For users running large enterprise databases, performance and scaleability are top concerns. Every IT Department and CTO wants to ensure that they can process and run transactions quickly. That’s why MongoDB and LinuxONE™ are a great combination. Open databases like MongoDB on LinuxONE have twice the throughput of competitive platforms. In fact LinuxONE can scale up to a 2 terabyte single node instance of MongoDB with 470,000 database reads and writes per second with no throughput degradation and sustained response times of less than 5 millisecond.
In the run-up to MongoDB’s announcement of MongoDB Enterprise Advanced 3.4, which includes support for IBM LinuxONE and Linux on z Systems, we had the chance to talk with Eliot Horowitz, Chief Technology Officer and co-founder at MongoDB. We discussed how IBM and MongoDB work together to deliver value to customers. With the announcement of MongoDB Enterprise Advanced, the product’s always-on operational and real-time analytics capabilities have been strengthened. MongoDB makes it easier for enterprises to consolidate their technology footprint and accelerate their digital transformation with a single database. Following is our interview with Eliot Horowitz.
Q. Tell me a little bit about who you are and how you ended up at MongoDB ?
I’m a lifelong developer, and I love to work on big problems. MongoDB emerged from a long-standing partnership between me and Dwight Merriman, with whom I co-founded MongoDB in 2007. Dwight and I first worked together at DoubleClick, beginning with my internship on his R&D team while I was an undergrad in Brown University’s CS program, and continuing when I joined his team full-time after getting my BS. Over the years, first at DoubleClick and then on our own, we worked on a wide variety of projects, and although they were all very different, each one of them frustrated us in the same way: they required the use of databases, all of which seemed to get in our way. We saw a need for a different kind of database, one that was frictionless for developers, meshed naturally with modern infrastructure paradigms, and assumed a need for multiple-server durability and scale from the start. That’s what we set out to build – the new standard database for modern applications.
Now, MongoDB is the fastest growing database in the world and we support applications from organizations of all sizes — from start-ups to enterprises — so I’m pleased to find we’re on the right track.
As CTO, I lead technical vision and strategy, driving our far-reaching R&D and deciding on which features to prioritize, but I also commit code to the core server. It’s important for me to stay involved in the core work of the engineering team. Staying close to the codebase is critical to thinking realistically about our road map and development capabilities. I even wrote an article about how important this is.
Q. What do you think some of the advantages of IBM LinuxONE and MongoDB together will bring to your clients?
This partnership enables our customers to receive all the benefits of MongoDB coupled with the superlative performance, manageability, and outright fault-proof stability of IBM’s open-source LinuxONE hardware. We know developers want to take advantage of MongoDB’s performance, flexibility and agility to build mission-critical systems. They’ll now be able to deploy those systems on the robust and battle-tested hardware that has been powering the world’s most demanding enterprise systems for decades.
We are working closely with IBM to ensure MongoDB Enterprise Advanced works seamlessly with Linux on IBM z Systems and runs on Linux ONE. Our global support and engineering teams will continue to work with IBM to ensure business continuity for our joint customers running MongoDB on IBM LinuxONE and IBM z Systems hardware.
Q. What do you hope the partnership will bring to MongoDB?
With MongoDB available on an entirely new class of hardware, our existing customers increase their options for how to deploy their database infrastructure; additionally an entire segment of enterprises that previously could not run MongoDB gain the ability to do so. A better, more diverse offering for our customers is our biggest gain.
Additionally, as a company, it deepens our relationship with IBM and further validates that MongoDB is the new default database for modern applications.
Q. Are there any top of mind challenges you find your clients are facing?
As the industry as a whole has come to realize that an entirely new set of best practices apply to application development and infrastructure organization, the market has seen an explosion of new tools to embody and enable these new practices. While it is unquestionably a good thing for these to emerge, the field as a whole is immature. This means an organization can become overwhelmed by the need to have expertise in and maintain too great a portfolio of technologies.
