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November 2, 2022

NoSQL Databases Gain Usability, Speed

NoSQL database vendors Aerospike and Couchbase this week unveiled new enhancements that accelerate the performance and accessibility of their offerings, as the NoSQL market continues to notch gains against the relational incumbents.

While the relational database market continues to dominate the database field in terms of sheer spending, the NoSQL segment is setting the pace for growth, as companies look for more flexible databases to power applications across Web, mobile, and IoT use cases.

According to a recent Digital Journal report, the NoSQL database market accounted for $5.7 billion in sales globally in 2021. Over the next six years, the group said the NoSQL market will increase to $29.3 billion, representing a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.3%.

By contrast, the relational database market accounted for $62 billion in sales globally in 2021, according to a recent Maximize Market Research report. Over the next five years, that is expected to grow to $122.4 billion, representing a 12% CAGR, or less than half the NoSQL market growth rate.

One of the companies looking to capture a share of the NoSQL growth is Aerospike, which has carved a niche for itself for high-performance data workloads. The multi-modal Aerospike database has been running in the cloud for some time, and today the company announced early availability of a new managed database edition running on AWS.

The new managed database service is aimed at enabling developers at startups and enterprises to get up and running with the NoSQL database in a short amount of time, says Lenley Hensarling, the chief product officer at Aerospike.

“It’s really focused on…new customer acquisition and removing friction,” Hensarling says. “Our enterprise customers [say] ‘We would like to drive more workload through you, but our development teams quite often do the easiest thing, which is to go to Amazon, click on DynamoDB and get started.’ We want that experience for their development teams.”

DynamoDB, of course, is the fast-growing key-value data store running on AWS. It’s considered to be a default option for many developers who are at the early stages of building a new Web, mobile, or IoT applications. The Aerospike database may offer better performance in some cases–particularly at the higher end of the scalability spectrum. But getting it up and running in a customer’s VPC required a bigger lift on the customer’s part. The new managed service is designed to eliminate that friction and streamline the process of getting started.

Aerospike has customers that are processing 30 million transactions per second, and will soon be pushing 60 million transactions per second, Hensarling says. While not all customers will approach that level, building on Aerospike from the beginning keeps that option open to them, the longtime tech exec says.

“If you start with something else and you go, Wow, I do need those other capabilities, the you have to re-platform,” he says. “We’re really trying to say, look, start with us, and you won’t have to re-platform.”

In addition to DynamoDB, Aerospike is beginning to compete with MongoDB, the uber-popular open source document database that has been adopted by many Web and mobile developers for its ease of use. Earlier this year, Aerospike introduced support for storing data in JSON documents, putting it in direct competition with MongoDB.

The new managed database service will put Aerospike in more conversations that previously may have gone MongoDB’s way, Hensarling says.

“We’ve won a number of incredibly large workloads where Mongo would just sort of hit the wall,” he says. “They said, look, we got this document model of how we were looking at these problem sets, but they can’t keep up with it in terms of throughput.”

Aerospike is offering its managed database service on AWS first, with general availability on AWS expected in the second quarter of next year. It will be followed by managed database services on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, Hensarling says.

Another NoSQL database vendor eminently familiar with MongoDB is Couchbase, which, like MongoDB, also develops a document style database that stores data in JSON-type files (MongoDB actually uses BSON, but the difference is small).

On Monday, Couchbase announced a new data storage engine behind Capella, its hosted database as a service in the cloud. According to Couchbase, the new data storage engine, when paired with new compute and storage options on the cloud, delivers a 4x increase in performance while using up to 10x less memory. This gives Capella users the capability to driver bigger data workloads with smaller and more affordable clusters, the company says.

The company also announced a new developer experience for Capella that it says will make it easier for developers to use and become productive. The new Capella user interface “presents key developer tools, tasks, and journeys front and center when building applications with Capella,” Couchbase says.

The database vendor also launched its Couchbase Ambassador Program, which is designed to help developers share their knowledge and expertise with other developers. Couchbase envisions the program empowering ambassadors to speak at events, organize community meetups, and create content to grow the community.

Finally, Couchbase announced a relaunch of its Community Hub. The vendor says the new Community Hub is designed to bring users and contributors together to help to foster increased sharing, learning, and discovery.

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