RethinkDB: a new kind of database

Today, we’re ready to announce RethinkDB – a new kind of database. It’s been a winding road. For two years, Mike, Leif, and I have been thinking independently on how to bring a breath of fresh air to the database world. Three months ago, we came together to form a company and bring our ideas to reality. In these three months, we’ve raised seed funding from Y Combinator, moved to California, and built a MySQL plugin that implements the core of our vision – a storage engine redesigned for the modern world. With the exception of storage technology, database design has always been beautiful. Now, with dropping costs of storage, the advent of solid state drives, and advances in functional data structures theory, we can finally replace that last messy component of database management systems with an elegant, beautiful solution.

Much work remains to be done. RethinkDB isn’t ready for general production use. So, why release it today? At a recent Y Combinator dinner, Reid Hoffman (the founder of LinkedIn) said: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” We’re launching too late. The article you’re reading now is served by a WordPress installation running live on RethinkDB. Many of our internal benchmarks outperform a stock MySQL setup. We’re no longer terrified of data corruption (though we still keep our fingers crossed). We’re using RethinkDB for painless hot backups. The time is long overdue for us to share our work with you.

We are committed to building an open, socially responsible company. In the coming weeks we will be releasing as much information about the RethinkDB internals as possible without compromising its commercial success. In the meantime, we’d like to welcome your feedback.