Quantifying Business Advantage
A MongoDB White Paper
Quantifying Business Advantage
The Value of Database Selection
August 2014
Table of Contents
Unlocking Value From New Data
Growing Data Volumes Unleash New Business Insight
Business Innovation With New Types Of Applications
Windows Of Market Opportunity Are Getting Smaller
New Architectures Drive Down Cost, Drive Up Flexibility
Gaining Competitive Advantage: Faster Time To Market
Improving the Customer Experience: Taking Performance
and Availability to New Levels
Improving the Bottom Line: Growing Revenues, Reducing
ture and development costs, coupled with the
elimination of regulatory penalties.
• Accelerating Time to Market: One of the world’s
In the digital economy, data is the raw currency. How
an organization stores, manages, analyzes and uses
data has a direct impact on its success. The organization’s choice of database directly affects how quickly
it can bring new applications to market, support business growth, improve customer experience and product quality, while enhancing business agility and reducing costs. Consider the following examples:
leading telecommunications providers developed a
new subscriber personalization service to improve
customer experience and operational efSciency. After changing to a new database, the company was
able to accelerate time to market by 4x, reduce engineering costs by 50% and storage requirements
by 67%, all while achieving “orders of magnitude”
higher performance.
• Enabling Business Innovation: For eight years one
• Transforming the Customer Experience: After mi-
of the world’s leading insurance companies tried to
better identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities
and improve customer service by building a single
360-degree view of its customers. Following a
change in assumptions on which database to use
for the project, the project delivered a completely
new application to the business in just three
grating from its legacy relational database, the
market leading personalized digital photo products
and services company were able to improve the
speed of their customers’ online experience by 9x,
reduce internal costs by 80% and slash the time of
bringing new features to market from tens of
months to weeks.
• Enhancing EfBciency: By selecting the right data-
• Reducing Costs: A Tier 1 investment bank rebuilt
base to build its new trading platform, a leading
European bank were able increase trader yields by
39% and application performance by 97.5% while
reducing licensing costs by 74% and development
time by 42%.
its globally distributed reference data platform on
a new database technology, enabling it to save
$40M over Sve years through reduced infrastruc-
In this white paper, we will explore how organizations
are realizing quantiSed business value by selecting
MongoDB to power new generations of applications
that were never previously possible and build software that transforms their business.
Realizing Business Vision
with MongoDB
It is no longer sufScient for organizations to deliver
run-of-the mill business process applications. Mobile,
social and real-time analytical applications are not
just potential differentiators — in many cases, they are
now essential for remaining relevant. Trying to forceSt database technologies designed decades ago to
support these new types of applications inhibits agility and drives up cost and complexity. Semi-structured
and unstructured data does not lend itself to be
stored and processed in the rigid row and column format imposed by relational databases, and cannot be
fully harnessed for analytics if stored in BLOBS or Tat
Sles. It is critical to select a database that can not just
store complex data, but also enables rich query and
analytics capabilities in order to increase business visibility across a variety of data assets.
To understand how business value can be driven by
the selection of a database, it is important to Srst consider how application and user requirements are
evolving.Business and technology trends are changing
the assumptions that have dictated database selection
over the past 30 years.
Applications now incorporate a wide variety of data,
bringing structured, semi-structured and unstructured
data together from today’s mobile, social, cloud and
sensor-enabled applications to deliver a seamless
user experience and to yield deeper operational insight into all areas of the business. This diversity is a
far cry from the simple general ledger and address
book applications that helped to popularize the relational database. Organizations must embrace database
technologies that provide the Texibility to model,
store, process and analyze these new complex data
The waterfall approach to software development —
which has dominated projects for decades — places
enormous dependency on the requirements deSned
upfront. Today, organizations need Texible, iterative
development practices to make it easy for teams to
adjust plans in response to business and market evolutions. Requirements for data management change
frequently, and the underlying database must be agile
enough to accommodate these changes, without inhibiting developer productivity.
