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Technology is undoubtedly the most quickly evolving space where multiple thousand options come to meet varying business needs. However, with changing business needs come changing database dynamics – relational to non-relational, SQL to NoSQL and structured to unstructured databases with big data requirements.

MongoDB is no doubt the pioneer in fault-tolerant, high availability, scalable NoSQL database that can be used to work with unstructured database. MongoDB is basically a document-oriented database in which you store documents and not entities and objects.

It’s like you build an object using blocks and store it in a box, to use it further when you build other objects, rather than breaking all blocks each time and starting to build an object from the scratch – it saves your time and improves your performance.

In this article, we’ll discuss Alibaba Cloud’s MongoDB offering – ApsaraDB for MongoDB. Let’s see how it helps businesses reduce infrastructure costs by providing a number of features and functionalities.

What is ApsaraDB for MongoDB?

ApsaraDB for MongoDB is a reliable, scalable and stable database service that is in complete compliance with MongoDB protocols. It provides full database solution for data backup, disaster recovery, data recovery, monitoring, data backup, and alerts. ApsaraDB supports flexible deployment architecture. As per different business scenarios, it provides a standalone instance, replica set instance and sharded cluster instance.

Standalone instance

With this architecture, enterprises can minimize their expenses and costs. It is ideal for development, testing, and scenarios involving non-core enterprise data. With it, you can buy ApsaraDB for MongoDB in a cost-effective manner and enjoy superior kernel-level optimization and O&M support.

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Replica set instance

Three-node replica set: Three- node replica set is created in ApsaraDB for MongoDB automatically. Operations can be performed directly on the primary node and a secondary node, while a secondary node remains hidden. You get advanced features like failover and switchover when you use this instance.

Multiple node (five or seven nodes) replica set: Some business scenarios need database with better read performance, like reading websites and order query systems with more read than write operations. For that, you can increase nodes in replica set instance. Secondary nodes can be added or deleted on-demand in ApsaraDB for scaling out flexibly or in the read performance.

Sharded cluster instance

This instance is created basis multiple three-node replica set. Each sharded cluster comprises three components – shard, mongos and config server. Number and configuration of mongos nodes and shards can be specified by you as needed for different service capabilities.

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  • Mongos is a service agent that’s configured with one node. Multiple mongo nodes can be purchased for achieving failover and load balancing. A sharded cluster instance can support 2 to 32 mongos nodes.
  • You can modify configuration of a shard but cannot change number of nodes in replica set. A sharded cluster instance supports 2 to 32 shards.
  • A config server is configured using a one core CPU, 20 GB storage space 2 GB memory by default. This configuration cannot be changed.

How MongoDB- a NoSQL DB supports faster iteration than Relational Database Management System (RDBMS)?

NoSQL database tends to be a far better option for modern applications that have complex data sets that are constantly changing and need a flexible data model that doesn’t need to be defined immediately. The following table will help you understand the difference between NoSQL and RDBMS. 

Rich query statementFlexibility and agile development
Strong Data ConsistencyGood scalability
ACID transactionsExtreme performance
Table based data structure with predefined schema can impact performance.No predefined schema allows one to work more with unstructured data.
Less equipped to handle huge data volumes and complex data structuresCan store and process data in real-time.
More expensiveCost-effective
Vertically scalableHorizontally scalable
Use a relational database when you need have.Use a non relational database when you have.
Centralized applications e.g. ERPDecentralized applications e.g. Web, mobile, and IOT
Moderate to high availabilityContinuous availability
Moderate velocity dataHigh velocity data
Data ingestion from one locationData ingestion from multiple locations
Structured dataSemi
structured or Unstructured data
Complex transactionsSimple transactions
Concern is to scale readsConcern is to scale both reads and writes
Scaling up for more users/dataScaling up for more users/data
Maintain moderate data volumesMaintain high data volumes; retain forever

Features of ApsaraDB for MongoDB

Flexible architecture

ApsaraDB for MongoDB offers flexible architecture for deployment. As stated above, it offers standalone, replica set and sharded cluster instances to fulfil different business needs.

Auto scaling

You can modify configuration of ApsaraDB instance basis your specific business needs, including number of nodes, specifications and storage space. You can set the time you want for configuration to change, like you can select off peak hours to avoid business impact.

Round the clock monitoring

With ApsaraDB for MongoDB, you get more than 20 system performance metrics, including IOPS, CPU usage, disk capacity, connections, cache hit ratio, network traffic, queries per second (QPS) and transactions per second (TPS).

