Microsoft Raises Limits on NoSQL DocumentDB Cloud Service

By Pedro Hernandez  |  Posted 2015-02-04 Print this article Print
Microsoft DocumentDB

The company's Azure-based DocumentDB offering now supports larger documents and account sizes on its way to more regions.

Debuting as a preview release last summer, DocumentDB is the Redmond, Wash.-based software company's answer to an industry shift toward non-relational data stores as organizations seek to build Web-scale and mobile applications and services. Companies like Twitter and eBay, the latter of which uses a NoSQL Database from Couchbase, have adopted the technology.

For Microsoft's customers, DocumentDB "allows you to store and query any JSON [JavaScript Object Notation] document, regardless of schema. The service provides built-in automatic indexing support—which means you can write JSON documents to the store and immediately query them using a familiar document-oriented SQL query grammar," explained Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise division, in an Aug. 21 blog.

Five months later, Microsoft is building on DocumentDB's storage capabilities as well as its global reach, announced Stephen Baron, program manager for Azure DocumentDB.

"We've increased the maximum document size again, this time from 256KB to 512KB," he said in a Feb. 3 statement "What's more, the Capacity Unit (CU) limit per DocumentDB Account has been raised from 5 to 50, which means you can now scale a single DocumentDB account to 500GB of storage and 100,000 Request Units of provisioned throughput."

As Azure expands its presence across the globe, so does its DocumentDB service. At last count, Microsoft's cloud stretches across 19 regions, reaching 140 countries and spanning the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Baron also announced that Microsoft had switched on DocumentDB support for "accounts in the East Asia, Southeast Asia, and U.S. East Azure regions (in addition to our existing U.S. West, North Europe and West Europe regions). We'll continue to invest in regional expansion in order to give you the flexibility and choice you need when deciding where to locate your DocumentDB data." Microsoft is soliciting feedback from other regions to gauge demand via the DocumentDB feedback forum.

Before making DocumentDB publicly available, the company had already been putting it through its paces in production environments that serve up responsive online services to end users. "Over the last year, we have used DocumentDB internally within Microsoft for several high-profile services," said Guthrie, letting the cat out of the bag in August. 

On the storage front, write-optimized solid-state drives (SSDs) help maintain snappy performance. "We now have DocumentDB databases that are each 100s of TBs in size, each processing millions of complex DocumentDB queries per day, with predictable performance of low-single-digit [millisecond] latency.  DocumentDB provides a great way to scale applications and solutions like this to an incredible size," he continued.

Users of Microsoft's cloud-enabled note-taking app, OneNote, have already been leveraging the tech, likely without knowing it, to store, sync and share their content. "Microsoft consumer applications like OneNote already use DocumentDB in production to support millions of users," claims the company on the DocumentDB website.



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