MongoDB: A showcase for the power of open source in the enterprise

Big trends in the No Design Database era and other takeaways from MongoDB's first user conference.

By Holger Mueller


I had the chance to attend the opening day of MongoDBWorld in New York. The event, which was the company's first user conference, was very well attended, with about 2,000 attendees.

Here are my top three takeaways from Day 1:

The data deluge is here — and enterprises are rushing to analyze it. The market is no longer in the R&D/trial phase of a few years ago when big data and NoSQL dominated interest.

Now enterprises are building real, hands-on, value-generating applications in this space. The vendor and tool market has matured and there are more choices than ever for building big data applications. MongoDB CEO Max Schireson mentioned, to no surprise, that 90 percent of the relevant data for enterprises was created in the last two years. Cloudera CTO Mike Olson's view on the next 10 years of big data was no surprise — more data, mostly machine generated, is on his horizon. And it was intuitively clear that only machines will be able to help humans understand the deluge of big data that is coming — also not a surprise if you are seeing the future from Olsen’s/Cloudera’s vantage point.

How data is changing - Screenshot from Keynote

Next generation apps are NoSQL apps — Most of the relevant players building next-generation applications were present at MongoDBWorld. Not only were agile tool vendors like PentaHo and Logi Analytics in attendance, but key PaaS vendors like IBM BlueMix and RedHat with OpenShift were also there. Even the venerable Progress Software and Terradata were there. The attendance roster shows that vendors have realized what enterprises want and need to build big data-centric, next-generation applications and MongoDB is one key database enabling this trend.

MongoDB Momentum - Screenshot from Keynote

Opensource and IP/Services combo is very powerful — MongoDB is a great showcase for coupling open source with enterprise services and products. The fact that many of the largest open source projects are on the way provides unequivocal evidence that community development has surpassed the development capacity of single vendors. Instead of spending money on R&D, vendors are focusing on creating products that enrich the value of open source products. MongoDB adding back-up services for its database is a great example of a vendor introducing key services/products that enterprises need and are ready to pay for. MongoDB adoption with 7M+ downloads, 150k+ Online Education Registrants, 500+ Technology and Services Partners, certainly proves that point. 


Impressive Sponsor / Partner List

A conference that was planned (conservatively) for 800 attendees with an actual attendance of 2,000 is also proof of interest in a trend and speaks to the rise of the big data use-case for enterprises that are building applications or at least looking for tools in the space.

We see this as a part of the bigger trend of the No Design Database era — during the creation of these applications, there are little to no design dependencies taken in regard to potential insights.

It's also further proof that New York is emerging as a technology place — something we previously saw with Infor and ADP, for example. 

MongoDB needs to grow as fast as it can, while also conquering related challenges and retaining quality. The big guys that stored transactional information (Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, etc.) will find their way to attractive big data offerings. Their strength will likely lie in blending structured and unstructured data seamlessly, in a way that lets their existing ecosystem leverage big data with little additional investment on the skill side.