As of 2009, companies with more than 1,000 employees had at least 200 terabytes of stored data (twice
the size of Wal-Mart’s data warehouse in 1999). Many
companies have at least 120 GB of data per employee.
And business data volumes are doubling every 1.2
years. Organizations need to be able to seamlessly
scale database capacity and performance to keep pace
with data growth.
The rise of commodity servers and storage, coupled
with elastic, on-demand cloud computing has driven
down infrastructure and operating costs. Traditional
• 10 of the top telecommunications providers
data management technologies, however, are not
wellsuited to take advantages of these environments
due to their monolithic scale-up design and assumption of consistent network and hardware quality-ofservice. To fully exploit the economic advantages of
commodity servers and cloud computing, the database
must support horizontal scale-out deployments with
in-built fault-tolerance to meet the SLAs demanded by
the business.
• 8 of the top technology companies
• 6 of the top healthcare companies
Organizations around the world are realizing business
value by building new services and refreshing existing
applications with MongoDB. BeneSts include the ability to build applications never before possible with
faster time to market, improved customer service levels and reduced costs.
FIGURE 1 // MongoDB Use Cases
Quantifying the Business
Value of MongoDB
MongoDB enables engineers to build and manage
modern applications quickly and easily. Organizations
can move from pilot to production in weeks, not
• MetLife prototyped a new critical business applica-
In today’s global, Internet-enabled economy, Srst
mover advantage is critical. By using MongoDB:
tion in two weeks, and deployed to production in
just 90 days. It had been trying for 2 years to build
the same application with a relational database.
As the fastest growing database for startups and leading organizations of all sizes, MongoDB has been
downloaded over 7 million times and amassed 1,000+
customers, including nearly a third of Fortune 100
companies. SigniScant customers include CARFAX, Cisco, eBay, MetLife, Salesforce.com and Telefonica.
• Telefonica achieved 4x faster time to market with
50% fewer developers, and increased speed of customer service by 10x.
• Intuit now has the agility to push application updates once per day, enabling their users to enjoy
new features much faster.
Among the Fortune 500 and Global 500, MongoDB
• 10 of the top Snancial services institutions
• 10 of the top electronics companies
• 10 of the top media and entertainment companies
• 10 of the top retailers
Gary Hoberman, CIO and Senior Vice President,
Regional Application Development, MetLife
By partnering with MongoDB, MetLife has been able
to liberate its data and reimagine the customer experience.
Using MongoDB Enterprise, Metlife has access to
everything they need to run reliably at scale in production, including consultative support, disaster recovery and the MongoDB Management Service for
proactive cluster monitoring and alerts. Learn more
from press coverage of the project and the video interview.
MetLife — Delivering a 360 Degree Customer View
MetLife is one of the world’s largest insurance companies. However, the data supporting its business was
siloed, and they had tried different approaches over
the years to bring it together. The goal was to streamline the experience for customers, to improve call center efSciency, and to create new cross-sell and upsell
MetLife attempted a new initiative to deliver the project with a relational database, but after almost two
years and millions of dollars of investment, it opted
for MongoDB. Within two weeks the team demonstrated a prototype and after 90 days the application was
in production. Key to success was MongoDB’s Texible
document data model and dynamic schema that allowed the aggregation of data from over 100 million
customers, 100 products and over 70 source systems
into a single data hub. Trying to achieve this single
view in a relational model would have meant deSning
a common set of schema across a wide range of insurance products, something MetLife themselves said
would have been nearly impossible to actually
Telefonica — 4x Faster Time to Market with 50% of the
As one of the world’s leading telecommunications
companies, Telefonica constantly innovates in new applications and services. To accelerate the delivery of
these services, they needed to consolidate customer
data into a single repository.
Telefonica Srst used a relational database for the project. It took 20 technologists, 15 months, and 3 iterations before the team eventually turned to MongoDB.
Standardizing across numerous schemas was taxing,
and the relational database did not perform at scale.
