faster and more intelligent. Its product, called iDB, sits between an application and its database and does a whole lot of good things — load-balancing, caching, SQL analytics and real-time dashboards among them. Recognizing the validity of certain new approaches for serving often-accessed data in a hurry (e.g., memcached) iDB’s cache actually uses a NoSQL database, although it’s backed up by the product’s standard security and high-availability features.

But for a company like ScaleArc, as well as the database products it aims to improve, the biggest threat probably isn’t NoSQL at all. Rather, they’re facing a new breed of SQL products — the so-called NewSQL movement — that promise everything developers and companies love about SQL with the scalability and speed that NoSQL can deliver. Among these offerings are Drawn to Scale’s HBase-based Spire, the SQL-into-C++ MemSQL and OLTP engine NuoDB, although there are many more.

Still, it seems clearer now than at any point in the past few years that SQL truly is not going anywhere, despite the early hype from the NoSQL camp. The most-important question that SQL shops might have to ask themselves now is not whether to stick with the technology they know and (maybe) love, but which flavor to go with to suit their particular needs around scale and performance. Thanks to technologies like ScaleArc, they might not have to swap their database at all.

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  1. Just to add a bit more perspective to this, the SQL database market is split into three or four major parts. Those with MySQL, those with Microsoft SQL Server, and then those with Oracle, and then other minor databases such as PostgreSQL etc.. And then comes the overarching factor of whether you’re going to use SQL for a homegrown app, or an off-the-shelf app. The competing solutions Derrick mentions only support homegrown apps (and even there, most are not compatible with MySQL 100%), whereas a majority of SQL database usage is off the shelf apps, and none of the databases listed above even touch the market for Microsoft SQL Server, and Oracle, which put together are close to $14Bn a year in revenues. ScaleArc supports MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, as well as Oracle, and augments them all with best-of-breed NoSQL performance.
    Varun Singh, Founder & CEO @ ScaleArc

    1. Well said. Thanks for the comment.

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