GUN is an open source decentralized database service that allows developers to build fast peer-to-peer applications that will work, even when their users are offline. The company behind the project (which should probably change its name and logo …) announced today that it has raised just over $ 1.5 million in a fundraising campaign led by Draper Associates. Other investors include Marc Benioff of Salesforce via Aloha Angels, as well as Boost VC, CRCM and other angel investors.
As GUN founder Mark Nadal told me, it’s been about four years since he started working on this problem, mainly because he saw the database behind his early projects as a point of failure. unique. When the database goes down, most online services will die with it, after all. The idea behind GUN is therefore to offer a decentralized database system that offers real-time updates with eventual consistency. You can use GUN to create a peer-to-peer database or opt for a multi-master setup. In this diagram, a cloud-based server simply becomes another peer in the network (although it has more resources and reliability than a user’s browser). GUN users get conflict resolution tools and other basic functionality out of the box, and data is automatically distributed among peers. When users log off, the data is cached locally and then merged into this database when it comes online.
Nadal built the first prototype of GUN in 2014, based on a mix of Firebase, MySQL, MongoDB and Cassandra. It was obviously a bit of a hack, but it got it some traction among the developers and enough momentum to push the idea forward.
Today the system has been used to build everything from a decentralized version of Reddit (which doesn’t currently work) that can handle a few million unique per month and a decentralized YouTube clone the same way.
Nadal also argues that his system has major speed advantages over some of the incumbents. “From our first tests, we find that for caching, our product is 28 times faster than Redis, MongoDB and others. We are now looking for partnerships with pioneering technology companies in games, IoT, virtual reality and distributed machine learning, ”he said.
The Dutch Navy is already using it for some IoT services on their ships and a number of other groups are using it for their AI / ML services. Because its use cases are similar to many blockchain projects, Nadal is also investigating how he can target some of these developers to take a closer look at GUN.