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MongoDB’s $150m funding shows the markets are finally hotting up again

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Chris Woodcock says MongoDB's $1bn valuation is just the beginning for big data

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Databases used to be boring.

Not only is the mere mention of OLTP data warehousing likely to make an insomniac at a rave feel lethargic, but until very recently it was a closed market.

Matt_Asay

CIOs just gave all their money to Oracle and forgot about it, allowing them to build a monster $150 billion company on the back of its technology.

“The relational database is arguably the most successful technology in a long, long time” Matt Asay [pictured right] of MongoDB told eWEEK.

In the old world everything fit neatly into the Oracle view of data

Yet last week saw Matt’s company, US start-up MongoDB close a $150 million (£90 million) funding round which valued the company at over $1 billion.

It is the latest in a series of signs that the market is finally hotting up. The roster of investors included Red Hat, Intel and Salesforce.com

MongoDB vs the old guard

In the old world everything fit neatly into the Oracle view of data.

It was structured, highly formal and mathematically reducible. Now with tweets, video, photos, IMs and even emails that world is increasingly subsumed by mountains of semistructured and unstructured data.

MongoDB is part of a new class of databases that tries to incorporate all this new data.

Once where there was a great void there is now MongoDB, Hadoop and SAP’s HANA.

HANA is particularly interesting. SAP and Oracle have long been arch rivals, selling similar applications that run on top of databases.

Should Oracle be worried?

Now for the first time, SAP has moved on the Oracle fortress. HANA produces reports 100-1000 times faster than Oracle’s traditional products by storing all its data in memory.

And, of course, there is the cloud.

When IT departments start moving to the cloud, they don’t care what database they are using as long as it works. And the big cloud providers are much more likely to use open source technologies in the background that circumvent Oracle.

Which is why Oracle have been so tetchy of late. Having had it so good for so long, they are now being attacked on multiple fronts.

“Get me the name of that pharmacist, they must be on drugs,” said Larry Ellison, President at Oracle of the team behind HANA. Miley and Sinead eat your heart out.

Forget the $150 million

SAP has retorted that Oracle is wearing a $10 billion albatross around its neck. They may as well have twerked in his face

This is databases remember. SAP has retorted that Oracle is wearing a $10 billion albatross around its neck. They may as well have twerked in his face.

So far Ellison has been quiet on MongoDB and what it means for his firm. He is trying to ignore it in the hope that it goes away.

Forget the $150 million. When he tells you it does not work, then they will really have arrived.

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