One of the core components of MongoDB Atlas, the cloud database service for MongoDB, is the fully managed disaster recovery functionality. With continuous backups, you can take consistent, cluster-wide snapshots of sharded deployments and trigger point-in-time restores to satisfy demanding recovery point objectives (RPOs) from the business. Continuous backups also allow you to query backup snapshots to restore granular data in a fraction of the time it would take to restore an entire snapshot.
Today we’re making it even easier to manage your backups with an expanded Atlas API. Programmatically get metadata about your snapshots, delete them, or change their expiration. Trigger restore jobs and retrieve them. The MongoDB Atlas API allows you to incorporate the rich functionality of Atlas fully managed backups into workflows optimized for how you manage your IT resources.
Visit our documentation for more information.
Cloud Provider Snapshots for Azure
We are also introducing a new type of managed backup service for MongoDB Atlas, using the native snapshot capabilities of your cloud provider. With cloud provider snapshots, your backups will be stored in the same cloud region as your managed databases, granting you better governance over where all of your data lives.
Compared to continuous backups, cloud provider snapshots allow for fast restores of snapshot images. Pricing, which varies slightly from region to region, is also lower.
Cloud provider snapshots are available today for replica sets on Microsoft Azure. Support for Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform will be rolled out later this year.
If you’re considering switching backup methods (from continuous backup to cloud provider snapshots), consider creating a separate project in MongoDB Atlas. For each Atlas project, the first cluster you enable backups for will dictate the backup method for all subsequent clusters in the project. To change the backup method within the same the project, disable backups for all clusters in the project, then re-enable backups using your preferred backup methodology. MongoDB Atlas automatically deletes any stored snapshots when you disable backups for a cluster.
Not yet a MongoDB Atlas user? Create an account and get a free 512 MB database.
MongoDB Has Revamped Its Parental Leave Policy
To kick off the new year, the MongoDB Human Resources team introduced an updated Parental Leave Policy to the company. Now that MongoDB has over 900 employees globally, the previous policy was no longer suitable or scalable, and it had the potential for improvement. With each new year we strive to be better and do more based on the needs, wants, and interests of our employees. My name is Dan Heasman and I am the most recent addition to the MongoDB leadership team. As Chief People Officer and a father of two, I was particularly passionate and excited about updating our parental leave. A strong support for mothers and fathers at the start of the incredible parenting journey is absolutely essential to our goals of fostering a highly inclusive culture and ensuring MongoDB is a great place to come and build a career. The new policy, effective as of January 1, 2018, allows for 20 weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers, as well as additional programs to provide assistance. Parental leave can be taken at any time, in separate durations if desired, within the first year. To facilitate a smooth transition when returning to work, employees are also able to participate in an additional 4-week flexible work arrangement with intermittent leave within the first year. This is all in addition to our unlimited vacation policy and flexible work from home standards. I spoke with some of our employees regarding the policy, including those who experienced the previous version, and those who are already experiencing or will experience the new policy. They provided some really great insight on the real concerns expecting parents face while maintaining their career. Andy Schwerin , Vice President of Engineering for the MongoDB Core Server team, is responsible for the design and development of sharding, replication and query execution, and the teams that build them. He is a father of three, having had one child in his first year at MongoDB and adding two more in the years since. “Before our second child was born we had just moved to New York and our biggest concern was that my wife would go into labor while I was at the office. At the time, MongoDB was a much smaller company with limited leave policies. I think the new policy is a terrific idea. Talented, motivated people are hard to hire and important to retain. A generous parental leave policy sends the message that MongoDB values its employees, and that it’s willing to support employees as we grow our families.” A gender neutral approach was particularly important for us moving forward because both parents should be able to share the responsibilities regardless of gender. Duncan Armstrong is a Senior Developer, working as a backend developer on MongoDB cloud products, as well as mentoring, pairing, and reviewing code for other developers. He is also the father of 15-month-old twin