MongoDB world

The NASDAQ Stock Market is an interesting place to throw a party — especially if you’re a red-hot tech startup that's valued at more than $1.5 billion and happened to hire a CEO with IPO experience nine months ago.

But MongoDB, the open source NoSQL database provider that threw a partner event at the venue last night, won’t be making any capital raising announcements in the next few days.

The company’s focus will be on its annual user conference in New York City today and tomorrow, said Kelly Stirman, VP of Strategy and Product Marketing at MongoDB.

By the Numbers

MongoDB had some interesting metrics to share with the developers and customers who have come to the Big Apple from all over the world: its software is downloaded more than 10,000 time per day, almost 40 percent of Fortune 100 have it in production, MongoDB MMS (the company’s cloud service) has over 75,000 users and the company has more than 1000 partners.

But perhaps the statistic they want to shout loudest about is that MongoDB blows away its open source NoSQL competitors, Couchbase and DataStax (Cassandra), when it comes to scalability in real world deployments, according to United Software Associates, Inc., an independent benchmarking and performance testing organization. That news came to us via Stirman.

Speed and performance are a big deal in the NoSQL world according to analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research. NoSQL use cases are becoming more and more about real time apps, he explained, “and the vendors need it to expand to more use cases,” he said.

And while MongoDB, DataStax and Couchbase all spend considerable time explaining why NoSQL gives birth to applications that more established databases like Oracle and SQL Server cannot, they also throw barbs at each other.

What Sets it Apart

Last year Couchbase President and CEO Bob Wiederhold called MongoDB, “a first-generation NoSQL (database for) developer projects,” as compared to Couchbase, which he labeled a “true enterprise-class NoSQL product to scale mission-critical applications.”

MongoDB on its website claims that “MongoDB smokes NoSQL vendors “in terms of both throughput and latency across a number of configurations.

DataStax (Cassandra) offers a whitepaper on its site that cites a study from Endpoint that says: “The overall conclusions of the performance tests closely mirrored the results of the previous benchmark, with Cassandra outperforming the other NoSQL databases in both throughput and latency. Depending on the test, HBase or Couchbase delivered the next best result, with MongoDB coming in last in most tests.

'We're the Best'

Today MongoDB announced the news that it beat Cassandra and Couchbase in all tests by as much as 15x. The same press release also calls MongoDB’s competitors “niche NoSQL alternatives.”

Why so nasty? It could be that the executives at MongoDB are tired of taking the high road. “If you look at what Couchbase says it makes our database look broken,” said Stirman in a pre-conference interview.

 And given that MongoDB owns the lion’s share of the open source NoSQL market, customers don’t seem worried about its scalability. Enterprises as diverse as MetLife, Expedia, The Gap and eHarmony among many, many others build solutions on MongoDB.

But it’s not just because of scalability that MongoDB wins customers minds and hearts, according to Stirman. It’s long been the first choice of developers because of its rich features and functions. “There’s a vastly greater number of companies using MongoDB (than the competition),” he says.

Is MongoDB worried about losing deals to Couchbase or DataStax, we asked Stirman. He said no, adding  that it seldom (if ever) happens.

 So why the benchmark testing? It could be that MongoDB is tired of being called out for inadequacies that don’t (seem to) exist. Or that they want to establish a few important facts before they go public. After all, the time of billion dollar unicorns probably won’t last forever.