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MongoDB: Is it Right for You?

MongoDB: Is it Right for You? ABSTRACT: By Esayas Aloto Interest in NoSQL databases continues to grow, prompting many organizations to focus on MongoDB. It s popular, but what is it and what types of tasks
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MongoDB: Is it Right for You? ABSTRACT: By Esayas Aloto Interest in NoSQL databases continues to grow, prompting many organizations to focus on MongoDB. It s popular, but what is it and what types of tasks is it best suited to? What technologies and tools exist in the MongoDB ecosystem? In this white paper we answer those questions and also explain how Datavail can help by providing project and operational support for your MongoDB environment as well as educating and coaching your database professionals as they work to earn certification in MongoDB. MongoDB: Is it Right for You? content Choosing Your NoSQL Database... The Benefits of Using MongoDB... Three Main Reasons to Use MongoDB Problems with Using MongoDB... 2 What Software Does MongoDB Work Well With?... 2 Project-Based Support for Mongo DB... 3 Operational Support for Mongo DB... Certified MongoDB Support What's Next?... 4 About Datavail... 4 There are an ever-growing number of possible NoSQL database offerings from which you can choose. The general rationale for turning to this category of database solutions is to transform the vast amounts of existing and constantly accumulating data into actionable business intelligence you can use. MongoDB is among the most popular NoSQL databases now available for the enterprise computing environment. Your organization may be curious as to whether this technology is the best possible option available for working with big data or simply a buzzdriven flash-in-the-pan. Choosing Your NoSQL Database There are hundreds of possible NoSQL databases available today. These types of databases are touted for being easy to use, operate, and scale. There are so many that finding one able to meet your organization s precise needs may seem a daunting task. To save yourself time and headaches, you should be properly prepared by understanding what NoSQL is and isn t. This will help you better grasp whether MongoDB is the best, most appropriate database management system for your enterprise or project. When starting the NoSQL database selection process, John Piekos, Vice President of Engineering for VoltDB, notes: First, realize that the term NoSQL is about as descriptive as categorizing dogs and horses as NoCats. In truth, NoSQL is a broad category collecting disparate technologies beneath an ambiguous umbrella. The term offers little help to the developer trying to decide on the right tool for the right job. Another way to frame this difference, according to InfoWorld, is that NoSQL databases have the ability to accept data now and let analysts figure out its organization later, when the time comes to query it. It is this flexibility and more agile than SQL attribute that are largely attracting users. Fast development and performance that can scale massively have been NoSQL's calling cards; activity tracking, aggregation pipelines and high-volume transaction applications have been among the sweet spots for business uses, according to TechTarget. Page 1 The Benefits of Using MongoDB MongoDB is the most popular NoSQL database, according to the DB Engines ranking for September It is ranked fourth overall based on factors such as the number of mentions of the system online and number of job offers and mentions in professionals LinkedIn profiles, rather than the number of installed systems and their use. The well-known relational database management systems Oracle, MySQL, and Microsoft SQL Server proceed it in the latest rankings. MongoDB is considered a document store model. Datavail's Practice Leader Eric Russo explained on our blog, it has become attractive to database application developers because it is similar in function to a relational database it has document-level ACID properties and supports commonly-used types of authentication and is easy to learn. MongoDB has the same basic data model for both its code and database, which users find helpful in application development. Users can also implement it across a variety of project types. Delving below the hype, why should you consider MongoDB if you are thinking about new projects or building new database applications? If an open source database with a flexible schema able to work with a wide range of tools from known vendors appeals to you, perhaps you should more closely investigate MongoDB. Three Main Reasons to Use MongoDB MongoDB is designed specifically for online transaction processing, but is used for a variety of applications including mobile applications, customer data management, and content management. It is open source and has a growing customer base as well as a continually evolving ecosystem of supporting applications. Three features attract organizations to MongoDB. These are 1) data sharding, 2) a schema-less data structure, and 3) a developer-friendly ethos. Data sharding, which enables organizations to scale and work with large datasets, is the prevailing rationale prompting database professionals to adopt MongoDB. This feature is particularly important when datasets have become so large that their indexes can no longer fit into memory or when the data has become sufficiently write-heavy that query performance is suffering. Sharding enables a user to reduce the amount of memory needed for these tasks by allowing the data to be stored across several machines. MongoDB: Is it Right for You? 2015 Datavail, Inc. All rights reserved. This, in