EMC May Have Invested In MongoDB To Boost Its Storage, Security And Big Data Biz

EMC appears to be a silent investor in MongoDB, giving the storage giant not only an in on database technology for big data but also a way to significantly improve the performance of its RSA security and Isilon storage technology.

EMC's investment, first reported by Bloomberg and the Boston Business Journal, appears to have been a slip of the tongue on MongoDB's part given that EMC has a policy of not talking about its investments unless an acquisition of a material nature is unveiled.

MongoDB on Friday said it had closed a round of funding that brought it $150 million, referring to it in a statement as the "largest single funding round for any database vendor, NoSQL or otherwise." That round brought total investment in the company to $207 million, the company said.

[Related: EMC Hires Former Symantec, Oracle Exec To Head New Emerging Technology Division ]

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New investors Altimeter Capital and Salesforce.com joined previous investors Fidelity Investments, Flybridge Capital Partners, In-Q-Tel, Intel Capital, NEA, Red Hat, Sequoia Capital, Union Square Ventures and T. Rowe Price

EMC was not listed.

However, Bloomberg Friday quoted unnamed sources close to MongoDB as saying EMC was an investor.

Both MongoDB and EMC declined to talk about the potential investment. An EMC spokesperson emailed CRN to say that the company does not disclose the contents of its portfolio, while a MongoDB spokesperson said via email that that company cannot comment "at this time" on EMC.

The EMC investment in MongoDB is exciting on a number of fronts, said Jamie Shepard, regional vice president at Lumenate, a Dallas-based solution provider and partner with EMC on the storage and security business.

"This is an exciting year for EMC," Shepard said. "EMC is investing in emerging technologies. Wildly emerging technologies."

MongoDB is a NoSQL database featuring high-performance queries and the ability to work with object data, Shepard said. "Object data is where EMC's ViPR is going," he said.

MongoDB's NoSQL database technology also leverages the JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) data interchange format to give it an index insertion rate six times that of Oracle and over double that of Microsoft's SQL Server, Shepard said.

NEXT: Indexing Performance Is Key

Because of that performance, the MongoDB technology could prove to be a huge boost to the performance of EMC's RSA security solutions, and it could tie in well with EMC's Isilon scale-out NAS technology and with big data developer Pivotal, a joint-venture of EMC and VMware, Lumenate's Shepard said.

"The MongoDB itself is not the key," he said. "It's the indexing performance."

For instance, indexing security incidents into a database in real time is a challenging task for security software, Shepard said. "RSA products collect data and roll it into a database, but it can get overwhelmed," he said. "With MongoDB, imagine how fast RSA will work."

EMC could also tie MongoDB to its Isilon scale-out storage technology, Shepard said.

"Isilon is the best scale-out architecture out there," he said. "MongoDB could handle the indexing of the files on Isilon to improve performance."

MongoDB uses technology it calls GridFS for high-speed storage and retrieval of large files and for accessing files without loading the entire file into memory, Shepard said.

"That's also an Isilon play," he said. "They can build this whole grid using Isilon."

In addition, since MongoDB database technology was built for big data, EMC could also tie it into the company's Pivotal and Greenplum big data technologies, he said.