ScaleGrid, Inc (http://www.scalegrid.net), a Seattle-based startup, is announcing this week the public availability of MongoDirector, an end-to-end lifecycle management solution for MongoDB. MongoDirector provides a "single pane of glass" to manage MongoDB deployments allowing for simplified and automated MongoDB lifecycle management on both VMware vCenter and CloudStack.
I caught up last week with Dharshan Rangegowda and Ankit Bhatia, co-founders of ScaleGrid, in hopes of learning more about these guys and their ambitious plans around database-as-a-service. Dharshan and Ankit are complete opposites in many ways. Dharshan is an outdoorsy-type who enjoys hiking the Olympic Peninsula, while Ankit prefers a weather-neutral environment where he can follow his favorite financial markets and college basketball. What prompted this unlikely pair of software developers, who used to work on a proprietary cloud product for a very large Redmond-based software company, to build something based on open source technologies?
“We saw problems all around us with IT departments trying to get a grip on the sprawl of database deployments within their own organizations,” Dharshan explained. “Everybody wants high availability and scalability on the data tier…but to get the configurations correct requires time and expertise. We started thinking…what if we built a product that took the guess work out of HA configurations, disaster recovery configurations, and all of the other problems associated with scale up/scale down at the data layer”.
Dharshan and Ankit started with SQL Server…a known entity for them. But the NoSQL database solution, MongoDB, kept coming up in conversations over and over again. “We were at a local Seattle big data series earlier this year. Most of the attendees were from startups that were using public or private cloud solutions. When we saw the level of interest around MongoDB, we knew we needed a solution, ” said Dharshan.
MongoDB (http://www.mongodb.org) is an open-source, high performance, document-oriented NoSQL database solution. It stores objects or documents in JSON-like data structures with dynamic schema (a format called BSON) and also offers a rich ad hoc query language based on BSON documents. MongoDB has full index support, dynamic sharding, and enterprise-like features such as replication, failover, and journaling. MongoDB’s performance characteristics, ability to scale out, and rich programming language support across multiple platforms make it a favorite with large enterprises and small startups alike. The ScaleGrid MongoDirector product supports provisioning, cloning, monitoring and backup and restore of standalone or clustered highly available and disaster recovery ready MongoDB deployments, allowing IT departments to reduce operational costs and cut down on long lead times for development systems.
I would have been remiss had I not taken the opportunity to ask Ankit the obvious question: what is it like to go from working for one of the world’s largest proprietary software companies to working with open source technologies, like MongoDB and CloudStack? “Developers on both sides have been extremely passionate. At the end of the day, what keeps us all going as technologists is solving those really challenging problems, whether they are on Linux, Windows, or some other platform”.