boys. For his wife, pregnancy was incredibly difficult due to a medical condition, and Duncan needed a lot of support from his leaders and team at MongoDB. “I had to work from home often, or work off hours so I could look after and help my wife. There was never any hint of disapproval from my manager. The only problem with our previous program was that four weeks of leave wasn’t really sufficient. It’s hard enough for inexperienced parents to look after one newborn, but with twins, it was a full on rollercoaster. I really had to figure out how to manage my time. Because MongoDB has unlimited general leave it was easy to take extra time off when I needed to, and I was able to work from home a lot the first few months. “In regards to the new policy, I’m so happy MongoDB has taken this step. As a father I know it can be hard bonding with your newborn. In the beginning they don’t give you much in return for your many efforts and the only way around that is to spend a lot of time with them. I don’t know how you can get that kind of bonding time if you’ve got to be back at the office full-time after just a couple of weeks.” Keeping these types of experiences in mind, we opted to provide additional benefits within the program to address some of the common obstacles expecting parents will face during pregnancy. The MongoDB Parental Buddy Program provides support by connecting both birth, foster, and adopting parents as they prepare for the arrival of their baby, during their parental leave, and during their return to work. LUCY provides employees with fully personalized and customizable counselling. From pregnancy through the baby's first year, sessions are conducted by a team of licensed, vetted health and wellness experts on all aspects of taking parental leave – from coping with morning sickness to choosing the right childcare. Our global Employee Assistance Program provides employees with free counseling sessions to and includes a program to help new parents deal with the natural stress and emotional adjustment that comes with being a first time parent. (EAP offers free counseling for all employees, not only new parents.) Ozge Tuncel is our VP of Customer Success and Sales Development, working out of our NYC headquarters for the last three years. A little over a year ago, Ozge was the only expecting mother in our New York office. “At the time, there was no one other than me going through the experience in New York. The policy was three months of leave, with the ability to work from home as needed, and a very nice private room in the office available as a mother's room. Our HR team had a great process to help with formal steps, the executive team was very supportive during my transition back to work, and flexible working hours were very helpful. What we lacked was an informal peer support system that any new parent needs. We now have more new parents, a new-moms Slack channel, and the Parental Buddy Program, which are all great for advice and support.” We are very excited for our currently expecting parents and future parents-to-be to experience all that the new program has to offer. New parents can now expect flexibility baked in, removing the need to request or negotiate time off or time away – which can be perceived either by the employee or manager as an individual accomodation, one that generally comes at the cost of other members of the team. Jen Tyrseck is our Director of Corporate Communications, managing company-wide communications internally and externally to help people learn more about and gain confidence in MongoDB. She recently had her first child at the end of January, and is the first employee to experience our updated parental leave policy. “Thinking back to the beginning of my pregnancy, I did have a number of (unwarranted) concerns regarding how I would balance working full time and the challenges of pregnancy. Things like, ‘Would I become suddenly sick at my desk? Would my team question my commitment to the job and company? Could I manage the new expectations required of me to continue performing well in my job, while raising a family?’ “I’ve really been impressed with the support I’ve received. A flexible, work-from-home as needed schedule has permitted me the time to attend all doctor’s appointments. I also have access to licensed health and wellness experts for customized counselling on planning for parental leave, preparing for labor and delivery, and newborn basics as well as counselling sessions after the baby comes regarding lactation, sleep transitioning, and how to ease back to work. A strong network of women interested in mentoring and sharing experiences to learn how to balance the inevitable changes, including how to balance my life in two full-time roles, has also been invaluable.” Graham Neray is the Chief of Staff to MongoDB CEO Dev Ittycheria. His wife, Meghan Gill , is our VP of Sales Operations, and reports directly to CRO Carlos Delatorre. They met at work, married in October of 2016, and welcomed their first child in early January of this year. Both are extremely passionate about their careers, and are on very lean teams, so questions arose when they decided to start a family – particularly how to adapt to being on leave at a fast-paced company where things are constantly evolving, and how to balance their roles at MongoDB while adjusting their schedules to their new lives as parents. “On other teams, everyone can take on a little bit of what you’re doing – maybe 10% or 20% each while you’re out. As Chief of Staff, I am essentially a team of one and I do a little bit of everything,” Graham noted, “so I had to find other people on other teams to pitch in while I’m on leave – in finance, marketing, partners, and HR. Dev’s EA helped out a lot too. In the end, everyone has been very supportive, especially Dev. Over and over he told me: ‘family comes first.’ ” “The most important thing for us is flexibility,” said Meghan. “For instance, we were both able to easily step out for appointments while I was pregnant, and through LUCY, we took several classes to prepare for life as new parents. Now that we have a baby, there will of course be more visits to the doctor and other things that pop up. “MongoDB has been a center of gravity for us for a while – now we have a new center of gravity. From our experience during the pregnancy, it’s comforting to know that we can successfully make use of a flexible work arrangement to get it all done.” Current parental leave standards throughout the world, and in the U.S. especially, can de-prioritize starting a family if the choice has to be made between pursuing a career and beginning this new life, rather than doing both at the same time. We are proud of the steps we are taking to ensure no MongoDB employee ever feels obligated to make that choice, and has the support they deserve from the organization they have selected to give their dedication and time.
Transitioning from Teacher to MongoDB’s New Enterprise Modernization Team: Meet Gabriela Preiss
As a global company, MongoDB has amazing employees with interesting backgrounds and stories. I recently sat down with Gabriela Preiss, an Enterprise Modernization Consultant, to learn more about her journey across the globe from the U.S. to Barcelona, Spain, and her experience transitioning from teaching to becoming the first hire for MongoDB’s brand-new Enterprise Modernization Team, shifting enterprises toward innovation and generating a ton of compelling content along the way. Andrew Bell: Thank you for sharing your story, Gabriela. I’d love to know how you got to where you are today in your role. What skills are important for someone on your team to be successful? Gabriela Priess: My career journey has been from one end of the spectrum to the other. Originally, I studied English and education, and I was a high school teacher for four years. I loved teaching, and I encourage anyone who wants to pursue it to do just that, but eventually, I hit a block and craved more mobility. So I moved from the U.S. to Portugal and studied web and mobile development. Finding myself back as a junior in a new industry, I worked my way up by freelancing as a web developer, building a curriculum for a coding school, and then quickly finding my way into a lead tech support role with a popular web application organization, where I also led the QA process. So, how does all of this add up to working in and with data? I truly believe every professional experience is the chance to extract something positive — a learning takeaway. This diverse background has challenged me and shaped me, as well as helped me to be confident in my choices, to trust I’m taking steps in the right direction, because ultimately each career move has been better than the last and has led me to where I am now, with MongoDB, as an Enterprise Modernization Consultant. Ultimately a career risk led me to a job that didn’t even exist a year ago on a new team. So, we can never truly say what the future holds for us; we may be headed toward a killer career that hasn’t even been invented yet. When it comes to being successful on my team, I think this role is open to so much diversity. I’m trying to narrow down any specific skills, but I think anyone who is ambitious, independent, takes ownership with what they produce, and is curious will succeed here. Curiosity is a huge asset — someone who is open to learning and diving deep into what they don’t yet understand, eager to keep growing, and tech-curious. A big part of what we do involves us keeping our finger on the pulse of tech and data innovation, so we can confidently discuss, debate, or write about it. This means feeding ourselves with the right tech news content. AB: I’d love to know more about the modernization team. What’s your role and your day-to-day like? GP: Our reach is quite broad, but if I had to define it, I’d say the Enterprise Modernization Team (EMT) assists, educates, and helps inspire large enterprises to move toward modernization and innovation. Often, large enterprises have the most complex, costly legacies in their systems and need macro and micro aid and insights to not only modernize but also to visualize and tally the endpoint. EMT Principles and Consultants have the industry expertise and capability to translate our value proposition to senior executives and engineering management. This includes