Re-envisioning the Document Database to Accommodate for Scale and Performance

Eighty percent of today’s data is unstructured, with a growing rate of 60% every year. Enterprises face the challenge of being able to best leverage and manage that data to benefit their growing business goals; analyzing and acting on unstructured data, while daunting, presents a massive opportunity for document databases.

DBTA hosted a webinar, “Building a Real-time Document Data Store at Scale,” featuring speakers Noel Yuhanna, VP and principal analyst at Forrester; George Demarest, director of product marketing at Aerospike; and Mario Ornelas, CEO of Zonetap, to explore the ways in which current document databases are ill-equipped to scale and perform at max efficiency, and how Aerospike rises to that challenge.

Data is a critical resource for any modern enterprise, said Yuhanna. And data provides enterprises with a variety of benefits, ranging from greater customer retainment to market expansion to revenue increases. Though these benefits are indeed alluring, they come with a variety of needs: support for real-time applications and insights, support for numerous data types outside of structured data, an elastic, scalable platform, a connected data system, and more. 

Document databases, which provide storage, processing, and access to complex, polystructured data, seem to be the solution. Lower data management costs, flexible document structure, elastic scaling, and high performance provide the foundation for successful management of complex data.

It is critical, however, to select the most appropriate document database for your enterprise needs, Yuhanna implored. Criteria such as low-latency access, scaling outwards for large deployments, self-service and automation capabilities, real-time data support, API support, and data security enabled from the get-go are features that if not carefully considered beforehand, can lead you to stunted, ill-equipped document database performance.

Ornelas demonstrated the challenges that many document databases face when it comes to scale. Zonetap provides geofencing technology for worker safety in places like construction sites, where GPS/GNSS devices are placed both on equipment and workers to trigger alerts if a worker is in danger of a worksite accident. Employing MongoDB, Ornelas ran into a problem with scale; aiming to cultivate a landscape of thousands of devices, MongoDB’s performance suffered to support such a vast environment.

Demarest introduced the Aerospike Real-Time Data Platform as a worthy contender to meet the growing needs and challenges of modern data generation. Notably, the platform focuses on scale and low-latency, positioning it as the solution for complex, voluminous data. Aerospike’s platform features collection data types (CDTs) that are essential to ingesting, storing, and serving document data; CDTs are native data types with inherently low latency, linear scaling, and high throughput, providing its users with the ability to generate large amounts of complex data without impacting performance or scalability. The platform also employs JSON with binary storage representations, which creates better space efficiency, better speed, support for data types outside of JSON, and the ability to implement APIs for server-side atomic operations.

To learn more about modern document database challenges, the Aerospike Real-Time Data Platform, or to see a demo of Zonetap at work, you can view an archived version of the webinar here.