The Parallel Universe Blog

March 21, 2012

Introducing Spacebase: a New Realtime Spatial Data Store

By Ron

Today, we are proud to launch Parallel Universe and introduce our first product: SpaceBase. SpaceBase is a server-side, in-memory, low-latency, dynamic, concurrent and distributed spatial data-store for 2D and 3D spatial objects. It is meant to be used by MMO (massively-multiplayer online) games, defense applications and location based services.

SpaceBase’s first customer was the Israeli Air Force. The IAF is currently using SpaceBase in an important soft-realtime C4I system that tracks a large number of moving object. While SpaceBase was originally designed around the IAF’s specific needs, it has since been turned into a general spatial middleware software with many possible applications.

You may think of SpaceBase as a spatial NoSQL database. Like all NoSQL databases, it’s built around the realization that not all data is the same, and not all data-usage patterns are the same. SpaceBase only maintains spatial entities: objects that have location, and possibly an extent, in 2D or 3D space. The entities can be virtual - characters and other objects in an MMO game - or represent real-life objects, be it cars and people an a LBS or tanks and aircraft in a defense system. Either way, SpaceBase has been optimized to handle a large number of dynamic entities (that move around a lot), and has been tailored for low-latency, soft- or even hard- realtime applications. It can easily handle many concurrent update transactions and queries.

All applications are built around data, and for spatial applications like games, LBSs and C4I systems, the representation of objects in space is their most basic component. Space comes before higher layers like physics simulation or other business logic. SpaceBase is meant to serve as this foundation layer, so you may use it as more than just a data-store: you can run your physics simulation, AI, or whatever business logic your application requires, as SpaceBase transactions, and let SpaceBase parallelize your computations for you across cores and across machines in your cluster.

Which brings us to another important point: SpaceBase is built to scale. It scales gracefully across CPUs and across a computing grid. It scales so well that it allows building large shardless MMO games. In-fact, shardless MMO games and virtual worlds were one of the use-cases SpaceBase was specifically built to handle. (Distributed SpaceBase, or SpaceBase-on-a-grid is currently in the advanced stages of testing, and will be available for evaluation and purchase within a couple of months. The single-node, multi- and many- core deployment is available for evaluation right now!)

Because Parallel Universe believes in openness and in a simple customer experience, our full product pricing will appear on the website, and none of the technical material available for download will require registration. However, at this point, we want to get to know our early adopters personally, so we kindly ask you to direct all pricing, as well as technical, questions - actually, any question you may have for us - to info@paralleluniverse.co. You may also ask for an evaluation copy of SpaceBase - we’d love you to take it for a spin!

You can find more details about SpaceBase, as well as download the documentation, on its product page.

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