MongoDB on AWS: An Easy Path to NoSQL in the Cloud

4 Mins read

MongoDB is a cross-platform, document-oriented database program classified as NoSQL. Unlike traditional relational databases that store data in tables, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with optional schemas offering flexibility and scalability in dealing with data.

The power of MongoDB lies in its document model. It’s designed to store, process, and analyze huge sets of data, even those with complex structures. It enables developers to build applications faster, handle diverse data types, and manage applications more efficiently at scale.

It’s also open-sourced, which means a global community of developers continually contributes to its improvement. This collaborative approach fosters innovation, ensuring MongoDB stays at the forefront of database technology.

Running MongoDB in the cloud offers numerous benefits, and a natural choice is Amazon’s leading cloud platform. In this article, we’ll explain options for running MongoDB on AWS and show the basic steps to set up your first cloud-based MongoDB database.

Benefits of MongoDB in a Cloud Environment

Cloud computing has revolutionized how businesses operate, providing on-demand availability of computing resources. When MongoDB is implemented in a cloud environment, it provides three core benefits: scalability, reliability, and cost-efficiency.


MongoDB in a cloud environment enables you to manage large sets of data across many servers, ensuring your database can handle the increased traffic as your business grows. MongoDB’s horizontal scalability is achieved through sharding, which distributes data across multiple machines.

It’s a highly efficient way to manage your data growth. As your data volume increases, you simply add more servers to continue to ensure efficient data processing. This scalability makes MongoDB an excellent solution for businesses that anticipate rapid growth.


The second advantage of MongoDB in a cloud environment is its reliability. It provides built-in replication, allowing your data to be duplicated across multiple servers automatically. This replication ensures your data is always available and safe even if a server fails.

Moreover, MongoDB’s failover support is automated, meaning if your primary server goes down, a new primary is automatically elected. This reliability ensures your business operations are never interrupted.


The third benefit is cost efficiency. With MongoDB in a cloud environment, you only pay for the resources you use. It eliminates the need for large upfront investments in hardware and reduces the cost of maintaining physical servers.

The cloud-based model allows for automatic updates, ensuring you always have the latest features without additional costs. Furthermore, MongoDB’s ability to handle diverse data types and its flexible schema reduces the time and resources needed for data modeling, translating into significant cost savings.

Options for Running MongoDB on AWS [SQS]

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the world’s biggest cloud service provider, offers various options for running MongoDB. These include Amazon DocumentDB, MongoDB Atlas, and Self-Managed MongoDB on EC2.

Amazon DocumentDB

Amazon DocumentDB is a fully managed document database service that supports MongoDB workloads. It’s designed to give you the performance, scalability, and availability you need when operating mission-critical MongoDB workloads at scale.

With Amazon DocumentDB, you can quickly scale your database up and down to meet the needs of your application. It also offers backup and restore functions, ensuring your data is safe and secure.

MongoDB Atlas

MongoDB Atlas is the global cloud database service for modern applications. It provides a fully automated MongoDB service, offering best-in-class automation and proven practices to ensure your database runs smoothly.

MongoDB Atlas takes care of database operations such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, or backups, allowing you to focus on developing your application. It also offers security features like network isolation, encryption at rest, and robust access controls.

Self-Managed MongoDB on EC2

The third option is to run a self-managed MongoDB on Amazon EC2. This option gives you full control over your MongoDB installation, from the operating system to the database settings.

It’s ideal for businesses that require a high level of customization or have specific regulatory requirements. However, it requires a deep understanding of both MongoDB and AWS to manage effectively.

Quick Tutorial to Set Up Amazon DocumentDB for MongoDB

Follow these steps to get up and running with MongoDB on Amazon.

Log Into the AWS Management Console

First, you’ll need to log in to your AWS Management Console. This platform is where you’ll manage all your AWS services, including Amazon DocumentDB. If you don’t have an AWS account, you can create one on the AWS homepage. Once you have your login credentials, sign in to your account, and you’re ready to start setting up your DocumentDB.

Once logged in, navigate to the Amazon DocumentDB section. This can be located from the AWS Management Console homepage by typing “DocumentDB” into the search bar. Click on the DocumentDB icon to open the DocumentDB console. This is where you’ll create and manage your Amazon DocumentDB clusters.

Create a New Cluster

Next, you’ll create a new Amazon DocumentDB cluster. In the Amazon DocumentDB console, click the “Create” button to start the process. This will open a new window, where you’ll input the details of your new cluster.

  • Configure database version and features: During the creation of your new cluster, you’ll be asked to configure the database version and features. You’ll have the option to select the MongoDB compatibility version that suits your needs the best. It’s important to choose a version that supports the features you require or your existing database. Additionally, you can select the instance class, which determines the hardware of the host computer for your instance.
  • Configure connectivity: During this step, you’ll set up the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) where your cluster will reside, as well as the security groups that will control who has access to your cluster. You can also configure the encryption for your cluster, select the backup retention period, and set up CloudWatch Logs exports.
  • Review and create: Finally, review all the settings and configurations you’ve selected for your new cluster. Make sure everything is correct before you proceed. Once you’re satisfied, click the Create button to launch your new Amazon DocumentDB cluster.

The cluster creation process may take some time, but once it’s complete, you’ll be able to connect to your cluster using MongoDB-compatible tools and drivers.


Leveraging MongoDB in a cloud environment, specifically on AWS, combines the capabilities of a leading NoSQL database with the flexibility and resilience of the cloud.

With multiple options available on AWS, from fully managed services like Amazon DocumentDB and MongoDB Atlas to self-managed setups on EC2, businesses can select the optimal configuration that aligns with their operational needs and technical expertise. This article shows how easily you can set up and manage MongoDB on AWS, providing a powerful data infrastructure for your organization.

Author Bio: Gilad David Maayan

Gilad David

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.


Featured Image Source: Freepik

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