Yousician makes learning music more accessible for everyone, from novices to professional musicians, via its two groundbreaking products, Yousician (an intuitive, educational music service for users to learn how to play a musical instrument) and GuitarTuna (a popular musical instrument tuning and playing app). These are the leaders in their field with a combined 20 million monthly active users, 3,800 songs and over 9,000 lessons.
Yousician was originally self-managing MongoDB on-premise, however, this took considerable resources to maintain, upgrade and configure so the company needed a more robust, automated and scalable platform. Yousician migrated to MongoDB Atlas in 2019, which has enabled them to support millions of additional users while eliminating the overhead of managing database infrastructure in-house.
Yousician is the world’s leading platform to learn and play music with offices in Helsinki and New York
Yousician first turned to MongoDB’s Community version when it saw the need for a flexible, scalable and affordable alternative to less versatile, traditional relational databases. However, the Community version needed significant manpower to manage upgrades, replicate datasets and check configurations. These tasks not only took time and internal resources, but they were also prone to human error.
“MongoDB Community was working well but we wanted to reduce the load on our team in terms of infrastructure management,” explains Dmitrii Erokhin, Site Reliability Engineer, Yousician. “We needed automation to eliminate human intervention and make our lives easier.”
“We were very happy with MongoDB in general, however the maintenance of the cluster, consisting of six shards, was taking up too much development time,” agrees Matthieu Poncin, Backend Architect, Yousician. “We wanted to focus on product development rather than management and figured that moving to MongoDB Atlas would save us at least two days a week in maintenance time.”
One final trigger was the release of the latest version of MongoDB – Yousician felt it had always struggled to keep pace with upgrades and saw a migration to MongoDB Atlas as a way of seamlessly staying on top of new releases via automation.
Yousician saw the need for a flexible, scalable and affordable alternative to less versatile, traditional relational databases
MongoDB Atlas offers the most advanced cloud database service, available across AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. Its in-built automation enables resource and workload optimization while it can scale seamlessly to meet rising demand.
To perform the migration, two MongoDB professional services consultants spent two days onsite with Yousician to help design the journey. Following a migration simulation, the company went through a straightforward process of development, staging and production. Then, applications simply had to be pointed towards Atlas and the new platform was up and running within two weeks without disrupting operations.
“I was pleasantly surprised: we started a new cluster, synced the data and switched the app to MongoDB Atlas; it couldn’t have been easier,” adds Erokhin. “The MongoDB consultants were key in checking and validating our migration plans and performing the simulation, helping make it as seamless as possible.”
More recently, Yousician has also deployed MongoDB Atlas Search for its GuitarTuna product, enabling users to search across thousands of artists and songs for chords and lyrics. The fully integrated and managed Apache Lucene-based Atlas Search allows the company to create rich search experiences and deliver personalized content to users with the power of relevance-based search – with no additional infrastructure to manage.
Matthieu Poncin, Technology Lead, Yousician
Now, 20 million users enjoy access to Yousician and GuitarTuna, generating 3,000 requests per second. MongoDB Atlas has eliminated the vast majority of time required for maintenance and made the system more reliable through automating key tasks such as back-ups. Index management has also improved through analysis and suggestion, avoiding downtime.
“In the past, we have had cases where service would go down because we forgot to add an index so we would be queuing requests in the middle of the night,” continues Poncin. “MongoDB Atlas proactively identifies potential problems and alerts us so we can act faster. Better availability translates into a better customer experience.”
MongoDB Atlas also enables much faster time to market for new services and features – Yousician can now spin up new clusters in ten minutes, rather than take a couple of days as was previously the case. At the same time, it scales just as easily, which was particularly important when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. With millions of people mandated to stay at home, many took the opportunity to learn a musical instrument and turned to Yousician. Thanks to MongoDB Atlas, it could handle the spike without stress, adding several million new users to the Yousician family.
“When we need extra capacity, it’s just a couple of clicks and the cluster doubles in size, whereas this would have taken days in a self-hosted environment,” comments Erokhin. “And, if we need any technical support, MongoDB is on hand 24/7 to quickly resolve any issues.”
“MongoDB is professional, reliable and responsive,” agrees Poncin in conclusion. “I used to struggle to ask for help, now I encourage the team to reach out to MongoDB when they need to. Together, we have created a pathway for future growth in users and services.”
Dmitrii Erokhin, Site Reliability Engineer, Yousician
Yousician can now spin up new clusters in ten minutes
Matthieu Poncin, Technology Lead, Yousician