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May 19, 2020updated 20 May 2020 9:57am

MongoDB Gets a New Distribution, as Percona Grasps the Nettle

Non-relational DB gets an enterprise distribution from left-field...

By CBR Staff Writer

Open source database specialist Percona today announced its very own MongoDB distribution (and managed services for it); an unusual move given the latter’s somewhat restrictive license terms, and one likely to put the cat among the pigeons at MongoDB’s headquarters.

MongoDB, an $11 billion (by market capitalisation) non-relational database specialist, offers a bare-bones open source version of its software that customers are free to download and use; but makes its money providing managed services for/licenses to more proprietary, all-singing, all-dancing versions of the database; with other tools plugged in.

As a result, MongoDB (the database) is a bit of a MongoDB (the company)-only show, despite the cloud hyperscalers’ best efforts.

Read this: MongoDB’s CEO on Open Source, Taking on Oracle, and Scaling Up

North Carolina-based Percona meanwhile specialises in providing support and managed services for customers wanting to avoid vendor lock-in by using open source databases across their stack. (It offers managed services for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL databases, among others).

The company made the announcement at its annual “Percona Live” conference (taking place online today), saying that the newly released Percona Distribution for MongoDB provides a “fully open source enterprise solution based on Percona Server for MongoDB and Percona Backup for MongoDB that maximizes performance while being more cost-effective”.

(A distribution is a open source project that is packaged up and managed separately/independently from the main open source project. It’s not the same thing as a fork — a new branch of the source code itself).

Acknowledging that MongoDB — “with a flexible schema, natural high availability, and built-in horizontal scaling… is considered the best big data solution among general-purpose databases — Percona notes: “MongoDB is a lot more centrally controlled than other databases. With MongoDB’s focus mainly on the Atlas platform, it leaves those that want to run hybrid systems at a disadvantage and searching for options to avoid being locked-in”.

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Percona’s Terri Schlosser told us: “We’re completely neutral on what database you use: we offer managed services for a wide range of them, so we’re not trying to sell you a particular DB and there’s no risk of vendor lock-in.

“Most MongoDB customers will be using at least two open source databases. We know how to optimise the software for your workload needs; make things run faster…”

(Computer Business Review is not aware of any other open source MongoDB distributions, bar MongoDB’s own. If we’re wrong, let us know…)

Percona Distribution for MongoDB

Percona said the release combines Percona Memory Engine for in-memory storage, HashiCorp Vault for data access control, data at rest encryption, audit logging, external LDAP authentication and hot backup support to meet enterprise requirements around application data security and availability.

It also supports  Kubernetes deployments.

Percona also today promised the release later this summer of its own MySQL distribution and said it had updated its Postgres distribution to Postgres 12.

See also:  The Life of a DBA: Behind the Scenes, Amid the Chaos

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