Data security

  • Automatic Backup: You can set a backup policy for flexibly starting up data backup in off-peak hours.
  • Temporary Backup: ApsaraDB for MongoDB supports logical and physical backup. You can start data backup as needed by you.
  • Data Recovery: You can use backup files for directly overwriting data for recovering an existing instance or creating one based on a time point.
  • SSL Encryption: Data security and integrity are ensured during communication by encrypting network connections with SSL at the transport layer.
  • Anti-DDoS: ApsaraDB keeps monitoring traffic at the network ingress in actual time. On detecting heavy traffic attacks, it begins traffic scrubbing for filtering source IP addresses. If this is ineffective, it triggers black hole mechanism.
  • Backup File Download: ApsaraDB keeps backup files for seven days free of charge. During this time, you can log in to your console and download files to your local device.
  • Multiple Layer Network Security: A VPC is kept isolated and is protected at the TCP layer. Anti-DDoS mechanism takes care of real time monitoring and traffic scrubbing for mitigating heavy traffic attacks.
  • IP Address Whitelisting: ApsaraDB for MongoDB filters IP addresses for accessing instances to provide best security protection there is. You can add up to 1000 IP addresses to the whiltelist.

Professional Tools

Alibaba Cloud provides a data service, Data Transmission Service (DTS) for supporting data exchanges between different data sources, including NoSQL, relational database management system (RDBMS), online analytical processing (OLAP) and others. DTS offers various data transmission features like real-time data subscription and synchronization, and data migration.

Data transmission is useful in cases like remote disaster recovery, data migration, cache update policies without service interruption and cross-border data synchronization. This helps you build a scalable, safe and highly available data architecture.

Competency differences between ApsaraDB for MongoDB and MongoDB Community Edition

SetupElastic scalability – One click setupSelf-build – Downtime for scalability
SecurityWhitelist, audit log, SSL, TDE (coming soon)Only simple password management
OptimizationCloud DBA Intelligent Diagnostic, Short Connection Performance Improvement, Multi storage engine supportNo automatic optimization, Restricted Usage
MaintenancePhysical backup 3X performance improvement, Second level monitoring, Intelligent DiagnosticLogical backup, Minute level monitoring
Disaster Recovery (DR)SingleAZ DR Support, MultiAZ DR Support, Cross-region DR SupportSelf-deployed, Restricted Usage

Advantages of ApsaraDB for MongoDB

  • Rich query statement, multiple query update mode.
  • Strong consistency ensures data reliability. Is suitable for financial scenarios.
  • Flexible data model – JSON, that’s widely used.
  • Scale out as well as scale-up, dynamically add nodes. No bottleneck for performance and data volume.

Advantages of ApsaraDB for your business

  1. Flexible Storage architecture: MongoDB documentary storage is like a completely built car, ready to use. But, Relational Database table storage is like parts of a car with nothing built as such.
  2. Enterprise level capability: You get features like cloud elasticity, document features and core level optimized management and maintenance functions with ApsaraDB for MongoDB.
  3. Multiple architecture for different business scenarios: As per your business needs, you can use single node, replica set or sharding clusters as explained in detail in the first section. While single node architecture is cost effective, replica set ensures high availability of data and sharding provides high performance, high availability and scalability.
  4. HA architecture: 3 copies HA architecture of MongoDB helps with:
    • High level availability protection.
    • Support cross AZ availability, nodes (data copies) in different AZ, provides AZ level disaster tolerance.
    • Full managed service, automatic maintenance: Manual operation is mandatory when doing failure recovery for self-build. MongoDB cloud service recovers/replaces failed node automatically.
  5. DR architecture, data security, backup and recovery: Multiple level Disaster Recovery (DR) architecture with one click deployment. It meets all kinds of HA requirements.
    It provides full stack security, one stop backup and recovery with 3X performance improvement for physical backup.
  6. Multiple storage engines for different business scenarios: ApsaraDB for MongoDB provides WiredTiger as default (Balanced), RocksDB for High Performance (Continuous data writing) and TerarakDB for High compression (Mass Data Storage).

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Use cases of ApsaraDB for MongoDB

Online Games:

    • Effective cost, fast deployment, easy recovery.
    • Agile development, fast iteration.
    • Single node architecture supports single AZ deployments, cost savings.

  • Multiple databases in same instance, single DB recovery, fast rollback to reduce business downtime.
  • Suitable scenarios:
    • Easy to use and manage
    • Low cost
    • Low storage capacity for each game server.
    • Easy data exchange between game servers.
    • No high requirement for resource isolation.

Financial sector

  • Complex data structure store (Log, Risk control, Credit)
  • High volume storage and elastic scalability.
  • Hybrid object storage, cost savings.(100 TB~)
  • Automatic dataload to analytic platform.

Internet of Things (IoT)

  • Different new generation products bring different scenarios, create new data and functional requirements.
  • The number of sensors explosively increases, leads to high volume data growth.
  • Relational database is incapable to handle such volumes and complexities, while MongoDB manages real time data effectively.

Why go for ZNetLive managed Alibaba Cloud’s ApsaraDB for MongoDB?

  • Alibaba Cloud directly sells MongoDB to customers, unlike other leading vendors who sell MongoDB via third party.
  • Since ZNet gets you MongoDB directly from Alibaba Cloud, you get better pricing.
  • ZNet has trained Alibaba Cloud professionals who can provide you with expertise and dedicated support services.
    To know more, visit ZNetLive’s Alibaba Cloud page. Share your feedback with us in the comments section.