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

Mitch Pirtle mitch.pirtle at
Mon Jan 18 21:41:59 EST 2010

On Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 3:31 PM, Justin Dearing <zippy1981 at> wrote:
> Mitch,
> 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.

That doesn't mean you need a dedicated DBA, like you would with a
heavyweight like Oracle, DB2 or even MySQL.

This *does* mean your developers need to be competent in the
technologies that they use, which unfortunately doesn't seem like a
standard practice. Actually, regardless of what database you use, your
developers need to be competent.

As well, your operations team needs competence in the technologies
that they are supposed to support, but again that won't require a
dedicated specialist for just the database portion of your

That's the crux of my points, which I think are either misunderstood
or I failed to be clear, and I apologize for that.

As to the "can run without a config file" comment, you need to try
MongoDB for yourself to understand what I mean. MongoDB does not have
the need for preallocation of RAM, disk, etc. Unlike relational
databases that need all kinds of tweaking to make run well in your
particular scenario, databases like MongoDB simply don't need all that
additional help to be extremely fast.

This actually points back at my above sentiment that using a modern
database like MongoDB does mean there's zero justification for a
dedicated database person. Yes of course you still need operations
folks, but the need for a one-trick-pony should obviously be

-- Mitch

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