generating training content for internal teams; meeting with other teams for potential and ongoing accounts; delivering webinars, published content, and interactive exposition presentations; and meeting with clients so they have a stronger understanding of how MongoDB helps them to modernize from the most basic format, such as adopting the document model, to truly leading in innovation, such as data science, machine learning, and real-time analytics. So, EMT is a bridge between sales, technical sales, and marketing for complex industry use cases and solutions. These are the teams we collaborate most often with, working closely with sales reps and solutions architects, collaborating with solution providers, and closely aligning with the marketing team producing diverse content and product alignments. So, if you ask me what exactly is my role, I’d say it’s all of the above. Our team is small, although it’s growing quickly, and we have big plans to expand exponentially in the near future. That said, we have a democratic way of dividing the work. We’re made up of our Global Head, Boris Bialek, our Principal, Steve Dalby, and the two Consultants, including myself and Vanda Friedrichs. And we’re all expected to bring equally to the table, despite who has more seniority. This lets us all have an idea of what everyone is working on, and we frequently dip into each other’s projects either to help out or request aid. Each project is free roaming for all: as long as we’re aware of the objective and deadline, we can get creative with how we reach the endpoint. My projects are constantly evolving and regenerating, and I could joke that the only thing they have in common with each other is they all have to do with MongoDB. However, when I was hired, Boris was very clear and direct that each day would be different, and his promise has held true. I don’t have a day-to-day like most others might in regard to consistent projects, but the objective is always the same for each: how can we showcase MongoDB’s value in modernization and innovation in regards to data and tech? Because my projects are so diverse, and often more creative-oriented than anything else, I make up for what some may call a “lack of structure” by being very structured in how I plan my day. Before each day, I predetermine how my next day is going to be divided hourly by projects, tasks, and follow-ups, and I reserve some time for “self-learning,” where I take time to continue my training curriculum, since that’s an ongoing track. AB: Since this is a new role, what tools and resources (e.g., Sales Bootcamp) were you given to help you ramp up? GP: True, this was a new role when I first stepped in, so I didn’t totally know what to expect. There was a running joke I was learning by a fire hose, just having everything blasted at me, and something was bound to stick. MongoDB sets all employees up with boundless learning resources, so I created a curriculum for myself. I prioritized from the top down, based on what I needed to understand ASAP, such as MongoDB’s services and functions, and from there I had freedom to roam based on what interested me the most and what my weak spots were, and was given time to dive in deep technically. For example, I ran POVs to see the data in action from a locally set up database. I know other teams within the company have established curriculums for onboarding, but because this was a new role, I used the resources available and that worked for me. I was given a lot of liberty with my learning because it was mostly autonomous and self-driven, but that’s not to say my learning is over. The company really promotes a learning culture, and every week there are new resources with webinars, learning materials, training materials, and so on. Early into my onboarding, I participated in what’s called our Sales Bootcamp. It’s a two-week intensive training that dives deep into MongoDB’s services as a whole and lays a strong foundation to build on. It’s usually something that’s done in person at MongoDB’s headquarters in New York City, but since this is the COVID-19 era, it was done virtually, with a big cohort of new hires included from Europe and the Americas. This was a cool experience, because I got to meet a lot of new faces. Professionally, my background is originally in education, so I used to write my own curricula for my students, and I’ve been impressed with what I find the MongoDB enablement and Learning & Development teams generating. AB: What content have you and will you create? What is the purpose of this content? How is it leveraged? GP: Among many other roles, the EMT is a content-generating team, so we’re constantly working on creating something new, or collaborating with other teams to create new content. As of today, I’ve been with MongoDB for four months, and in that short time, I’ve been able to generate a lot of interesting, challenging pieces. Each project I’m given is a chance to dive deeper into that subject and expand my understanding of it — like data science or fintech, for example. One of the first projects I had was the chance to write a blog about MongoDB’s partnership with Iguazio , and how our data platform is the