In developer push, MongoDB debuts free tier of its managed database service

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Less than a year after bringing its popular database to the cloud in the form of a service called Atlas, MongoDB Inc. is making the offering available at no charge.

Elliot Horowitz, the company’s co-founder and chief technology officer, announced the launch of the new free tier in a blog post published today. It’s offered as a pre-configured cloud instance called M0 that comes with a 512-megabyte storage pool and can handle up to 2 gigabits worth of network traffic per week. The plan limits access to some of the advanced management capabilities in Atlas, but the core value proposition is the same as the one provided by the paid options.

The service enables developers to spin up a MongoDB cluster without having to manually configure the underlying infrastructure and automates most day-to-day maintenance tasks from there on. Among other things, Atlas performs patching when a new version of the database becomes available to eliminate the need for manual updates. Paying users have access to an added set of data protection features that can help recover information from an instance in case it goes offline.

The new M0 tier provides the ability to test out the core capabilities of Atlas without committing to a purchase, which should lower the entry barrier considerably. MongoDB presumably hopes that making its service more accessible will help attract a broader range of users and thus widen its sales funnel further down the road.

In the same spirit, MongoDB is rolling out a migration utility called MongoMirror alongside M0 that can move data from on-premise deployments of its database to Atlas without incurring any downtime. Horowitz revealed that his team is currently building several other tools for easing the onboarding process, but didn’t provide any specifics. Atlas is set to become available on Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform in coming months.

The service stands at the heart of MongoDB’s effort to make money from its installed base. Thousands of customers have signed up for Atlas since its launch, including biotechnology giant Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. and eHarmony Inc.

Image: MongoDB