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MemSQL Updates Its Next-Generation Database, Readies Partner Recruitment Initiative

MemSQL is also offering limited free use of its in-memory distributed database in a bid to attract new customers.

MemSQL is launching a new release of its next-generation distributed, in-memory SQL database – and the company is offering free, limited-capacity use of the software in a move to recruit new customers.

The vendor, which has largely sold its products direct, is also stepping up its channel strategy with plans to recruit more systems integrator and VAR partners to work with its database, selling and implementing the software for both new applications and projects, and as a replacement for mainstream relational database software.

MemSQL is one of a number of young companies developing database software designed to better handle today's increasingly huge volumes of data – much of it unstructured – than relational databases such as Oracle, Microsoft's SQL Server and others.

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With the new 6.7 release, MemSQL is offering the use of the database for free, licensed for development and production tasks up to a limit of 128GB of RAM capacity with unlimited disk/solid-state-disk usage.

"It is meant to grow the customer base," said CEO Nikita Shamgunov in an interview with CRN. "It is also targeted at the legacy competition." He acknowledged the move means forgoing a small amount of revenue from entry-level customers, less than five percent of current sales, he estimated, in favor of attracting new customers.

Business and organizations that need database capacity beyond those memory limitations, or who require extensive 24/7 support, can upgrade to a paid Enterprise Edition license.

The release includes MemSQL Studio, a new monitoring tool that the company said makes it easier to troubleshoot the database and optimize its performance by presenting a visual representation of the health of MemSQL clusters across resources, events and queries.

The release also offers improved command line tooling that simplifies multi-node setup and cloud formation templates to simplify and automate cluster deployments and configuration.

MemSQL, which said it already offers "the world's fastest database," also provides faster star join queries in the 6.7 release, making it possible to run complex star join queries for data warehouse workloads with TPC Benchmark H results that are three to five times faster than with MemSQL 6.5, according to the company.

The 6.7 edition is available now.

MemSQL has developed a roster of technology partners with whom the company works, including cloud providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, system providers including Cisco and Intel, and software developers like Tableau, Informatica and Attunity.

But until now the company has largely sold its product direct to customers, aside from working with a few systems integrators for deployment and vertical industry expertise. While about 25 percent of sales deals involve a partner in some way, Shamgunov said, less than five percent of MemSQL's revenue is partner-sourced.

But Shamgunov said the company is ready to expand its channel efforts, working with an even greater range of technology partners and recruiting more systems integrators and, eventually, VARs with the goal of boosting partner-sourced revenue.

The company has hired an executive, whom it isn't ready to identify just yet, to lead those channel efforts, the CEO said.

MemSQL's software offers solution providers opportunities to offer deployment, integration, support and professional services around the database, Shamgunov said, and to build applications that take advantage of the software's capabilities.

While many customers initially implement the MemSQL database for real-time dashboards, the CEO said customers often begin using the database for other tasks, including replacing legacy relational databases like Oracle and Sybase – the latter now owned by SAP with a significant installed based within financial service companies.

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