Yesterday, I listened to the nodeup podcast (http://nodeup.com/eleven) about databases and node.js. It was pretty epic. I wanted to write up my thoughts and summarize it as best as I could. There are some great things going on in the node.js and database worlds and I have my opinions about them too. Here we go...
People like Postgres if they need relational database. This is because the community is really cool and they add lots of features (every feature!) There's even a JSON-store feature Postgres is working on. Yammer is the only known (big) company to be using Postgres with node in production, but the node-postgres library is supposedly pretty decent.
2) Database people hate MongoDB, developers love it
Supposedly, 10Gen is the hermit of the database world. They don't hang out with other database people, but what they do is listen to customers/end-users more than database engineers, so it's very developer friendly, but database people think it's technically inferior (??). People say "Mongo loses data", presumably because journaling used to be off by default, but Mongoose has become the de-factor ORM of simple node websites and MongoDB with node is obviously really popular. For the record I LOVE MONGODB.
Redis has a lot in common with node. It's single threaded and fast, but it doesn't scale horizontally very well. It's also really really fast and has really good node support. There actually aren't a lot of good use cases for Redis, because it doesn't scale up super well. Because it's in memory it's going to be faster than most other databases. DShaw wrote a redistore for socket.io, but it's unclear how well it can scale, pretty darn well though, apparently. It does have a pubsub feaure that can be subscribed to with a regex (?), which people think is really cool.
So the node community has been huge on CouchDB for a long time. Isaac S. uses it for NPM and a lot of people use it for other things. Pros: HTTP Interface super easy to use, map reduces are incremental and therefore super fast. Cons: It scales terribly. Imagine 1,000,000 users each with their own DB doing master->master replication. It will blow up. A ton of data or a huge number of users don't make a good fit for couchDB. That being said, if you have less users and less data (say in the thousands of things) and want to experiment with master->master replication for example from a mobile app to the web it could be really cool. Again, it can actually be really slow.
Riak does map reduces really really slowly. They were joking that they should be called "work orders" instead of jobs. Someone, maybe it was Voxer? is using them heavily in production and converted their super slow couchDB instance to Riak and they found that it worked way better. Riak is a huge key/value store than is highly available and easy to scale horizontally. It's pretty simple and doesn't have a lot of fancy features, but it works well if you're trying to keep it simple. It has an HTTP interface (like couchDB). If you're trying to be fancy and do a lot of complex map reduces your life will suck and it would be faster to use carrier pigeons.
6) The future