Relationship between Atlas, MongoDB, and Cluster Providers

I would like to ask, what are the relationships between Atlas, MongoDB and the Free Tier Cluster providers?
My thinking is
MongoDB = the database software - to be used for creating databases
Atlas = The place where a MongoDB could be hosted in a clustered environment
Cluster Provider = no idea - What is the role of AWS, Azure, etc?
I guess my thinking is wrong.

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AWS(Amazon),Azure(Microsoft) are cloud providers
Few others like Google cloud

You can check this link

Hi @Mat_Jung

MongoDB Atlas is the global cloud database service for modern applications.
You can deploy fully managed MongoDB across AWS, Azure, or GCP. For a simple database you only choose which provider you like, nothing more - no extra account no extra contract that is all included. In case you change your mind and want to change the underlying provider, you can do so with in Atlas (s. above the cloud database service from MongoDB. You only need to chose the new provider everything else is done for you, just wait until the migration is finished.
There is lost more just hop over to the MongoDB Altas page and read the intro and/or the blog posts.
You asked for the free tier Cluster, you will find information about this on the previous mentioned link. In short: you can start completely free with a small DB (< 0.5 GB).


If I am creating a MongoDB at AWS, Azure, Google or IBM Cloud - what is then the role/advantage to work with

Hello @Mat_Jung

in case of a bare MongoDB nothing. But when you look on Altas, you have fully automated deployments, professional backup, auto scaling, monitoring, suggestion of schema improvements, suggestion of index improvements, integration of charts, integration of MDB data lakes… So there is plenty more which can ease your live. In case you have some years of experience as MongoDB DBA and deployment and optimizing shards and replicasets and when you have already a working monitoring for MongoDB on AWS you may come close to what Altas provides. Minor updates are applied in Atlas automatically one point which saves quite a bit of work…

I am not a sales rep, so I may have missed some points. But again, I like to encourage you to read the linked pages and than make your decision. Feel free to ask any concrete question here in the community, we will try to answer. In case you need further input concerning you initial question I like to suggest to contact MongoDB sales - they will find you an optimal solution.



Hi @Mat_Jung,

MongoDB Atlas is a managed database service – you don’t have to worry about the underlying administrative knowledge and tasks to configure, secure, monitor, backup, and scale your MongoDB deployments.

I recommend starting with the MongoDB Atlas product page and MongoDB Atlas FAQ, but will try to address the specific questions you’ve asked here.

What is an Atlas cluster?

An Atlas cluster is a MongoDB deployment (currently a replica set or sharded cluster) managed by the MongoDB Atlas service. Atlas clusters may either have shared resources (for example, M0 free tier clusters and M2/M5 clusters) or dedicated resources (M10+). The M# reference refers to a specific Atlas cluster configuration, with larger numbers generally indicating clusters with more resources.

Atlas creates and manages clusters on supported cloud providers (currently AWS, GCP, and Azure) and provides a single bill for your database management and hosting. Atlas also integrates a growing set of cloud features including Atlas Search (full text search with Lucene), Atlas Data Lake (query and analyse data across AWS S3 and Atlas), and MongoDB Realm (serverless apps and mobile sync).

The minimum Atlas cluster deployment is a 3 member replica set running MongoDB Enterprise configured with best practice features such as role-based access control, TLS/SSL network encryption, firewall restrictions, and monitoring. You can configure additional features and behaviour via the Atlas UI or API.

Your team is still generally responsible for capacity planning and choosing when to scale clusters up (or down), but with dedicated clusters you can also choose to configure Cluster Auto-Scaling to adjust cluster tier or storage based on thresholds.

What is a cloud provider?

Supported cloud providers (currently Atlas, GCP, and Azure) provide the hosting infrastructure (virtual machine instances, storage, …) where the Atlas service will create and manage your clusters. You can choose your preferred cloud provider and region(s) to match other other aspects of your use case (for example, choosing a provider and region to reduce network latency between your application servers and your Atlas cluster).

What is the Atlas free tier?

The Atlas free tier gives you access to a shared deployment running on one of the supported cloud providers. Free tier clusters are intended to be used as development sandboxes: they have a storage limit of 512MB of data and some operational limitations including throughput, connections, and data transfer limits.

Are there advantages to using Atlas versus self-hosting with the same cloud providers?

You can create a self-hosted MongoDB deployment, but are then responsible for all of the administrative tasks and infrastructure setup/maintenance (security, monitoring, backup, scaling, upgrades, etc). Atlas automates common administrative and operational challenges so your team can focus on development.

MongoDB = database server software
Cluster = a MongoDB deployment (Atlas clusters are replica sets or sharded clusters)
Atlas = cloud-hosted interface to manage your clusters (deployment, security, monitoring, and backup)
Cloud Provider = the cloud hosting provider where your managed instances are created by Atlas (currently AWS, GCP, or Azure)
Free Tier Cluster = a free Atlas cluster you can use for development and testing



Thanks everyone for explaining the roles in more detail.
What I consider as advantage is, during the Trial / Free Tier nobody asked for Credit Card details yet.

One could close the ticket.

Hi Mat,

That’s correct: you can get started on the Atlas Free Tier without providing any payment details. There is no expiry period, so this is a free service offering rather than a trial.

Conversations in this community forum are discussions rather than tickets.

However, if a specific post was most helpful in resolving a discussion topic you started, please mark it as a “:ballot_box_with_check:Solution”.


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