The Five Money-Saving Tricks MongoDB Doesn’t Want You To Know

by | Jul 19, 2016 | Analysis, MongoDB Analytics, Open Source

MongoDB continues to grow rapidly and is the go-to solution for companies large and small that need a powerful and flexible modern database. However, if you listen to your friendly MongoDB sales rep, it’s easy to think they are a one-stop shop for all things MongoDB.

However, a bit of quick research quickly reveals there are alternatives for completing your MongoDB-based infrastructure that will save you money and yield better results.

Here are 5 tips that will save you tons of time and money!

1. Ditch MongoDB Cloud Manager

MongoDB Cloud Manager provides automated management and backups for your environment. While this can be a key element of any application infrastructure, you have other options. Companies like ScaleGrid offer similar features as Cloud Manager for less cost. You can use MongoDB Community with a service like ScaleGrid and have the best of both worlds.

2. Get Support from a Third-Party

Users need to upgrade to MongoDB Professional or Enterprise in order to get support for the database. If you have a production environment, support is critical to insure minimal downtime, and getting support from the vendor isn’t a bad idea. Unfortunately, the support comes with a super high price tag.

An excellent alternative is Percona. Percona is a veteran technology company that has provided support and services for open source MySQL for years. They have added support for MongoDB in recent years, and the reviews are glowing. Percona offers more flexible support options at better prices, and if you happen to have other open source databases like MySQL in production, then you have one-stop support shopping.

3. Swap MongoDB Compass for Open Source

MongoDB expects users to upgrade from Community Edition to Professional Edition to gain access to the Compass tool for data exploration and schema validation. Compass is useful, and the GUI is decent, but it is limited in what it can actually do from an analytics perspective.

An open source alternative is the SlamData project. SlamData is the most popular native tool for exploring and analyzing data in MongoDB, and allows users to discover, search, query and visualize any data stored in MongoDB.

SlamData has a powerful and flexible UI that makes it super simple to create reports and dashboards in minutes. SlamData works natively on the data stored in MongoDB, no ETL, data mapping or extraction of any kind. It pushes 100% of the computation down to the live data, so as your data changes so do your analytics, in real-time.

4. Kiss BI Connector Goodbye

MongoDB requires users to upgrade from Community to Enterprise Advanced in order to gain access to the MongoDB BI Connector (MBIC). This tool allows users to connect their MongoDB database to popular BI tools by leveraging the PostgreSQL Foreign Data Wrapper (FDW).

There is an open source alternative, the Quasar BI Connector for MongoDB (QBIC) that provides similar functionality, and in several cases, better performance than MBIC.

No need to pay for Enterprise Advanced to get MBIC. The Quasar BI Connector uses the popular Quasar NoSQL analytics engine in conjunction with the PostgreSQL FDW to make it possible for any BI tool to connect to data stored in MongoDB.

5. Exploit the Server Loophole

If you feel compelled to upgrade to MongoDB Professional or Enterprise Advanced, then keep it small, since MongoDB charges by the server!

However, there’s a loophole you can exploit. MongoDB defines a “server” as 512 GB of memory, regardless of how many physical or virtual devices share this memory. So you can spread the 512GB across many servers and get more bang for your license buck!


In summary, the MongoDB open source ecosystem continues to grow, and like most situations in life, it pays to do your homework when building out your solution environment.

There is a tremendous amount of innovation occurring and users can benefit from this both technically with better solutions and financially.

One-stop shopping does not get you the best solution!

John De Goes

John De Goes

CTO at SlamData
John is CTO at SlamData. He is an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and long-time software architect and engineer.
John De Goes

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