IT is a complicated thing in large companies like Orbitz (s oww), where open source doesn’t mean free and where NoSQL really means not only SQL. When Orbitz decided to move major portions of its infrastructure off Oracle’s (s orcl) in-memory Coherence database and onto the NoSQL Couchbase Server, it drastically increased its performance while savings millions of dollars a year. But that doesn’t mean Oracle doesn’t still have a seat at Orbitz’s IT table.

Steven Young, a site reliability engineer at Orbitz, is presenting at CouchConf on Friday afternoon about making the switch from Coherence to Couchbase, and he shared some details with me in advance of his presentation. Essentially, Orbitz moved some very important systems — including its Hotel Rate Cluster, which caches all the relevant information on hotels and rooms and delivers it to customers — over to Couchbase and was able to achieve serious…

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