turn, allows the system to properly scale. Scaling is essential as the amount of data entering the organization continues growing. A critical difference between relational database management systems and MongoDB is that the latter has schema-less data representation and lacks joins, both features that make it significantly different from SQLbased databases with rigid schemas. In a nutshell, it does not have a specific, consistent schema enforced across all the stored documents, but it does have documentoriented storage. In other words, the documents can have different fields and structures. It is this less rigid approach to working with data that appeals to smaller organizations or teams who may have simpler data needs. This feature also appeals to users interested in using it as a file system. MongoDB also gets high points among users for being developer friendly. It is touted for its thorough documentation and ease of installation. The MongoDB site offers full documentation that is very well written and hosts an active user community. A lot of small companies download and use MongoDB for free because it is open source. Many well-known organizations and recognizable brand-name firms are among its customer base, including CERN, Expedia, The Weather Channel, and Under Armor. MongoDB is typically used to support rapid application development with extreme scalability and availability at a low cost. Its ease of use and scaling capability are attractive to developers as are its functions that are similar to relational databases. It has documentlevel ACID properties, for example, and it supports commonly-used types of authentication. It is also easy to learn. With the basic data model for both its code and database, application development is simpler than with other options. Problems with Using MongoDB But MongoDB is not right for every project nor is it appropriate for use by all organizations. Gaëtan Voyer- Perrault, a software engineer writing on Quora, explains that MongoDB is not a magic bullet for developers. Companies including Urban Airship and Etsy decided to drop MongoDB after determining it wasn t a good fit for their projects. In some cases, the user s implementation failed because they didn t fully understand the differences between MongoDB and conventional relational database management systems. Voyer-Perrault notes: MongoDB makes some things easy in exchange for extra work elsewhere, but it's not always clear what these trade-offs are. At the end of the day, MongoDB kind of lives in its own little niche. It makes a lot of unique trade-offs that must be understood to use it effectively. What Software Does MongoDB Work Well With? Database tools are frequently clustered into larger ecosystems of software that work well together. MongoDB claims a partner ecosystem consisting of more than 850 technology and services partners as of April This is a 70 percent increase year-over-year and is projected to continue growing as adoption continues to grow worldwide. MongoDB offers a partner certification program, which certifies products that integrate with MongoDB Enterprise and also verifies the expertise of its consulting and implementation partners. The list of technology products achieving this certification includes Adobe Experience Manager, the Alteryx analytics platform, data security solutions from Vormetric and IBM, the AppDynamics application performance management tool, and Pure Storage tools. Seann Gardiner, Vice President of Business Development at Alteryx, stated: MongoDB and Alteryx are a natural combination in the new data and analytics stack. MongoDB allows companies to more easily build the applications that make use of complicated, multi-structured data. Alteryx provides the platform that can deliver insight from that data, using data blending and advanced analytics, directly to the line of business analysts who drive decision making. We're both focused on reducing the time for organizations to reinvent their approach to data. The growth of the platform is also encouraging established technology firms to back the MongoDB ecosystem. Carlos Delatorre, Chief Revenue Officer, MongoDB, stated: The fact that industry leaders like Adobe, IBM, and AppDynamics are investing in MongoDB is a testament to our staying power as the database standard for modern addition to signing on many new partners, we're also seeing a large increase in activity within our partner ecosystem, which is very exciting. Datavail's database professionals have also found Mongo works well with Hadoop, as well as several other existing database infrastructures they use. MongoDB: Is it Right for You? Page 2 Project-Based Support for MongoDB When a user s MongoDB environment starts growing, they start looking for support. Typically, users initially need project-based support. One Datavail client wanted a replica environment for several of its customers. Our database professionals were able to create three different environments, complete with documentation that enabled them to make the transition. Still other users are wanting to explore using MongoDB in combination with their existing database technologies such as Oracle or MySQL. MongoDB users for one-off projects may become more interested in operational support later. This may occur as these projects become critically interwoven into their organization s routine processes. Many are testing the waters with these projects to determine whether they should use MongoDB in their production environments. If you ve never used MongoDB before but are accustomed to working with traditional relational database technologies, MongoDB can be a challenge. Clustering and replication are built in