SoftLayer Technologies and 10gen have paired on a set of on-demand MongoDB production-class systems, which will sit atop SoftLayer’s cloud. The systems include integrated monitoring and support, as well as the ability to automate data-center cluster deployment. An open-source, document-oriented NoSQL database system, MongoDB relies on “BSON,” a binary form of JSON, for data storage. It’s popular among IT pros with a need to store and analyze massive amounts of data: Jaspersoft’s most recent Big Data Index placed MongoDB at the top of its list of popular data sources, ahead of Hadoop-Hive (an SQL interface to Hadoop MapReduce), Cassandra, and Hadoop-HBase. 10gen’s MongoDB version 2.2, released in late August, offers a variety of tweaks on the platform: upgrades capable of handling larger, more geographically distributed contexts; an advanced Aggregation Framework that streamlines the manipulation and processing of documents without the need for separate application processes; and improvements to concurrency, including an elimination of the global lock in the mongod process. That’s a lot to take in, particularly for those relatively new to database systems. SoftLayer and 10gen evidently believe that offering pre-engineered systems optimized for MongoDB will convince organizations to sign onto the system, particularly if they can streamline the creation and configuration of customized clusters. SoftLayer is charging $359 per month as a base price for its MongoDB solutions, which bumps up to $659 per month with a MongoDB Cloud subscription (that sticker-price includes an Intel Xeon 1270-based server with 8GB of RAM and twin 500GB SATA storage drives). While relational databases are a tried-and-true technology, their much-publicized difficulties with scaling (either inside or outside the cloud) have led some developers to embrace databases not based on relational architectures. Some of those architectures and their associated technologies—including MongoDB, CouchDB, Hadoop, and other platforms—fall within the NoSQL camp (and to be fair, just as many have also opted for alternate database architectures that support SQL). Many organizations opt to work with those non-relational databases as a service in the cloud, which can save them the headaches of deploying and managing the databases on their own. MongoDB obviously wants a piece of that audience.   Image: winui/