Internet databases MongoDB, Drizzle upgraded

New releases of Drizzle and MongoDB show a maturing market for alternative Internet-savvy databases

Two performance-minded databases created for supporting Internet services and cloud computing have been revised: MongoDB has been updated and Drizzle has reached its first production-ready release.

10gen has released version 1.8 of its open-source non-relational database MongoDB.

This new version is the first to introduce journaling, which records every operation executed against the database. Should the database server crash, having journaling enabled would help speed recovery because the database can be quickly restored to its last known state.

"A journaling storage engine has been one of the most requested and discussed features within the MongoDB community, and we're happy to announce that journaling is now available. With journaling enabled, crash recovery is fast and safe," a 10Gen blog entry comments on the release. According to the developers, enabling the software for journaling should not slow performance significantly.

The new version of MongoDB also allows users to incrementally add new data onto an existing set of data that has already been filtered through the software's map/reduce function. The replication and sharding functions have also been improved.

10Gen claims that about 100,000 copies of MongoDB are downloaded each month. Introduced in 2009, MongoDB is a document-oriented database, one that does not use the traditional columns and rows of a database, but rather stores material in serial format similar to JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). MongoDB has no table structures or schemas, allowing users to add in new attributes on an as-needed basis. Querying is done through a JavaScript-styled syntax.

Advocates claim MongoDB can retrieve material more quickly than standard relational databases, especially if the queries are for retrievals of simple datasets. Internet services such as Foursquare, Bit.ly and SourceForge use the document-oriented data store, as 10Gen calls MongoDB.

"The relational model isn't for everybody. There are many use cases in which document-oriented data stores like MongoDB make loads of sense," said Curt Monash, president of Monash Research, in a statement. "It's good to see the MongoDB product line continue to mature."

Elsewhere in the field of open-source databases, the keepers behind Drizzle have released the first production-ready version of that database, Drizzle 7, otherwise known as 2011.03.13 GA.

Drizzle is an offshoot of MySQL, forked in 2008 by then-Sun Microsystems engineer Brian "Krow" Aker. Aker and other developers crafted Drizzle for cloud computing and Web application duties: They stripped away features not needed for these tasks, reorganized the codebase into a microkernel architecture and rewrote the code using C++, all in the hopes of speeding the performance of the database system.

Today, Drizzle is maintained by developers at Canonical, Rackspace and Google, and other companies.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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