"Introducing technology like
MongoDB to our development
teams created a buzz and
excitement that motivated and
empowered teams to deliver
work in months that would
typically take years."
Using the MongoDB Development Support to access
consulting expertise and technical support, along with
MongoDB University training to quickly ramp their developers and operations staff, the Telefonica team
built a robust platform in 4 months, reduced latency
by 10x and storage costs by 67% — with just half the
development resource. Key advantages of MongoDB
included agile development with its dynamic schema
and native drivers, coupled with fault tolerance to ensure SLA compliance.
made big progress. Very big
progress. It was so amazing that
we decided, ‘Let’s go with this.’
The cool thing about MongoDB is
that you change – boom... it
works in QA, it works in
production... that is why we can
deploy once a day."
As well as delivering better products faster, Telefonica
has been able to increase customer satisfaction, boost
revenues and reduce costs. Learn more from Telefonica’s presentation on their project.
Nirmala Ranganathan, Intuit
By working with MongoDB’s consultants, Intuit has
been able to take full advantage of the rich query
model and dynamic schema to support their agile development methodologies and fast time to market.
Intuit — Agility to Upgrade Applications Once per Day
Intuit empowers small businesses, accountants, and
individuals with tax preparation and Snancial software. Intuit Websites, which enables small businesses
to build websites without any technical expertise, relies on a MongoDB-powered real-time analytics tool
to 5 derive actionable patterns from their customers’
website trafSc.
Learn more from the Intuit case study.
Intuit initially planned to build their analytics service
using a relational database. At the time, MySQL or Oracle seemed like an obvious choice due to existing infrastructure. Yet, the team quickly encountered performance issues using a relational system. While there
was also an existing Hadoop infrastructure in house,
the team quickly realized that MongoDB’s querying
and MapReduce functionality could serve as a simpler,
higher-performance solution than a complex Hadoop
Forbes — Just 4 Weeks for a Business Critical Mobile
Extending its content to a mobile audience was a priority for Forbes, the largest U.S-based business media
brand. They had previously outsourced all mobile application development, but the need to gain greater
insight into how readers were consuming and sharing
content drove Forbes to bring development back inhouse.
Intuit spent one week developing a prototype analytics solution based on MongoDB. In that time they
were able to become proScient in MongoDB development, and found that they could develop application
features more quickly for MongoDB than for relational
Using MongoDB, they were able to deliver the new
mobile application in just 4 weeks. Key to this success
was MongoDB’s Texible document model and native
drivers, coupled with training from the MongoDB University that accelerated the learning curve for developers, enabling them to rapidly innovate to exploit
new channels and deliver business insight.
"We did a prototype for one week,
and within one week we had
Forbes uses MongoDB Enterprise, including the MongoDB Management Service to monitor and support
support their production deployment.
View the video interview to learn more.
eHarmony — 95% Faster in Finding the Right Match
As one of the world’s leading relationship service
providers, eHarmony relies on its compatibility matching system to introduce singles to potential partners,
relying on complex and comprehensive sets of a user’s
traits and preferences.
Hike — Scaling to 15m Users in 9 Months
India’s fastest growing messenger app is using MongoDB to manage its subscriber growth. MongoDB’s
natural development model enables Hike — a joint
venture between Bharti and SoftBank — to add new
features quickly and run real time analytics across a
variety of applications, while providing the foundation
to scale operations. “Our user base has sky-rocketed in
the past couple of months and, with the surge in daily
messaging volume, we knew we needed a partner who
could meet our explosive growth,” said Rajat Bansal,
CTO, Hike messenger.
The process of identifying matches for the entire user
pool was narrowed from 15 days using a relational
database to 12 hours with MongoDB, a 95% reduction
in time.
"With our...SQL-based system, the
entire user proSle set was stored
on each server, which impacted
performance and impeded our
ability to scale horizontally.
MongoDB supports the scale that
our business demands and allows
us to generate matches in realtime."
