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October 14, 2014

MongoDB Unveils Management Service Upgrades

MongoDB Inc. rolled out upgrades to its database management service this week that include automation features designed to speed the deployment and provisioning of MongoDB on Amazon Web Services and other cloud infrastructure.

Upgrades to the MongoDB Management Service (MMS) announced on Oct. 14 address criticisms that the popular database remains difficult to deploy and maintain, company executive said. They estimate that the MMS upgrades could lower operational overhead by as much as 95 percent.

Previously, labor-intensive tasks like writing custom scripts were “a tax people had to pay,” to run a distributed database service, explained Kelly Stirman MongoDB’s director of products. The upgraded MMS automates deployment steps that are “a fair bit of work.”

Traditional database operations are estimated to account for as much as 80 percent of application downtime. MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria added in a statement announcing the MMS enhancements that they are intended to “let users spend their resources building their apps instead of worrying about their ops.”

That approach is part of growing trend among cloud service providers offering management services designed to automate the most tedious tasks associated with distributed systems. New management features are among the growing number of cloud services that also include consulting and training.

In addition, the new MMS features “are complementary to our subscription business,” Stirman stressed.

MongoDB claims MMS already has more than 40,000 users. The upgrades will allow users to perform maintenance tasks with a single click through cloud services like AWS.

“It’s not just convenience, it’s also about safety,” Stirman said, explaining that the automation of tasks like script writing can help avoid errors that could lead to a hardware or network failures.

Hence, MMS is now focused on deploying and managing MongoDB on customers’ existing infrastructure. For example, a cluster could be deployed through the management service. Then MMS would monitor the deployment. Responding to complaints that scaling MongoDB to large configurations is “challenging,” the company said in a blog post the new MMS features aim to allow users to upgrade or scale a cluster in a couple of clicks.

While emphasizing AWS integration, the database vendor also is stressing that the MMS upgrades will run on public clouds, private datacenters or on a laptop. The AWS integration features include controlling virtual machine provisioning directly from the management service. MMS provisions AWS Elastic Compute Cloud servers. It then launches the MMS automation agent.

MongoDB claims its database is downloaded more than 10,000 a day. By 2015, Stirman said MongoDB expects deployments to reach 10 million servers. Easing deployment and maintenance of the database is a way to “monetize” those 10 million servers, he added.

The MongoDB Management Service is available now. MMS is free for the first eight servers, then $50 per month for additional servers. Optional backup storage is priced at $2.50 per Gbyte per month, depending on the size of the data, the company said.

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