AWS Announces DocumentDB Services Based on MongoDB Code, Open Source Community Complaints
Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS), launched yesterday a new managed DocumentDB service that is based on open-source MongoDB code. This prompted complaints from the community.
The controversy surrounding cloud platforms optimizing open source code for inclusion in their for-pay services has been resurrected by the new release.
Yesterday, AWS announced the new managed Amazon DocumentDB service. Some see it as a ripoff of the popular open-source MongoDB offering. AWS stressed “MongoDB compatibility” in the announcement.
Soon, the controversy erupted when major cloud players like AWS were accused of infringing on open source projects by using their own code to create optimized, proprietary cloud services.
CNBC.com quoted MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria as saying, “Imitation can be the sincerest form flattery, so it’s no surprise that Amazon would try and capitalize on the popularity & momentum of MongoDB,”. Developers are smart enough to tell the difference between the genuine thing and a poor imitation. MongoDB Inc. offers its cloud service MongoDB Atlas. This cloud service can also be found in the AWS Marketplace. It can be used on the AWS cloud.
Twitter users joined the action too, posting posts such as “This is #MongoDB.” Not even API compatible. Almost a copy.”
InfoWorld reported that Shawn Bice (VP of nonrelational database at AWS), said that customers like MongoDB’s flexible model and other attributes but struggle to get the performance or availability they need from it.
GeekWire recently examined the open-source-vs. cloud issue in an article entitled “Why some open-source businesses are considering a more closed approach.”
The Redis database service, which was launched by AWS in 2013, created a similar situation to the DocumentDB rollout. This site noted that it was similar to the DocumentDB rollout.
Redis Labs founder and CEO Ofer Bengal stated that AWS has made “hundreds and millions” of dollars offering Redis to customers since then. However, they have not contributed nearly as much to the open source community that builds and maintains that project. It’s impossible to know the exact amount of money being discussed, but it is certain that AWS and other cloud providers get a benefit from open-source developers that they don’t employ.
GeekWire reported yesterday that MongoDB had recently changed to a new license. This license requires that anyone offering MongoDB cloud services must release the code that allows that managed service to be an open-source project. The site states that the license applies to the latest editions of MongoDB, while AWS uses older MongoDB code.
AWS did not address the issue in either its official news release nor blog post.
Yesterday, Jeff Barr, spokesperson for Amazon, stated that Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) is being launched. This document database is fast, scalable, highly available, and compatible with existing MongoDB tools and applications. Amazon DocumentDB uses an SSD-based storage layer with 6x replication across 3 different Availability Zones. The storage layer is distributed, fault tolerant, self-healing and fault-tolerant. This gives you the performance, scalability and availability required to run production-scale MongoDB workloads.
MarkeWatch reported just a few hours before this writing that “MongoDB’s stock plunges after Amazon launches a competitive service.” AWS charges customers on an hourly basis. Customers can choose from many levels of usage and different services. DocumentDB memory-optimized instances costs range from $0.277 up to $8.864 an hour, with AWS providing an example configuration for $245.52 per month.