Migrating to MongoDB Atlas
mLab is now part of MongoDB, Inc., the company behind the database that powers your application(s). For background please read our announcement on October 9, 2018.
As part of merging the two organizations we will be sunsetting mLab’s service and migrating all users to MongoDB Atlas.
Migration Timing and Details
mLab and MongoDB Atlas are currently working together to do the following:
- Develop specialized tools to make the migrations from mLab to Atlas as easy as possible, minimizing or eliminating any downtime that might be associated with migrating your deployments.
- Devise new Atlas packages and address feature gaps so that migrated deployments will have a similar level of service (with support, backups, etc…) for a similar price.
Once we have done this we will be notifying users and helping them migrate using the improved tools we have developed. We expect to have databases migrated to MongoDB Atlas by October 2019. If you want to migrate sooner see the section below about migrating early.
In the meantime rest assured that your database deployment(s) and all of our services will operate as usual, and you will be provided with plenty of advance notice on any action that may be required of you.
Q. Does Atlas have similar management tools/features that mLab has?
Feature-wise, the two MongoDB-as-a-Service products are more similar than they are different. Some capabilities that may be new to mLab users include cross-region replication; geographic data distribution via Global Clusters; enterprise security features such as encryption key management, granular database auditing, and LDAP support; and tight integration with the MongoDB Connector for Business Intelligence (BI).
mLab’s engineering team is being integrated into the greater MongoDB engineering organization, and we look forward to working on new features together.
Note that some functionality is different on Atlas. For example, you will not be able to take mongodump-based backups that upload to your own S3 container, but you will be able to achieve a similar end-goal using Atlas’ features.
Q. Can I migrate early to Atlas?
If you need to migrate to Atlas early (instead of waiting for the completion of the two work streams described above in the “Migration Timing and Details” section), that is generally possible although it will not be quite as easy as if you were to wait.
Be aware that:
- Atlas plans are packaged differently than mLab’s in that clusters, support, backups, and data transfer are priced separately.
- There are some mLab features that don’t yet exist on Atlas (e.g., backups on the Atlas M2/M5 shared tier plans).
- You might not be able to migrate early if you are:
- Using mLab via Heroku’s add-on program and have a requirement that you’re billed by Heroku.
- Using mLab’s Data API.
- Running with an older version of MongoDB and cannot upgrade.
Recommendations before migrating:
Before migrating we recommend ensuring that:
For-pay deployments are running either on MongoDB version 3.4.x or 3.6.x. You can self-service version changes after reviewing our documentation on how to change versions. mLab Sandboxes are already running on 3.6.x.
All recurring query patterns are well-indexed. Those with for-pay deployments can visit the “Slow Queries” tab to view and build the indexes recommended by mLab’s Slow Queries Analyzer. This will allow for a smoother migration process.
How to migrate:
Migrating to Atlas will require a connection string change, but if your mLab database is running on a Dedicated plan, you’ll be able to perform a migration with minimal downtime to your application.
- Sandbox plan - restore a
mongodumpinto your Atlas cluster (view instructions)
- Shared plan - restore a
mongodumpinto your Atlas cluster (view instructions). To minimize downtime contact email@example.com so that we can help you seamlessly migrate to a Dedicated plan (we pro-rate charges by the day) before you migrate to Atlas.
- Dedicated plan - use Atlas’ Live Migration tool (view guide). You can open a ticket with Atlas Support requesting help with your live migration.
If you have any questions about migrating early, we’d be happy to help at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Should I migrate early to Atlas?
We recommend migrating early to Atlas if:
- Your application is still in development but going to production soon. In this situation we recommend migrating to Atlas before going to production.
- You need functionality available on Atlas that mLab doesn’t have. Common examples:
- MongoDB 4.0
- WiredTiger on Shared tier
- Fine-grained user-privileges
- Cross-region replica sets
- Integration with BI Connector
- Support for compliance standards (e.g., SOC2, HIPAA)
Q. Is there anything I can do to start preparing for the migration?
mLab and MongoDB Atlas are currently working to determine the minimum MongoDB version that will be required to migrate. In the meantime, we recommend working towards having all of your deployments running on MongoDB 3.6.
If you are running any MongoDB deployments on a version less than MongoDB 3.6, please review our documentation on how to change MongoDB versions.
Q. Does Atlas have a Data API?
MongoDB Atlas offers similar capabilities in MongoDB Stitch. We will be exploring what we can do to reduce friction associated with the transition over the coming months.
In the meantime mLab’s Data API will continue to run as it always has.
Q. Does Atlas have a Heroku add-on?
Not at this time. However, MongoDB will be working to build an integration between MongoDB Atlas and Heroku in 2019. You will be able to continue to use mLab via its add-on at Heroku until the new integration is available.
Importantly note that many applications use Heroku with mLab without using Heroku’s add-on program. If you go this route you just need to ensure that your Heroku app is hosted in the same AWS region as your database. For convenience our docs at Heroku include a mapping of Heroku’s region names to AWS regions.
Q. Will I need to pay for data transfer costs separately?
Yes. Atlas plans are packaged differently than mLab’s in that clusters, support, backups, and data transfer are priced separately.
If you are concerned that data transfer costs will be disproportionately high, ensuring that your application and database are running in the same cloud region will not only allow you to minimize data transfer costs but also will minimize network latency and network instability. If you are still concerned please contact email@example.com for advice.
Q. How do I get help from Atlas Support?
To open a ticket with MongoDB Atlas Support:
- Log into your MongoDB Atlas account.
- Click on the “Support” link in the left navigation bar.
- If you would like to specifically request help using Atlas’ Live Migration tool:
- From the “Issue Category” pull-down menu, select “Help with live migration”.