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Summary:

NoSQL databases are hot and MongoDB may be the hottest of the NoSQL databases, which is why Rackspace is buying ObjectRocket and its MongoDB expertise.

objectrocket

Rackspace is buying its way into the hot MongoDB database market with its acquisition of ObjectRocket, a year-old provider of cloud-based MongoDB services.

Chris Lalonde, co-founder CEO of ObjectRocket

Chris Lalonde, co-founder CEO of ObjectRocket

The deal, the terms were not disclosed, shows that major cloud infrastructure providers need to offer an array of database options — Rackspace already offers MySQL but Amazon Web Services offers a full slate of databases and managed databases. In December, Softlayer launched hosted MongoDB as a service it developed with 10gen.

“Mongo is breaking away from the pack and our customers are asking for it,” said Pat Matthews, SVP of corporate development for Rackspace, San Antonio, Texas. He said the company could have built its own version of the open-source database or partnered with a MongoDB provider — but was impressed with the expertise of the ObjectRocket co-founders Chris Lalonde, Erik Beebe and Kenny Gorman who between them spent years at Ebay, Paypal, Shutterfly and AOL.

ObjectRocket characterizes its offering as MongoDB as a service, meaning that users don’t have to sweat a lot of the set-up nitty gritty. It competes with rivals like MongoHQ and MongoLab.

“The primary difference between us and other database-as-a-service companies is we built out our cloud rather than layer on top of general platforms,” Lalonde said in an interview. “We built a cloud platform from the ground up specifically for MongoDB, we went to Equinix and did our own hardware platform and tuned the OS and the rest of the stack for Mongo in a way that enables us to get great performance and also have a more highly available system.”

Of course that means integrating it into the Rackspace platform will take time, which is fine with Rackspace, according to Matthews. “The offering as it stands will exist for a while till we can figure out the best ways to integrate it. We will maintain or improve performance and we won’t rush to integrate it at the expense of what we have now.”

Critics could argue that Rackspace is late to this party given the database options Amazon Web Services has, but then again, we’re still pretty early in the cloud deployment game.

  1. Might be a little late but it shows they’re paying attention. Interesting comparison to AWS is that AWS build their own products based on top of existing (or their own technology) e.g. RDS on top of MySQL; DynamoDB their own data store whereas Rackspace are acquiring (e.g. Cloudkick for monitoring).

    Perhaps this shows the difference of approach between the two companies with Amazon innovating on top of technologies they already use internally for their retail sites.

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