MongoDB CEO Max Schireson on the Challenges of Managing Data

The big challenge of managing data today is not simply the high volume or the fact that much of it is unstructured. It is the variety of data and the need to integrate it all in order to leverage its value, said MongoDB CEO Max Schireson during a keynote at the NoSQL database vendor’s NYC conference, MongoDB World.

“It is no longer good enough to just look at your data in silos,” said Schireson. “That doesn’t let you optimize your interaction with your customer.  You have to bring your data together.” In addition, “Data that might look structured when you look at it a little bit at a time and frozen in time, when you bring all of that data together is greatly varied.”

On top of that, data is changing rapidly, said Schireson. Eighty percent of enterprise data is unstructured, and unstructured data growing twice as fast as structured data. “Whatever you think you knew about data 2 years ago is probably wrong because 90% of world’s data did not exist 2 years ago,” said Schireson,  and the data that is being created today is completely different from data that was created 20, 10 or even 3 to 5 years ago.

Winning in the Big Data Gold Rush

As an example of a company that has been a big winner in the big data gold rush, Schireson cited Google. A decade ago, Google emerged as the world's most valuable company because it took existing data that was under everyone's noses and organized it better, changing how everyone thought about data, Schireson said. But Google could not have accomplished what it did without game-changing open source software. The advantages of open source and the economics of cloud have succeeded in shifting the economic advantage from the people who build software to the people who use it, he said.

Schireson related how companies such as IBM, SAP and Cloudera are partnering with MongoDB, and reeled off a list of companies, large and small, that are leveraging the open source document database in ways that could not have been envisioned years ago for a data future that everyone knows will be different than the way it is now.

According to Schireson, MongoDB customer Mailbox started small but scaled to millions of users within weeks and became part of Dropbox; Bosch is building an infrastructure for a new world of interconnected devices utilizing MongoDB; MetLife has taken policy data from 70 different systems and after attempting to pull it all together using relational technology, has accomplished the task with MongoDB;  the City of Chicago is using data for its citizens by using MongoDB and Hadoop to create an analytics system that allows it to  better staff emergency rooms, fight crime, and plan mass transit routes.

Today, people expect to build applications in months that used to take years, said Schireson, and together MongoDB with its customers and partners, "are changing how people build and run applications."

Agility and Choice in Application Deployment

In related news, during the conference, the company announced that in addition to AWS, MongoDB will now be available on the Google Cloud Platform and on Microsoft Azure.

“This is the first of many ongoing, collaborative efforts to bring the best MongoDB experience to Google Compute Engine,” said Vijay Vijayasankar, VP of Global Channels and Business Development at MongoDB. “Working with Google represents another critical step in our mission to make it easy for customers to deploy MongoDB on any cloud they choose.”

And, commenting on the offering of a fully-managed HA MongoDB-as-a-service offering available through the Microsoft Azure Store, Vijayasankar added, “By using MongoDB on Microsoft Azure, our customers can be sure that they will enjoy the same high level of support and scalability they have come to expect from MongoDB, in the cloud. Customers can now easily access and manage MongoDB in the fully-managed MongoDB-as-a-service offering.”

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