Hike’s messaging platform uses MongoDB Enterprise
for ensuring enterprise-grade capabilities, uptime and
scalability to meet its demanding subscriber growth.
Read more in the press release.
Customers are impatient. Making them wait costs loyalty and revenue. By using MongoDB:
Thod Nguyen, CTO, eHarmony
• eHarmony is able to match potential partners 95%
faster than their legacy system.
In addition to its rich query capabilities and Texible
data model, eHarmony selected MongoDB for its builtin sharding and replication, and the ability to deploy
new replica sets on demand.
• Cisco reduces analytics latency from 30 seconds to
just milliseconds.
• CARFAX is able to serve its customers 10x faster.
A combination of MongoDB consulting and MongoDB
Enterprise has enabled eHarmony to optimize application performance and maintain production SLAs.
• Reverb application performance has improved by
20x, while reducing code by 75%.
• ADP is maintaining 100% service availability so its
Read more in the press release.
customers are never let down.
Cisco — Generating Real Time Business Insight from
Social Enablement
CARFAX — 10x Higher Performance to Position for
Business Growth
Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking, transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate. In November 2011, Cisco launched WebEx
Social, an enterprise collaboration platform designed
for the social, mobile and virtual workforce.
As one of the leading providers of vehicle history information, CARFAX helps millions of people buy and
sell used cars with more conSdence.
Originally building their vehicle history database on a
Key-Value store, CARFAX started to hit limits in being
able to cost-effectively scale their service as the business grew. CARFAX ended up selecting MongoDB to
serve over 12.5 billion documents, delivering 10x
higher performance, with the ability to replicate the
database across data centers.
With their existing relational database, complex SQL
queries against highly normalized schema were time
consuming and Cisco had little room to scale horizontally. Additionally, it was difScult to manage schema
upgrades as new features were added.
Cisco migrated to MongoDB to manage user activity
feeds and run social networking analytics. Cisco were
able to accelerate reads from 30 seconds in some extreme cases to tens of milliseconds per object and
eliminated caching in a number of cases.
"Replacing our legacy database
with MongoDB helps position us
for future growth. MongoDB
improves our ability to support
continued customer demand and
the growth of our vehicle history
Key to Cisco’s success was MongoDB’s intuitive and dynamic document model and schema, auto-sharding for
scale-out and replica sets for high availability.
Read more in the case study.
Joedy Lenz, CTO, CARFAX
CARFAX took advantage of MongoDB development
support and MongoDB Enterprise to support every
phase of their project, from design and architecture
through to maintaining SLAs for their customer base.
You can learn more from CARFAX’s senior systems architect and from the press release.
Reverb — 20x Higher Performance with 75% Less Code
ADP — 100% Service Availability
Reverb Technologies is the world’s largest English language resource – six times bigger than the Oxford
English Dictionary.
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP), one of the
world’s leading human capital management and payroll outsourcing solutions provider, sought to extend
HR data access to mobile employees and managers.
Reverb Technologies was initially launched entirely on
MySQL but quickly hit performance roadblocks.
Adding too much data too quickly resulted in outages.
After evaluation of multiple technologies, Reverb selected MongoDB, Snding it offered the high performance and reliability the company required, coupled
with a long runway for scale-out and high performance for data inserts and retrieval.
After extensive evaluation of multiple databases, ADP
selected MongoDB as it was able to deliver the user
experience modern consumers have come to expect.
MongoDB’s document model and dynamic schema
made it fast for developers to build the application.
High performance, scalability and reliability while also preserving the query and data manipulation capabilities of traditional relational databases were key for
functionality and the customer experience.
As a result of their migration, MongoDB has enabled
Reverb to achieve 20x higher performance with 75%
less code.
MongoDB Enterprise helps maintain 100% production
service availability, and with MongoDB Management
Service ADP were able to simplify operations.
“Life with MongoDB has been
good for Reverb Technologies.