ideal persistence layer for Iguazio’s data science and MLOps platform, which is used to develop, deploy, and manage AI applications. Clearly, each project is a team effort, but this gave me the opportunity to dive into a topic I find personally interesting, while building connections with some of our most innovative partners. My first or second week I was introduced to an internal deck created by one of our Solutions Architects, Pascal Jensen. It was a sort of think piece on how data is being driven by the growing uncertainties of the world, in a political, social, and economic sense, and how the most innovative leading companies are responding. We decided to turn this into a more holistic, complete white paper to reach a wider audience. With that, after really digesting the deck that was available and multiple interviews with the Solutions Architects that contributed to it, I built an extensive paper around it, giving breath to the expression “digital by default.” This was something I was quite proud of, because it was so early on in my time with MongoDB, and it let me dive into truly interesting topics. I was able to build on the holistic elements of data and how it’s reshaping even the most mundane elements of the world, propelling us into the future with innovative technologies and solutions for some of the most crucial global concerns, such as hunger or healthcare. Last month, I presented my first corporate webinar with MongoDB, discussing transitioning from a relational database to MongoDB’s document model. It was a huge opportunity, because we were focusing on Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. For me, this was almost a beta project, because I didn’t know what to expect in regard to reception. In the end, it was a massive success: overall, we had more than 6,500 registrants. That was a really exciting experience, because I knew as a team and a company we were clearly doing something right, engaging with the right audience, and connecting with the right people. There is a really positive response still outpouring from that webinar, and I was happy to be a part of it, especially as a rookie. Again, it just speaks to how much autonomy and freedom to create I’ve been given. My manager never holds me back from any opportunity and really encourages our success. In the spring, we’ll repeat the same endeavor with another webinar, covering a different topic I’m currently preparing in Spanish. AB: What was it like starting in a new role on a new team, especially during the pandemic? How do you stay connected to the team despite living in different countries? GP: Despite the pandemic, there was a lot to dive into because the company was running full speed ahead. It can be slightly intimidating being the new person on a fast-paced team, but I felt very included and seen from day one, and there was more than enough work and training to keep me busy. I haven’t really considered what it would’ve been like to work with MongoDB prepandemic, because at this point, this is all I’ve known. Staying connected with my direct team, though, has been the easiest part for me. I’ve never once felt disconnected despite never having met them in person. As of now, we’re dispersed across Dublin, London, Zurich, and Barcelona, and we’re growing. Plus, our backgrounds are even more diverse considering where we’ve lived, where we’re from, and the languages we speak. It’s refreshing to be part of a team that doesn’t feel limited to one geographic region, because it opens our minds and team discussions to diverse views and ideas. AB: How would you describe the team’s culture? And how do you maintain this culture during COVID-19? GP: The team culture is really positive, inclusive, and ambitious. Every team meeting feels like a brainstorming session, because part of our job is innovation. We’re all given a voice and are expected to use it as we shuffle through ideas and ongoing projects. But overall, our team culture is casual, in the sense that we engage with each other informally, but we all recognize what we need to be working on and by when. We’re each expected to take ownership of our work, and we’re given a lot of creative and structured autonomy. This means independently owning whatever it is we’re working on, and this goes for professional learning too. MongoDB creates a lot of resources internally that I take advantage of, from guided training and courses to reading material, interactive training, webinars, and so forth. I was paired up with one of our Solutions Architects, Benjamin Schubert, and he patiently made himself available to help guide me through some of the more technical aspects of our databases as I was learning how to maneuver through it myself, and I am eternally grateful. Of course, we have support any time we need it, and I can easily seek out resources or set up a Zoom call with an internal expert if I have any questions, but at the end of the day, the ticker moves forward only if everyone is doing their part, so each of us takes our part seriously. Interested in pursuing a career at MongoDB? We have several open roles on our teams across the globe , and would love you to build your career with us!