MongoDB 3.4 accelerates digital transformation in the enterprise

Can MongoDB take on the big SQL database contenders?

MongoDB 3.4 accelerates digital transformation in the enterprise
Credit: David Martín :: Suki_ ::

MongoDB just released version 3.4 of its database product. The company states that this release targets enterprises wanting to conduct a "digital transformation."

What MongoDB appears to mean is that version of the software extends operational and analytical capabilities with the goal in mind of helping those enterprises select a single database for their "Next-Generation Applications."

Here's what MongoDB has to say about version 3.4

The latest version is a major advance that places MongoDB at the center of enterprises’ digital transformation initiatives. Organizations today are focused on delivering new classes of applications, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence, which have deep operational and analytical requirements. By further strengthening the product’s always-on operational and real-time analytics capabilities, MongoDB makes it easier for enterprises to consolidate their technology footprint and accelerate their digital transformation with a single database.

Other statements about the product:

  • MongoDB 3.4 introduces native graph analytics and faceted navigation, which support a range of use cases, such as ecommerce, social graph analysis and cybersecurity.
  • An all-new SQL interface is available. The company says this new interface will dramatically improve workload performance, will simplify setup and adds support for Windows computing environments.
  • The MongoDB Connector for Apache Spark has been updated to support Spark 2.0.

The company has added several features to facilitate "global operations across multiple data centers and "always on" availability. They include:

  • Zones, a fully elastic database partitioning capability designed for multi-region deployments. Zones are designed to allow database administrators to associate partitions of data to specific hardware resources and locations, such as tiered storage to optimize costs or local data centers to meet data sovereignty mandates. Zones are fully integrated in MongoDB’s management tools, providing administrators a simple, intuitive interface to this powerful feature.
  • Faster elastic operations dramatically reduce the time associated with balancing data across distributed clusters, giving administrators the ability to quickly scale their deployments up and down with no application downtime.

The company also points out that MongoDB 3.4 also adds additional "advanced tooling and security":

  • Compass, the GUI for MongoDB that makes it easy to explore and manipulate your data, is an incredibly powerful tool. It now includes full CRUD (Create, Read, Update and Delete) capabilities to edit documents, the ability to intuitively create and apply document validation rules, the ability to visually explain plans to explore query performance and real-time index usage statistics to help optimize performance.
  • Simplified private cloud deployments for database as a service. MongoDB Ops Manager introduces Server Pools and native Cloud Foundry integration, making it easy to provision and manage database resources within cloud-native infrastructure.
  • Read-only views simplify data access for application development teams, as well as provide fine-grained control of sensitive data, such as Personally Identifiable Information (PII). With the filtering and masking of data, Views allow organizations to more easily meet compliance standards in regulated industries by reducing the risk of data exposure.

Snapshot analysis of MongoDB 3.4

MongoDB is well known in the NoSQL market, and it is clear the company wishes to reach out to developers of business intelligence and transactional workloads. The company offers support for both in-house and cloud-based deployments. This announcement reminds me a bit of the one MarkLogic made a while ago (see "MarkLogic: Can NoSQL databases support today's enterprise?" for more information).

The key challenges both MongoDB and MarkLogic face when trying to "rehost" enterprise-class workloads onto their database are the following:

  • Compatibility — Unless enterprises see the migration/conversion to be absolutely simple, that is there is almost no work involved, they're not going to invest their very limited resources on doing a conversion. They are far more likely to continue doing what they're doing now.
  • Performance — Regardless of the new capabilities being offered by this new software, if the raw performance doesn't at least line up with the performance of the database in use before, enterprises aren't going to consider making a change. Business-critical workloads cannot be seen to slow down for any reason.
  • Cost — While enterprises are always seeking cost reductions, they are unlikely to make the effort to "re-host" their database-based workloads unless they will realize substantial cost reductions. I'm talking 50 percent reduction or more not 5 percent to 10 percent cost reduction.
  • Expertise — Will enterprise staff members have to re-learn everything in order to make good use of the technology? If so, when will they have the time?

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