MongoDB Atlas Serverless Instances and Data API Now Generally Available

At the recent MongoDB World 2022 conference, MongoDB announced that serverless instances for Atlas and Data API are now generally available. The new managed serverless option introduces a tiered pricing, with automatic discounts on daily usage.

Announced in preview a year ago, serverless instances support scaling up and down to zero without any cold starts and customers choose the cloud provider (AWS, Google Cloud or Azure) and the region where the service should run. Atlas automatically scales the storage capacity, throughput, and computing power. The serverless instances always run the latest MongoDB version.

Source: https://www.mongodb.com/developer/products/atlas/atlas-serverless-quick-start/

Among the recommended use cases for serverless instances, MongoDB highlights lightweight and infrequent application workloads, event-driven applications and periodic cron jobs. MongoDB announced a daily usage-based discounting, an approach that is significantly different from other database providers. The pricing model has been one of the most commented features, with Jeremy Daly, GM of serverless cloud at Serverless Inc, tweeting

This isn’t perfect, but MongoDB Atlas Serverless pricing is definitely a step in the right direction. As serverless workloads approach scale (ie get expensive), the onus should be on the cloud provider to optimize resource allocation to avoid linear cost growth.

Ashley George, product marketing manager at MongoDB, highlights some of the new features of MongoDB Atlas Serverless:

With this GA release, serverless instances will now offer additional features, such as private networking with AWS PrivateLink, enhanced monitoring and alerting capabilities, and extended backup retention with point-in-time recovery. Also, serverless instances are now compatible to use with our other serverless cloud services, such as the Atlas Data API and Atlas Functions, making building end-to-end serverless applications even easier.

To extend the capabilities of the serverless platform, Atlas offers a Data API, supporting new authentication methods, including JWT authentication and email/password, role-based access control, IP access list and custom endpoints.

The general availability of serverless instances was not the only major announcement of MongoDB World 2022: MongoDB introduced flexible sync, cluster-to-cluster sync, Atlas CLI, time series, and the preview of queryable encryption. Cynthia Braund and Pramod Borkar, senior product managers at MongoDB, write:

MongoDB is the only database provider that allows customers to run expressive queries, such as equality (available now in preview) and range, prefix, suffix, substring, and more (coming soon) on fully randomized encrypted data. This is a huge advantage for organizations that need to run expressive queries while also confidently securing their data.

Warning about costs and a common challenge of serverless deployments, Michael Korostelev, CTO at Cyclic Software, tweets

Atlas Serverless was a great way for us to learn how to best index our data. The hard way, real quick.

Not all the capabilities and configurations supported by Atlas global clusters are currently available on serverless instances. Customers pay for Read Processing Unit (RPU), Write Processing Unit (WPU), storage and backup. The price for each million RPU decreases based on volume of reads in a day, ranging from 0.09 USD to 0.22 USD.

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