and work brilliantly, but without schemas and many of the tuning mechanisms available in traditional database structures, the role of the DBA can be confusing. What is required for a successful MongoDB implementation? How should replication groups and clustering be configured? These are some of the questions you will need to consider when starting a MongoDB project or transitioning data stored in a relational database management system into a MongoDB environment. Our Datavail MongoDB experts are working with several clients, many of which are starting to experiment with MongoDB. This includes a United States fast-casual restaurant chain. In addition to providing ongoing operational support such as monitoring alerts we are applying patches and upgrading their MongoDB assets. This client s operations, are working seamlessly. Operational Support for MongoDB Large companies are increasingly interested in securing operational support for their MongoDB installations. This type of support includes ongoing basic, essential tasks such as attending to alerts, updating software, and applying security patches. Often, large companies are hard-pressed to find database professionals with the needed expertise to work effectively with MongoDB. Remote staffing enables them to find Mongo-experienced experts able to supplement their existing staff. The list of larger companies now using MongoDB includes industry leaders with recognizable brand names such as The Weather Channel, City of Chicago, Bosch Software Innovations, and Chico's FAS, Inc. One of Datavail's clients is a financial services provider with a 25 TB operating environment using MongoDB management services. They started working with the enterprise version of MongoDB in 2014, but their databases grew out of control through explosive growth roughly 400 percent in a single year. They have no internal database administrator working with MongoDB, but needed helping with managing their storage. Datavail stepped in to provide the support they needed. Certified MongoDB Support Datavail can help your organization plan, test, and implement a highly scalable MongoDB project or environment. We also provide migration services to move appropriate data from your existing relational database system into MongoDB with as little downtime as possible. Our MongoDB experts have more than eight years of IT experience and more than five years of experience working in the LAMP stack. More specifically, they have experience in performing routine Mongo tasks as well as configuration experience. This includes tasks such as configuring and monitoring replica sets, optimizing databases, optimizing query performance, configuring database sharding, and backing up and restoring data. Many of our professionals have MongoDB certification from Mongo University as well as experience working with other database platforms. MongoDB remains in the early adopter phase. Datavail wants to be the company that people turn to for information, education, and consultation as this technology matures and adoption continues growing. We want to be your one-stop resource for information such as how to migrate to MongoDB, what the challenges associated with using it are, and how to resolve or address these. Datavail wants to be the company that helps organizations successfully transition to MongoDB. Page 3 MongoDB: Is it Right for You? 2015 Datavail, Inc. All rights reserved. What's Next? Now that you ve been briefed on some of the benefits and drawbacks of using of MongoDB, you may better evaluate whether it will work for your organization. Even if you re only now starting to work with MongoDB on a first project, our Mongo DB experts can help provide the support and services you need to successfully move to this NoSQL database. To learn more about our remote database services and how our experts can help with your ongoing database operations, please contact Datavail to discuss a custom solution designed for your enterprise. For more solutions to both common and advanced DBA-related questions, please visit Datavail s blog. Biography Esayas Aloto Senior MongoDB Professional, RM MySQL for Datavail Esayas is MongoDB Certified Associate DBA with experience administering MongoDB, an opensource document database and the leading NoSQL database. Prior to working with MongoDB Esayas worked with Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle. Esayas has extensive experience on installation, configuration, backup, recovery, performance tuning, capacity planning, security, upgrades, maintenance, monitoring, replica set configuration, sharding, and design of large scale databases. Esayas Aloto also has MBA from University of Northern Virginia. About Datavail Datavail Corporation is the largest pure-play provider of remote database administration (DBA) services in North America, offering database design and architecture, administration and 24x7 support. The company specializes in Oracle, Oracle E-Business Suite, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, MongoDB, DB2 and SharePoint, and provides flexible on-site/off-site, onshore/offshore service delivery options to meet each customer s unique business needs. Contact Us General Inquiries: Fax Number: Corporate Headquarters: Datavail Corporation Ridge Parkway Suite 125 Broomfield, CO Database Operations Control Center: Datavail Infotech Pvt. Ltd 3rd Floor, Unit No. B-3 Ashar IT Park, Road No. 16Z Wagale Estate Thane (West), Thane Direct Telephone Number: Bangalore Office Datavail Infotech Pvt. Ltd Concept Business Park #319/9, 1st floor, Block A Hosur Main Road Bommanahalli, Bangalore MongoDB: Is it Right for You? Page 4
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