IoT Challenges In Data Management Are Real

by Preeti S    Dec 05, 2014

Kamal Brar

MongoDB is an open-source document database, and the leading NoSQL database. It can be called as a successor to the traditional table-based relational database structure. With its open source model, MongoDB has emerged popular among enterprises. In India, its client list includes Snapdeal.com, Happiest Minds and Hike messenger.

In an exclusive interview with CXOToday, Kamal Brar, vice president, APAC, MongoDB, calls NoSQL the next-gen database that addresses the shortcomings of relational databases. He also talks about increasing data complexity with emerging technologies; how CIOs are adopting open source; technology trends shaping database management and concerns associated with it.

Which are the two critical concerns for database management in the connected world? How can NoSQL address them?

The database market is evolving quickly. Increasingly, organizations are realizing that Relational Database Management Software (RDBMS) no longer address all of the challenges posed by the variety, velocity and volume of modern data streams. Relational databases simply cannot manage dynamic data and retrieve it quickly enough for today’s consumption. For example, a large amount of geographic data or machine-to-machine generated data needs agile frameworks that the older models simply cannot provide.

To gain competitive advantages and solve real-world challenges, businesses customers need agile data frameworks. To do that, you need to move away from legacy relational models. NoSQL database software provides a mechanism for storage and data retrieval with less constrained consistency models than traditional RDBMS.

How is NOSQL adoption in India? What is the role of CIOs in driving it?

The NoSQL database movement is part of a new generation of data tools that have come about to address the shortcomings of relational databases and the demands of modern software development. These next generation databases have  seen significant adoption in the past few years. MongoDB, for example, has been downloaded more than 8 million times globally and we have seen tremendous interest in our product offerings from India. Our user community in India is growing fast and we are also seeing a significant uptake  both the open source community and customers reviewing  enterprise-based solutions. In recent months, we have signed clients like Snapdeal.com, Happiest Minds and Hike messenger in India.

In India, CIOs have a big interest in using open source technology. There are massive government projects running on open source, so I think in India, enterprises are leveraging the true potential of open source. For us the real challenge is to build the awareness among the CIOs about our technology and where we fit in.

Another trend CIOs are experiencing is the so-called bottom up adoption. This is where developers are coming to the CIO having already played with or tested open source technologies. With a database like MongoDB, which is very fast and simple to set up, it’s often the case that a CIO will first come into contact with it when one of his employees comes to him with a new project or idea that is already being built. 

Which verticals are using document oriented database? What advantage does it have over traditional systems?

For big data deployments it’s less about general industries than it is about actual use cases. For example, if a company needs to pool together a huge range of disparate data sets to get one single view of its customer, then a document oriented database would be the perfect solution. This is because of the variety of different data types it would need to ingest. We’ve seen that type of use case in a number of different industries such as insurance, finance and retail.

Similarly we can see internet of things (IoT) use cases in manufacturing, retail (with RFID tagging) and the public sector. The same is true of real-time analytics. Overall the industry is still quite young but businesses in almost every vertical are developing applications that previously weren’t possible.

Which are the technology trends that are shaping open source data management?

Consider this: 90% of the world’s data was created in the last two years, 80% of the world’s data is unstructured, and unstructured data is growing at twice the rate of structured data. Put that together and it’s clear that the trends favor databases that are comfortable with unstructured data that doesn’t fit neatly into the rows and columns of a relational database. 

One major trend fueling the next generation database movement has to do with the size of today’s user base. Not all that long ago, 10,000 daily users per application was a mammoth volume to deal with. Now with the global enterprise, users are now in the millions and rapidly climbing as data becomes bigger. The complexity and sheer size of the cluster of modernized users requires something beyond the relational DBMS. These applications require databases that scale both rapidly and quickly. Another significant trend, perhaps the biggest influencer, of the movement is Cloud computing. Most applications today rely heavily on Cloud data architecture, a public or private Cloud platform and/or support a massive volume of users.

Most data today simply doesn’t fit neatly into a relational database. Sure, given enough money and time you can force most data into the rows and columns of a relational database, but organisations are coming to realise that this is a very poor use of both resources and time.

How do you think will wearable computing and IoT change the data management scenario?

Everybody agrees that IoT – the Internet of Things – is representing the next big wave in the evolution of the Internet. No doubt, IoT is going to change the scale of data that modern product development and manufacturing companies are consuming. The tremendous amount of data will be collected from connected devices and it is going to be big challenge for both enterprise and database management companies to transform it into consumable information assets. As businesses gear up to face this challenge; MongoDB leads the way by providing developers with a platform to help them leverage the data generated by billions of devices to provide new levels of operational insights and experiences that will delight customers.

Roadmap for NoSQL. Where do you see it in the next five years?

The future looks bright for NoSQL, with its rising adoption it has clearly marked its presence in the Big Data market in just a few short years.

Over the years, non-relational technologies have gained significant traction and have become the database of choice for many organizations. As more enterprises adopt complex web-based applications that store session info, user-generated data, audio, and video, they require databases with greater agility and capabilities. NoSQL has fulfilled many of those needs. Over the next few years, I expect to see more competing open source implementations, more start-ups, and more corporations partnering with start-ups and/or acquiring them. Ultimately it will be about maturity as technologies add functionalities and prove themselves in more varied use cases. This will lead to more developers and administrators trained in next generation database skills and ultimately more customer adoption.