Wednesday, April 2, 2014

How We Scale MongoDB

We recently launched Elastic Deployments for MongoDB, which rep­resent the best method we’ve found for scaling cus­tomers’ MongoDB datasets appro­priately. The word “appro­priate” is, well, appro­priate when con­sidering scaling. A 10GB MongoDB dataset has dif­ferent requirements than a 10TB dataset which has dif­ferent requirements than a 10PB dataset. There aren’t hard rules for the best time to scale these data sets using more complex methods.

Discussions about hor­i­zontal scale fre­quently conflate redundancy and per­formance, but they are two separate concepts, par­tic­ularly in MongoDB. Horizontal scale in MongoDB is pri­marily used for per­formance gain. It can be damaging (and tech­nically and emo­tionally painful) to build for the wrong scale — planning too big is most common, and means a developer having to give up nice features of the database that can help simplify or speed up devel­opment. It can often be related to the same “pre­mature opti­mization” arguments that are made on the appli­cation side.

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