MongoDB In The Cloud: Beginner's Guide To Database Hosting

Running MongoDB In The Cloud: A Beginner’s Guide

by Gilad David Maayan — 2 months ago in Development 5 min. read

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB is a NoSQL database that provides high performance, high availability, and easy scalability. Unlike traditional relational databases, MongoDB is document-oriented, meaning it stores data in flexible, JSON-like documents. These documents can contain fields that vary from document to document, making the database highly adaptable to real-world object representation.

The advantage of using MongoDB lies in its ability to handle large amounts of unstructured data. Traditional SQL databases struggle with this, as they require a predefined schema to store and manage data. MongoDB, on the other hand, has a dynamic schema that can easily adapt to changes in data structure. This makes it a perfect fit for applications that require handling and processing of big data.

In terms of use cases, MongoDB is widely used in mobile applications, content management, real-time analytics, and other areas where flexible schema and scalability are critical. From small startups to Fortune 500 companies, many organizations rely on MongoDB for their data storage needs.

Benefits of Running MongoDB in the Cloud

Scalability and Flexibility

One of the main benefits of running MongoDB on a cloud provider like AWS is the ability to scale your database operations as needed. In traditional, on-premise environments, scaling involves purchasing and installing additional hardware, which can be both costly and time-consuming. With cloud-based MongoDB, you can quickly scale up or down based on your current needs.

Furthermore, MongoDB in the cloud offers flexibility in terms of data storage and processing. With MongoDB’s dynamic schema, you can easily modify your data structure as your application requirements change. This flexibility makes it easier to adapt to evolving business needs.


Running MongoDB in the cloud can also be more cost-effective than running it on-premise. With cloud-based solutions, you pay for what you use. This means you can avoid the upfront costs of purchasing and maintaining hardware, which can result in significant savings.

Moreover, cloud providers often offer various pricing models to fit different needs. Whether you’re a small startup or a large enterprise, you can find a pricing plan that aligns with your budget and usage requirements.

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High Availability and Reliability

Running MongoDB in the cloud ensures high availability and reliability. Most cloud providers offer multiple data centers located in various geographic regions. This means you can distribute your MongoDB instances across these data centers to ensure your data is always accessible, even if one data center goes down.

In addition, cloud providers typically offer robust backup and recovery solutions. In the event of a disaster, you can quickly restore your MongoDB database to minimize downtime and data loss.

Advanced Security Features

Running MongoDB in the cloud also provides advanced security features. Cloud providers implement various security measures, including encryption, network firewalls, and access control, to protect your data from potential threats.

Moreover, cloud providers often comply with multiple industry standards and regulations, such as GDPR and HIPAA. This means you can rest assured that your MongoDB database is managed in a secure and compliant manner.

Cloud Deployment Options for MongoDB

There are several cloud deployment options for MongoDB. Let’s take a look at three popular options: MongoDB Atlas on AWS, MongoDB Atlas on Azure, and MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud.

MongoDB Atlas on AWS

MongoDB Atlas on AWS is a fully managed database service that automates time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups. It provides all the features of MongoDB, along with the scalability, security, and reliability of AWS.

With MongoDB Atlas on AWS, you can easily deploy, operate, and scale your MongoDB database in the AWS cloud. It supports both single-region and multi-region deployments, giving you the flexibility to choose the best setup for your application.

MongoDB Atlas on Azure

MongoDB Atlas on Azure is another option for deploying your MongoDB database in the cloud. Like MongoDB Atlas on AWS, it’s a fully managed service that takes care of all the administration tasks, allowing you to focus on what matters most—your application.

MongoDB Atlas on Azure integrates seamlessly with Azure services, allowing you to build powerful applications that leverage the full capabilities of Azure. It also supports both single-region and multi-region deployments, providing you with the flexibility to meet your application’s needs.

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MongoDB Atlas On Google Cloud

MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud allows you to run your MongoDB database on Google’s powerful and reliable infrastructure. It offers the same fully managed service as MongoDB Atlas on AWS and Azure, automating administrative tasks and providing you with the scalability, security, and reliability of Google Cloud.

MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud integrates with Google Cloud services, enabling you to build robust applications that take advantage of Google’s innovative technology. It also supports both single-region and multi-region deployments, giving you the freedom to choose the best setup for your application.

Best Practices for Running MongoDB in the Cloud

Schedule Regular Backups to Protect Against Data Loss

Data loss can lead to severe consequences, including business disruption, financial loss, and reputational damage. Therefore, scheduling regular backups is a fundamental practice to ensure data safety.

When it comes to MongoDB, there are several ways to backup your data. Some cloud providers offer in-built backup services, while others require manual setup. Whichever method you choose, ensure it is reliable and suits your business requirements.

A crucial aspect of scheduling backups is determining the appropriate frequency. While some businesses may require daily backups, others might be fine with weekly or even monthly intervals. This largely depends on the volume and nature of data your MongoDB handles. Remember, the more frequent your backups, the less data you stand to lose.

Allocate Appropriate Resources Based on Workload

One of the major advantages of cloud-based solutions is the flexibility to allocate resources according to your workload. However, appropriate resource allocation is essential to ensure you’re not overprovisioning or underprovisioning resources.

The performance of your MongoDB largely depends on the resources allocated to it. These resources include CPU, memory, I/O capacity, and network bandwidth. Allocating too few resources can lead to performance degradation while overprovisioning can lead to unnecessary costs. Therefore, understanding your workload and allocating resources accordingly is vital.

You can use monitoring tools to analyze your workload and determine resource usage patterns. These insights can help you make informed decisions about resource allocation. Also, remember that your workload might not always remain constant. Therefore, it’s essential to regularly review your resource allocation and adjust it based on your workload changes.

Define Strict User Roles and Permissions

In any database management system, defining user roles and permissions strictly is paramount to ensuring data security. It can help prevent unauthorized access and protect your data from potential threats.

MongoDB supports role-based access control (RBAC) that allows you to specify what actions each user can perform. You can define roles based on job functions and assign them to users. This way, users have access only to the data they need, minimizing the risk of data leaks or misuse.

Furthermore, it’s essential to regularly review and update user roles and permissions. Over time, a user’s role might change, requiring different access levels. Regular audits can help identify and rectify any inappropriate permissions, enhancing your data security.

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Utilize Auto-Scaling Features

Another powerful feature offered by cloud platforms is auto-scaling. It enables your MongoDB to adjust its resources automatically based on the workload, ensuring consistent performance even during peak loads. Let’s explore more about this feature and how to utilize it effectively.

Auto-scaling works on the principle of demand and supply. When your MongoDB experiences a surge in load, it automatically increases the resources to handle the increased demand. Conversely, when the load decreases, it scales down the resources, saving you costs.

However, to utilize auto-scaling effectively, it’s crucial to define the scaling policies appropriately. These policies determine when and how to scale the resources. For instance, you can set a policy to scale up when CPU usage exceeds 70% and scale down when it drops below 30%.

Select the Most Cost-Effective Pricing Model

All cloud providers offer a pay-as-you-go model where you pay only for the resources you use. This model is suitable for workloads with unpredictable usage patterns. However, cloud providers also offer reserved instances where you commit to using certain resources for a specified period, usually at a discounted rate. This model is suitable for workloads with predictable and steady usage. Another option is spot instances, which provide very deep discounts but can be interrupted at short notice.

One of the key considerations while selecting a pricing model is understanding your workload patterns. If your workload is volatile, a pay-as-you-go model might be more cost-effective. However, if your workload is steady and predictable, reserved instances might save you costs in the long run.

In conclusion, running MongoDB in the cloud can offer numerous benefits, but it requires careful planning and implementation. By following these best practices, you can ensure optimal performance and data security while keeping costs in check.

Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David Maayan is a technology writer who has worked with over 150 technology companies including SAP, Imperva, Samsung NEXT, NetApp and Check Point, producing technical and thought leadership content that elucidates technical solutions for developers and IT leadership. Today he heads Agile SEO, the leading marketing agency in the technology industry.

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