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MongoDB offers cloud overflow scaling with Atlas database as service

MongoDB has announced its entry into cloud computing with a database as a service, dubbed Atlas, at its annual developer conference in New York City

MongoDB unveiled a database as a service, Atlas, at its annual developer conference in New York City on 28 June.

The Atlas service is available now to MongoDB users internationally. It will start out on Amazon Web Services, but will subsequently be available on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform too.

The company said in a statement that developers at Atlas user organisations no longer need to carry out operational tasks such as hardware provisioning, failure recovery, software patching, upgrades, configuration or backups. The service is said to offer unlimited and elastic scalability, either by scaling up on a range of instance sizes or scaling out with automatic sharding, with no application downtime.

Tom Maule, technical solution architect at Now TV, a Sky-owned television streaming service and MongoDB customer, said his team is looking at cloud delivery to handle spikes in demand better. Now transmits the HBO cult series Game of Thrones, and has had to deal with ever more massive audience demand from season 4 in 2014 to season 6, which has just finished.

The service suffered a well-publicised outage on 7 April 2015, caused by Game of Thrones demand. Since then it has been re-engineered as the programme continues to head north, “beyond the wall”. Like Jon Snow, “we got knocked down and then got up again,” joked Maule in his talk.

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“We need to make sure we can handle an even bigger load next year. We’d like to investigate cloud-based overflow scaling.

“When we are having to handle a load 120 times more than our usual but only for a few minutes a handful of times a year, it doesn’t make sense to build infrastructure to handle a load that high for the entire year. But we can build a system that elastically overflows into the cloud. And in a matter of seconds if necessary.”

Aaron King, vice president of product engineering at Social News Desk, said his company was already using Atlas. “We have tried several hosted MongoDB options and found MongoDB Atlas hits the sweet spot between do it yourself and hands off when it comes to managed database infrastructure,” he said. “It makes it easy to spin up a complex high-availability database cluster in just a few minutes.”

Dev Ittycheria, MongoDB president and CEO, said: “MongoDB Atlas takes everything we know about operating MongoDB and packages it into an on-demand service.”

Eliot Horowitz, MongoDB CTO and co-founder, added: “By running on MongoDB Atlas, developers can trust that their applications will be highly available and secure, scale seamlessly and be constantly updated with the latest updates to MongoDB without downtime because they’re operated and backed by our experienced engineering team.”

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Smart move on MongoDB’s part to leverage the managed services aspect. Launching on AWS, which encompasses 90% of the cloud compute resources was another good move.
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