Under the Hood: The Durable Distributed Cache

How it Works

If you’ve gotten this far, you’ve seen us make some big claims, and you want to know how — and whether — we can back them up.

Read on to find out more about NuoDB’s Durable Distributed Cache (DDC) Architecture and how it supports a geo-distributed, transactional database that scales elastically on demand.


How We’re Different

Whether you’re developing a new application or upgrading an existing one, you’ve likely experienced how database limitations impact development.

The inability of traditional monolithic databases to meet today’s elastic scalability and availability requirements has led to imperfect and partial solutions such as sharding, database replication, and non-transactional NoSQL stores.

NuoDB represents a different approach. Rather than bending existing architectures to a breaking point or underestimating the value and ubiquity of standard, transactional SQL, NuoDB takes the design principles of a distributed system – a coordinated, message-based network of nodes that can tolerate both failure and change – and combines it with the ACID semantics required of a true SQL system.

Durable Distributed Cache

Under the hood of NuoDB lies a concept we call Durable Distributed Cache (DDC). Let’s break that down.


Ultimately, NuoDB’s Durable Distributed Cache is a memory-centric, peer-to-peer system that ensures ACID compliance, resiliency, and scale-out performance across multiple data centers.

This architecture empowers administrators to make and change operational decisions without affecting application logic.

Technical Ramifications

Disk-centric database architectures make it challenging to accomplish capabilities required from modern applications. NuoDB’s unique DDC-driven architecture naturally supports the needs of today’s virtualized applications.

Take a look below to see what we mean.

In-Memory Architecture


NuoDB’s memory-centric architecture combines all the advantages of an in-memory system with the reliability of a disk-based database. That means that while the system has durability peers to ensure data is written to disk, the database itself  is what’s in memory, not what’s on disk. Concerns such as database performance, latency, and availability are now managed by bringing peers online or taking them offline.

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Scale-Out ACID Database

Scale-Out ACID

In contrast to NoSQL databases, NuoDB supports transactions with a rich ANSI SQL implementation, making it straightforward to migrate existing SQL applications and ensure ACID semantics. In NuoDB’s DDC architecture, transaction and durability peers work together to ensure ACID compliance across multiple data centers.

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Cloud Database Tunable Safety

Tunable Safety

Application requirements dictate different latency and durability requirements. NuoDB’s tunable safety means that you can balance minimum durability with performance and latency requirements to optimize the system for your specific application needs.  

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With NuoDB, you can provide your customers with their own databases, which all run on a single installation across a network of peers running on shared hardware resources. Although operating off of a single installation and run together as a managed service, each database maintains its own physically separate archives and set of security credentials.

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Financial Services

Policy-Driven Operations

NuoDB allows administrators to easily monitor and manage database deployments by defining and changing service-level agreements based on a policy-driven template approach. You can start by running NuoDB in a single host, then as a scale-out database in a single data center, and then expand the database to run across multiple geographic regions without once stopping the database or halting processing of user transactions.

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Storage Flexibility

NuoDB’s Durable Distributed Cache architecture decouples the performance of the database from the performance of the storage. You can make optimizations to the system - for example around storage, redundancy, and replication - without having to worry about disk I/O. And since the database can use a collection of heterogeneous hardware, you can selectively deploy slower or faster disk based on use case.

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Dive a Little Deeper

For customers seeking a database that meets both today’s needs and tomorrow’s expectations,
NuoDB delivers a new architectural approach that addresses the shortcomings of traditional databases.

We know this page has only given you a taste for how we do things, so if you’re interested in learning more:


Download the Technical White Paper     Take the NuoDB Technical Tour     Visit the Developer Center