Q. And how do you think the MongoDB and IBM LinuxONE can solve some of these challenges?
The organizations that use IBM’s LinuxONE and IBM z Systems are some of the most susceptible to the above problem. They value the flexibility and agility that the new order allows, but above all, flawless management of vast resources and rock-solid stability must be maintained. The architecture — with its monstrous redundancy, peerless specialization of processing components, and Manager centralized resource management — is a server that answers those needs in a way that other designs cannot. Teams building systems on such hardware do not like unruly collections of half-baked, overspecialized technologies.
MongoDB is exactly the database that fits the bill for these teams. It is powerful and flexible, suits a wide range of use cases, and has the maturity to suit an enterprise that demands reliability and durability.
With this partnership, IBM is clearly demonstrating its confidence in MongoDB is the default database for new applications.
Q. Are your clients asking for ‘more’ from their enterprise systems today than in the past? Any noticeable trends or patterns?
An era of experimentation is coming to end and there’s a big desire within organizations to standardize on key technology.
The new generation of applications has shown beyond any doubt that there’s a better, faster and easier way to build things. For example, organizations across every industry have seen the huge benefits available from non-relational databases. Now is the time those organizations want to select one preferred platform and deploy that across the organization.
It creates far too much complexity for your operations team to have a different stack for each application. So the ‘more’ that enterprises are asking for is more maturity. One niche use case isn’t good enough.
MongoDB’s strength has always been the wide range of use cases it can address very well. This partnership is another signal to the market that MongoDB is the modern database you can standardize on.
MongoDB has always been a favorite of developers. The features we’re adding now will make it the first choice right across every department in the enterprise.
Q. Can you talk us through a couple of typical use cases for using MongoDB in the enterprise?
I’m proud to say MongoDB doesn’t have a ‘typical use case’. We’re a general purpose database and therefore don’t get stuck in one niche. However, there are some areas where we’ve seen particularly strong traction including: Internet of Things, Mobile Applications, Single View of the Customer, Real Time Analytics and Content Management.
To give a couple of varied customer examples:
Facebook’s Parse runs a diverse number of applications on MongoDB. These applications are on more than 200 million mobile devices, and Parse use around 100 nodes. This is a big deployment by the world’s largest social media company.
Then there’s an organization like City of Chicago. The team there has used MongoDB to develop the beta version of the WindyGrid app in just four months. The app gives emergency services a unified view of the city on a real-time geospatial analytics platform, pulling together seven million different pieces of data from city departments every day. They continue to rely on MongoDB’s agility to add new data types and process enhancement requests in regular four-week iterations.
Those are two big well known organizations using MongoDB but we’re also popular with innovative start ups. x.ai is an artificially intelligent personal assistant who schedules meetings for you. Users simply cc Amy (email@example.com) and she conducts a negotiation over email with your guests, just like any human assistant would do. x.ai passes emails through natural language processing and supervised learning engines that understand the context of the information before it is enriched and stored in MongoDB.
Q. Who stands to gain the most from using MongoDB and IBM LinuxONE and why? What are the benefits to developers, DBAs, CIOs, CTOs?
Good question. I would cheat, and say everyone in the organization benefits, but I won’t.
I think the group who stands to gain the most from the partnership are team leaders and CIOs. Those leaders can now take the software that will give their organization the best competitive advantage and deploy it on hardware that people throughout the organization know and trust.
This has a knock-on positive effect on DBAs and developers too. Developers can now use their favorite database safe in the knowledge that the DBA will be able to deploy it on a mainframe they are familiar and comfortable with.
For more information on MongoDB and their recent announcement of MongoDB Advanced Enterprise , visit the MongoDB blog. For more information on MongoDB on IBM LinuxONE, visit IBM LinuxONE on the web. For detailed information on IBM LinuxONE and MongoDB, check the FAQs.
About Eliot Horowitz:
Eliot Horowitz is the CTO & Co-Founder of MongoDB
Eliot is one of the core MongoDB kernel committers. Previously, he was Co-Founder and CTO of ShopWiki. Eliot developed the crawling and data extraction algorithm that is the core of its innovative technology.