[nycphp-talk] MongoDB and others, convince me. :-)

Justin Dearing zippy1981 at
Mon Jan 18 15:31:32 EST 2010

Dba is a hybrid dev/admin role, and can be a sysadmin's second hat.
However, even if you dumb down your database, you still need someone
to tune your data/index model. It is certainly possible to create an
ineffecient mongo cluster. It is also possible to incorrectly back it
up, especially if there is no master node set.

If you have a lot of data in mongo, you should make sure you have some
mongo expertise on your operations team and your dev team.


On 1/18/10, Mitch Pirtle <mitch.pirtle at> wrote:
> On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 10:03 AM, Gary Mort <garyamort at> wrote:
>> A database is a database...they all have similarities, and the SQL part is
>> the least important part of being a DBA.
> This becomes more of a systems administrator thing though, doesn't it?
> MongoDB is a great example, as you can run it without a configuration
> file - the only understanding anyone really needs is the development
> team using MongoDB, as they obviously need to know what works (and
> consequently what doesn't).
> There's no way I could justify a full salary for someone to just sit
> and watch MongoDB instances over on EC2 or the datacenter. That's
> basically all they would do.
> Part of the push to go non-relational is the desire to push away from
> overly complex and convoluted proprietary platforms. I look at it like
> this:
> 1) In the beginning, there were relational databases. They were big
> and full of features, and it was desired to put as much "business
> logic" in the database as possible - therefore a genuine need for
> specialized support staff.
> 2) Hello, World Wide Web! Scaling these relational databases was hard,
> and they were the main source of consternation and frustration for
> development teams of high-traffic sites.
> 3) Facebook (among others) learn that to really scale, you need to do
> your joins at the app layer, and everyone starts pulling all that
> logic out of the database and back into the application.
> 4) So why are we using a relational database again?
> Not saying this was a smart path to go, or even the right one; however
> it is where we are, and there are reasons we've started down the route
> to modern databases: They think like modern languages do (objects),
> they have additional features for scale as part and parcel of their
> base functionality (sharding, mapreduce), and take advantage of modern
> systems for minimal configuration needs and best performance (memory
> mapped files).
> -- Mitch
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