Thursday, September 30, 2010

MongoDB the Definitive Guide by Kristina Chodrow and Michael Dirolf

The kind folks at O'Reilly sent me a fantastic book about MongoDB. This was a great read since it’s suited for people who do Operations and Development and Performance tuning (me). I've been using Cassandra for quite some time now (months lol) and the thing that has irritated me about Cassandra is the documentation for it. Cassandra documentation sucks, its hard to speed up on the internals. This MongoDB book is written by the most active participants that are developing MongoDB and the knowledge shows. What I like is it starts out on how to quickly get it up, add/get/update data to the DB. Then progresses to more advance topics-that talk about GridFS and MongoDB drivers. Personally I would like to see more elaboration of this facet in terms of motivation of why do this, what the win is and how it fits into the "Fast by Default" mantra. Each step is organized perfectly, and detailed with nice graphics that illustrate the document store or the flow of data from a systems view. When looking at the documentation on I see the same sort of clarity in this book. Comparing other NoSQL information, I do not see this transparency, which is rather frustrating because the learning curve is much larger. I'm so impressed with the info, and test results around the web that I'm moving to add this to my environment. Does this mean I'll get rid of my current Cassandra deployment? Probably not since its working great for my needs now.

Overall, great book, great info, intelligently presented with a straightforward explanation of how MongoDB works.


Sheeri K. Cabral said...


If you like that book you'll love Cassandra: The Definitive Guide. I'm reading the rough cut right now and it's awesome, it really helps describe everything. I can't imagine how folks who come from a relational background would learn Cassandra without it. Estimated book publishing date is mid-December if you want to wait for the paper, completely final version.

Of course now I have to read this one...after I'm done with the rough cut of course.

Kristina Chodorow said...

Thanks for the great review! Maybe we can elaborate on the reasoning behind advanced features more next edition :)

Mike Dirolf said...

Thanks for the review! Glad you enjoyed the book.

Mark Callaghan said...

MongoDB has an amazing community. Join their mailing lists to find out. The authors are a few of the people who offer expert advice there. I have a rough draft of the book and was very impressed by it.