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MongoDB creators launch cloud backup service

10gen, the company behind MongoDB, have announced an automated backup system for users of the popular NoSQL database.

A monthly pay-as-you-go service, MongoDB Backup Solution saves a snapshot of the current database every six hours and sends it to 10gen’s servers for safekeeping. Pricing is based on the volume of data being backed up, but restores are free, meaning that snapshots can be used to quickly seed new environments with exact copies - say, for development or analytics. Snapshots as far back as 24 hours can be accessed in case of emergencies.

In terms of overhead, 10gen claim that running the backup process results in “minimal impact to clusters”. Perhaps aware of the security risks of storing remote copies of important data, they have included SSL encryption and two-factor authentication when requesting restores.

According to CTO Eliot Horowitz, 10gen’s solution is “nothing special” in terms of technology, but was designed to be more convenient than manually backing up MongoDB instances. He told The Register: “Anyone could do it – it is no lock-in, there's no magic feature we added to make it work, it's just using the replication internals in a different way.”

10gen have been experimenting with new ways of wringing revenue from their open source product as the company continues to grow. In March, they introduced an enterprise edition of MongoDB with additional security and monitoring features, supplementing their consulting, training and monitoring businesses.

However, they are no longer just competing with rival NoSQL databases such as Cassandra and CouchDB. As MongoDB grows in popularity, startups such as MongoLab and ObjectRocket have begun offering “MongoDB-as-a-Service”, providing their own backup and support services.

While currently in “limited release”, a production-ready version of MongoDB Backup Solution should be available by the summer.

Elliot Bentley

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