OMG, databases just got exciting!

Here at TDHQ, we’ve been keenly following the progress of a new database with designs on knocking the grand-daddies from the likes of Oracle off the top spot…

It’s called MongoDB (short for “huMONGOus”).

Did you know that the databases which most companies rely on today were designed to be stored and accessed on computers with only dinky sized memories? At around 4Kbits, these beasts had less power than your watch and were about the size of your mate’s car (or the other way round for you automotive-sans-chronometer types).

With MongoDB, they addressed what was wrong with the current system of database design and improved it, utilising a modern company’s access to computing power. Eg, HUGE Memory and multiple servers in MANY physical locations

Here’s the benefits,

Easy scalability
“Automatic sharding”, makes it easy to add another server your system. Just install and type this…

> db.runCommand( { addshard : “<serverhostname>[:<port>]” } );
{“ok” : 1 , “added” : …}

Rich query language
See how easy it is to write.

to write

db.scores.save({a: 99});

to query

db.scores.find();

High performance
No joins and embedding makes reads and writes fast

High availability
Replicated servers with automatic master failover. So if the main server blows up, pow, another one is “elected” to take over and the service continues

Training Day

We were lucky enough to get tickets to a specialist one-day training conference in shiny London to learn more about its progress. While learning, we heard from The Guardian (a national newspaper), the National Archives (the UK Government archive) and mngr.it (a tech start-up), all who are currently using mongoDb in their applications for both sideline and critical systems. Interestingly, two of them moved to mongoDb because their normal supplier, Oracle, was adding too many 0’s onto the end of their quotes!

Sounds cool, right? A new piece of software that should be able to handle Facebook sized databases, but available to everybody from SMEs through to multinationals corporations. That’s a lot of power!

Thought Den’s official line

So, will Thought Den be using MongoDB in their apps? Well, in time we’ll be trialling it on our own internal apps before moving it into production, but it looks very promising:

PROS
– Faster
– Easy to replicate/manage data across different global cloud data warehouses
– Auto-recovery from other cloud servers if main database fails
– Compatible with Amazon EC2 computing power
– Open Source
– Received lots of investment $$$ to secure its future
CONS
– Global Write lock, causes issues
– New technology
– Other new tech is available, like Google’s BigTable.

Monga-liciuos!

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