Finding the money

MongoDB adds native text search, spins off enterprise edition

Elliot Bentley

New release of popular NoSQL database takes aim at commercial market with security and monitoring features.

An update
to popular NoSQL database MongoDB
released today introduces a
built-in text search ability, hash-based sharding and much-needed
security features.

Creators 10gen have at the same time announced a new
commercial fork of the open-source software. MongoDB
adds security and monitoring features, as well as
integration with other enterprise software packages.

Lack of security has been a
key criticism
of NoSQL technologies, and MongoDB 2.4, like

last month’s DataStax update
, appears designed to take these
head-on. The primary additions are role-based access control –
meaning user privileges can be more finely-controlled – and the
option to require clients to provide signed SSL certificates.
Kerberos authentication is also available in the new Enterprise

Not all of MongoDB’s changes are aimed at the
enterprise, however. MongoDB’s new text search, first previewed in
January, has been “one of the all time most requested features in
MongoDB” according to 10gen CTO Eliot Horowitz. It’s described as a
“basic” implementation of search, sufficient for basic operations
but not meant as a full replacement for Solr and Lucene.

More immediately practical changes are hashed-based
sharding, said to ensure even distributions of reads and writes
when MongoDB is split across large clusters, and a “working set
size analyser” able to estimate the amount of RAM MongoDB should
expect to use.

There are two new types of storable objects: capped
arrays, which can be declared at a fixed size, and 2dsphere
geospatial indexes in addition to the existing 2d index option.
Under the hood, Firefox’s SpiderMonkey JavaScript engine – used in
MongoDB for MapReduce, $where and the shell – has been replaced
with Chrome’s famously zippy V8 engine..

The emergence of MongoDB Enterprise is far from
surprising – it’s a model used throughout the industry, including
by fellow NoSQL pioneers DataStax. Until now, 10gen have only
offered commercial support, although this doesn’t appear to have
held them back, judging by their rapid expansion across the

Despite being one of the most popular NoSQL databases (or
perhaps because of it), MongoDB has attracted
controversy and criticism
. It’s seen adoption by Foursquare,
Craigslist and the UK Government, and most recently by the city of
Chicago to power a
city-wide analytic system

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