Scaling MongoDB: The review

Back in September, I posted the definitive review of MongoDB: The Definitive Guide by10gen employees Kristina Chodorow (blog | twitter) and Mike Dirolf (blog | twitter). Since then the book has continued to serve me well, and I even bought the electronic version. Therefore I was excited to learn that Kristina had solo authored a second O’Reilly volume on MongoDB, Scaling MongoDB.

The Short of It

The ebook weighs in at 64 pages. You can get  a dead-tree copy via print on demand, but I recommend against it. Sharding in mongodb is a moving target. For example, right around publication time, the default chunk size of shards was changed from 200MB to 64MB. Therefore, if you rushed out and bought a print on demand copy, you would end up being stuck with a paper with that wrong piece of information. Ebook owners however can download an updated copy.

The writing style in the book is very matter of fact, and quite readable. It takes a certain talent to be able to use terms like cardinality and illustrate sharding with interval notation without sounding unnecessarily academic. Kristina demonstrates said talent here.

My one complaint about the book is that it does not discuss the problems with running the shard server on windows. However, as Kristina pointed out to me on twitter, the book also does not deal with writing init.d or upstart scripts for mongos on unix, so windows is not being singled out here.


Despite my one complaint, the book is quite comprehensive in its 64 pages. If I ever do need to use sharding in production, I will be reading the book very closely, and I’d recommend anyone else thinking about sharding mongodb do the same.