AWS takes aim at MongoDB with bracketed fire

AWS logo

Amazon has launched its own MongoDB compatible database service, in what is being seen as a major kick at the open source database vendor, and depending on your point of view the open source community in general.

The full name of the new offering is Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB Compatibility). AWS flags up features including scalable storage up to 64TB, 6-way storage replications, and the fact that it is a fully managed service.

However, it’s the part in the brackets that’s caused a whole load of hoo-hah.

AWS describes its new baby as “a fast, scalable, and highly available document database that is designed to be compatible with your existing MongoDB applications and tools.”  

As the blog announcing the launch of the database puts it,  “Amazon DocumentDB is designed to work with your existing MongoDB applications and tools. Just be sure to use drivers intended for MongoDB 3.4 or newer. Internally, Amazon DocumentDB implements the MongoDB 3.6 API by emulating the responses that a MongoDB client expects from a MongoDB server.”

And that’s the rub. More recent versions of Mongo come under the Server Side Public License, which require anyone making the software available as a service to make their service source code publicly available.

Some commentators view AWS’s launch as a response to Mongo’s licensing move, though, this twitter thread suggests it had been in the works long before.

Mongo’s response, according to TechCruch is to play the imitation/flattery card, with CEO Dev Ittycheria telling TechCrunch he was confident, “Developers are technically savvy enough to distinguish between the real thing and a poor imitation. MongoDB will continue to outperform any impersonations in the market.”

But having a superior product guarantees nothing, if users are happy to forego it for good enough combined with ease of use and competitive pricing.

And talking of ease of use, Amazon has also launched a migration service for Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) as a target.