An Interview with Facet Digital
Couchbase Cloud is our NoSQL database-as-a-Service (DBaaS). This automated, secure, and fully managed database captures all the benefits and scale of Couchbase Server as a cloud service, making it ideal for hybrid cloud deployments. Released in June and now generally available on Amazon Web Services (AWS), we decided to share the experience of some customers who have derived benefits from Couchbase Cloud as part of our Beta program.
Facet Digital is a full-service agency that helps businesses design, develop, launch, and scale web, mobile, and desktop applications, such as: a high-compliance, geographically-distributed, data-intensive pharmaceutical industry system, a modern niche industry CRM, and a live, multi-player, networked 3D game platform. Scott W. Bradley and Jeremy Groh are co-founders of Facet and lead the team as Principal Engineers. We asked them why they switched to Couchbase Cloud, and here’s how our conversation went.
Scott: For starters, the resource limits on Cosmos DB were just killing us. The performance, both latency and throughput, as well as provisioning of performance characteristics.
We did an early analysis of a specific feature set, and the combination of Azure Cosmos DB and Azure Search cost us around 50% more than Couchbase Cloud on AWS but gave us significantly lower performance. With Couchbase we’re saving a lot of money and getting a lot better performance.
With Couchbase Cloud we also get better, faster search, that’s cheaper, and we no longer have to deal with large re-index scans.
Jeremy: Couchbase has built-in full-text search with Elasticsearch connectors, so right away we knew we were going to save developer time, architect time, and DevOps time to solve our search problem. Here’s a great example – I was doing a full-text search index on Couchbase at the same time Scott was running one in Cosmos. I was done in around three minutes while it took Scott over an hour.
Scott: We didn’t set up an exact apples to apples benchmark, but that doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, I can still go to my clients and say, “Hey, we just made this thing a hundred times faster.”
Jeremy: The operational aspect is also huge. When we first got on the beta, I was able to turn up a new cluster with just a few clicks. It took maybe 20 minutes to deploy, and my cluster was ready to go. In comparison, we were testing out running our own cluster with just three nodes, and it took me over three days to get everything set up. I had to worry about security and auto scaling and everything else that Couchbase Cloud does for us, and I still wasn’t done. That’s a big testament to Couchbase Cloud being a great product.
Scott: Add to that the security piece, things like encryption at rest and best practices. Having that codified and managed by Couchbase is a powerful thing because our global clients have to deal with GDPR and data privacy laws that are different in Europe, and Canada, and Japan, and so on. At the database layer, we know we have enterprise security that’s a cookie-cutter deployment. We push a button and it’s provisioned correctly. So it’s a compliance, maintenance, overhead solve for us.
Scott: The other sticking point with compliance and regulation is that most companies want data tightly controlled inside their own little sandbox. They don’t want to send proprietary data out to a third-party hosted SaaS. So first we said, let’s find a third-party hosted SaaS that runs Couchbase. Next, we thought about building our own.
Then one day we got an email saying, “Hey, Couchbase Cloud managed service inside of your own AWS.” And we’re like, bang, that’s exactly what we need! Running Couchbase inside the customer’s AWS, but still getting those managed tools and having tight control of the data is a big win for us.
Want to learn more about how Facet Digital uses Couchbase Cloud? Here’s the case study.