Reporting back from MongoDB World 2014, NYC, Planet JSON

Closely approaching the one year mark of when I first joined MongoLab (and the MongoDB community), I had the pleasure of attending the inaugural MongoDB World conference put together by the incredible MongoDB team. Second only to the excitement around major MongoDB feature announcements was the collective disbelief that this was MongoDB's first multi-day conference ever.  A big congratulations to all those that worked hard to put on such a massive (did you see the Intrepid!?) event. All this planning would have been for naught if MongoDB leaders and engineers failed to deliver announcements and features that would meet and exceed expectations. From major public cloud announcements to the reveal of document-level locking in version 2.8, developers and conference goers had plenty to be excited about. There was a lot to digest from the conference... we'll cover the major highlights in case you missed them.

Big announcements in public cloud

Our time at the MongoLab booth yielded many high-quality conversations, predominantly those about offloading previously internal processes and workloads to the public cloud. It was remarkable to see and hear so many enterprise teams with the exact same message: the public cloud is the future, and the future is now. It's no surprise then that MongoDB, Inc. released not one, but two press releases around MongoDB solutions for the public cloud.

Fully-managed MongoDB on the Microsoft Azure Store

Nearly one year ago, MongoDB, Inc. chose to partner with the MongoLab team to build a production-ready MongoDB solution for developers on Microsoft Azure. On the first day of World, MongoDB, Inc. announced the product of our collaboration - a fully-managed highly available MongoDB-as-a-Service Add-On offering on the Microsoft Azure Store. This new service runs MongoDB Enterprise and offers replication, monitoring and support from MongoDB, Inc. It's also backed by MongoDB Management Service (MMS), allowing for point-in-time recovery of MongoDB deployments. Now, teams without the expertise or resources to manage their MongoDB deployment(s) can outsource all the database operations (monitoring and alerting, backups, performance tuning, etc.) to both MongoLab and MongoDB's expert support teams. You can check out the MongoDB add-on in the Azure Store:

MongoDB solutions on Google Cloud Platform

MongoDB, Inc. also announced the arrival of new resources to help Google Cloud Platform customers deploy MongoDB on Google Compute Engine. These resources include a "Click to Deploy" feature and a MongoDB on Google Compute Engine Solutions paper covering MongoDB best practices. If you are looking for a fully-managed solution, with automated provisioning, backups, integrated monitoring and alerting, along with expert support, MongoLab recently announced the arrival of production-ready replica sets on Google.

Product Roadmap - MongoDB version 2.8

On the second day of MongoDB World, Eliot Horowitz, MongoDB, Inc. CTO & Co-founder, took center stage and announced two huge changes to the MongoDB core project: document-level locking and pluggable storage engines. These features not only reflect improvements to the core project, but also signal to the community that the MongoDB team is listening to its users and is capable of delivering the software needed to power the workloads of tomorrow.

Document-level locking

concurrency_today concurrency_hear The slides above from Eliot's keynote point to a current obstacle (database-level locking) in MongoDB that limits overall scalability. With database-level locking, any write operation to the database holds the write lock and prevents subsequent writes from executing on the database until the original operation holding the write lock completes. Eliot's announcement of document-level locking moves the write lock contention from the database level to the document (MongoDB equivalent to SQL "records") level. This change will allow users to achieve much higher write throughput (we saw a 10x performance improvement in the live demo) across their MongoDB deployments, improving write scalability. If you'd like to try out document-level locking, the MongoDB team has already pushed the feature to the master branch on GitHub. This should only be used for experimentation, not to be run in production.

Pluggable storage engine

As MongoDB matures, feature releases like document level locking will continue to allow developers to build robust systems on top of MongoDB. But as the number of use cases grows, different tooling tailored to specific use cases may prove to be extremely beneficial. For example, if Company X decides that they want to use MongoDB to warehouse some of their data, they would likely want to optimize their database for slow-moving data and storage efficiency (compression). With the introduction of pluggable storage engines, many new possibilities are open to the community. Teams can now write their own storage engine for a particular use case, configure replica set nodes with different storage engines for specific situations, or collaborate with the open-source community to architect innovative solutions. This feature not only allows for more granular control of the database, but also encourages the MongoDB community to work together.

Takeaways: A maturing and thriving ecosystem

Roughly a year ago, MongoLab CTO Todd Dampier recapped MongoSF 2013 and spoke to the health of the MongoDB ecosystem. How far we've come! After attending the inaugural MongoDB World and chatting with MongoDB Masters, interns, hackathon winners, power users and those new to the community, the enthusiasm is still surging and as positive as ever. This enthusiasm is well placed. Developers and hackers use MongoDB because so much rich data on the web is shared as JSON (think Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc.). As a result, MongoDB is the de-facto database for hackathons and bootstrapped projects. Just learn the API for the site you want to mine, throw the JSON in MongoDB and query your data with the rich query language- it's that easy. The MongoDB ecosystem is maturing as well. Take a look at the Customer Success Stories and you'll get a feel for the extent in which enterprises leverage the solution and use it in production. To further drive enterprise adoption, MongoDB, Inc.'s public cloud solutions and product roadmap features aim to help teams run MongoDB in production and give teams the confidence that MongoDB will continue to improve scalability and meet their growing project requirements. Congratulations again to the MongoDB team on their big announcements and for creating such a fantastic forum at which to learn and meet fellow MongoDB users. Our team at MongoLab had a great time making new friends and talking shop; we look forward to meeting more MongoDB users soon (at a MongoDB Days near you)!