MongoDB Rolls Out Biggest Release Yet with New Enterprise Features

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Highlighting the key new features in MongoDB 2.6, Kelly Stirman, MongoDB's director of product marketing, said there are two major areas of enhancements for the NoSQL document-oriented database. Representing the biggest release in the company's history, Stirman said, one main area of enhancement is MMS (MongoDB Management Service), a suite of services for managing MongoDB deployments, and the second is the database itself, which adds index intersection, higher security and text search.

MongoDB MMS Adds Backup and Recovery Features with Automation Capabilities Coming

MMS has proven to be very popular and there are over 35,000 users of MMS today, said Stirman.  “We started with some features in the area of monitoring and alerting to let people manage their systems more easily and then last year we introduced in beta incremental and point in time recovery for disaster recovery purposes, and today we are announcing that the backup and recovery features are generally available in the cloud edition of MMS as well as the on-premise edition of MMS.”

In addition, later this year the company will also add automation capabilities to MMS. This will provide three things that will make life easier for users, said Stirman. First is the ability with just a single click of the button to create MongoDB systems of any configuration and any size; second, it will allow users to manage their system, to increase capacity for example, without taking an application offline; and third, it will allow uses to upgrade their MongoDB system without taking their application offline, with the result that users can do hot upgrades to MongoDB deployment of any size. “These are things - the installation, configuration changes, and upgrades – that you can do today but they require a number of manual steps and, with those manual steps, come the opportunity for mistakes and other issues that are difficult to plan for, so we think these automation capabilities not only make things easier but more reliable and safe for operating MongoDB,” said Stirman.

Index Intersection, Higher Security and Text Search are Three Key New Capabilities in MongoDB 2.6

In terms of the new release of the database, said Stirman, three new capabilities stand out. 

One is index intersection, which provides more flexible, adaptive analytical capabilities, making it easier to run ad hoc analyses to answer evolving business questions. Index Intersection allows MongoDB to, at query time, take advantage of multiple indexes by creating an optimal plan for their query. “The advantage is that developers can spend less time planning for all the different queries that they are going to run and it allows MongoDB to make more efficient use of resources and still deliver the same sorts of functionality and performance that we have been able to in the past,” said Stirman.

In addition, MongoDB has added extensive security features in 2.6, including Kerberos authentication and SSL encryption. MongoDB Enterprise 2.6 also adds field-level redaction, customizable auditing, LDAP and x509 authentication, collection-level authorization and user-defined roles. “In the NoSQL space – and this is also true in the Hadoop space – security is not as mature as other parts of these products,” said Stirman. To focus on the right enterprise security measures, he said, MongoDB has been working with banks, healthcare organizations, and federal government agencies to develop a compelling set of features that will allow the majority of organizations to use MongoDB in production across many projects without risking any of their security standards.

“Without these [security] features, organizations will experiment with new technologies and they might even do limited deployments of the technology but it is only with dispensation from the central security team of the organization,” noted Stirman. “What organizations want is to have the security standards met by the software so that they can confidently put the application into production for many different projects.”

And the third key new feature in MongDB 2.6 is text search, which, said Stirman, users have come to expect as a primary means of accessing data in applications, and which has been the single most popular feature request in MongoDB since its inception.  In the past, users had to integrate MongoDB with a separate search engine but now search capabilities have been brought in to the database natively, which will allow for a more simple deployment without having to learn a separate technology with a separate set of skills.

MongoDB 2.6 integrates text search into the MongoDB Query Language and the Aggregation Framework, and provides search for 15 languages. “The search capabilities are going to very popular with the community and really set us apart form other products in the space.”

MongoDB Milestones

According to Stirman, the database now has over 7 million downloads; and MongoDB, Inc. now has over 1,000 customers, and there are over 150,000 people who have registered for MongoDB’s online education.

MongoDB has found that there is a broad set of applications that users feel are appropriate for MongoDB, with most enthusiasm when people are developing new applications where the time to market or speed of developing the application is important, including mobile and social applications, observed Stirman.

“The speed with which you can develop applications is really different than with relational databases, and, I think that is really one of the main reasons people start to use MongoDB – to get value more quickly and to adapt to change more quickly,” he added. “We don’t see companies taking old legacy applications that are running just fine and rewriting them to work on MongoDB. We see companies building new applications on MongoDB – in a lot of cases, things they couldn’t build before – or taking a legacy system that has hit a wall – usually in terms of scalability or performance – and porting that application to run on MongoDB where it is easier to accomplish the performance and scale that they are looking for.”