Our code is faster, more Texible
and dramatically smaller. Since
we don’t spend time worrying
about the database, we can
spend more time writing code for
our application.”
You can learn more from ADP’s presentation on the
Tony Tam, Vice President of Engineering and
With the continued pressure on economic recovery, organizations are challenged like never before to both
grow revenues by introducing compelling new products and services while at the same reducing costs
through greater operational efSciency and exploiting
commodity and cloud technologies. By using MongoDB:
Technical Co-founder, Reverb
• A Tier 1 investment bank is forecasting savings of
$40m over the next 5 years.
• ShutterTy has reduced cost by 80% while improv-
Read the full case study to learn more.
ing customer service by 9x.
• Orange Digital has transitioned to the cloud and
saved $2m.
Tier 1 Investment Bank — Saving $40m, Shifting Capex
to Opex
80% Lower Cost, 9x Higher Performance
As the market leading personalized digital photo
products company, ShutterTy faced massive data
growth that pushed the performance limits of its existing Oracle database.
A Tier 1 bank is saving $40 million over 5 years by migrating its reference data management application to
The application previously ran on a proprietary relational database. Not only did this database carry high
license costs and expensive hardware requirements,
but it also could not handle the availability and replication requirements that the business demanded. It
would take 24 to 36 hours for the data to replicate
across 12 global data centers, which meant international locations had out-of-date information. This cost
this bank a number of Snes for failing to meet regulatory requirements. With MongoDB, that data is now
replicated globally across four different continents in
After an extensive analysis of open source relational
and non-relational alternatives, ShutterTy chose MongoDB as its new database, providing an agile, high
performance, scalable solution at low cost.
MongoDB’s document model enriched ShutterTy’s data
modeling abilities, allowing for new query patterns
previously unavailable, while the Texible schema cut
development cycles and accelerated time to market.
By leaving behind its legacy code base, MongoDB has
enabled average latency for inserts to drop to 2ms
from 400ms.
ShutterTy’s switch from Oracle to MongoDB has resulted in a 9x performance improvement and 80% cost
reduction. Additionally, ShutterTy can now develop
applications in a couple of sprints – a timeframe of
weeks rather than tens of months.
Through the project, this bank decreased development
time, increased availability and realized substantial
cost savings. Additionally, by migrating away from a
license-heavy software model, the bank was able to
shift a major portion of expenses from CapEx to OpEx.
ShutterTy uses the MongoDB Management Service
(MMS) as the primary tool for gaining system visibility
and insights. Not only has it saved on DBA resources
but it also provides tight integration with the MongoDB support team who can speed resolution of any
development or production issues.
Read more on this and other use-cases in the Big Data: Examples and Guidelines for the Enterprise Decision Maker white paper.
Read the full story in the case study.
Figure 2: MongoDB Data Center-Aware Distribution, to Serve Global Audiences
cation technologies that would be more stable, secure
and scalable.
Orange Digital took the decision to move to Amazon
Web Services and chose MongoDB primarily due to
replication, auto sharding, failover and disaster recovery — features which are especially relevant in a cloud
based infrastructure where hardware failures do happen.
“Quite frankly we were blown
away by the performance of
MongoDB. Between the move to
Amazon and by opting for
MongoDB, we’ve saved about
£2m over the last three years in
database and platform licenses
and hardware.”
Orange Digital — Bringing Cloud Economics to the
Orange Digital is a subsidiary of France Telecom, supplying digital services to EE (Everything Everywhere)
in the UK and Orange across Europe. Orange Digital
was previously running its services on a relational
database using in-house servers. However, as the
number of users grew and the range of services and
content expanded, the company started to look for alternative combinations of hosting, database and appli-
Development Support helps customers move swiftly
through application development, test and implementation by providing expert support, on-demand training, a healthcheck with MongoDB consultants and access to the advanced capabilities included with MongoDB Enterprise.
Neil Jennings, Lead Enterprise Architect, Orange
MongoDB Consulting helps customers get to production quickly, with packaged service offerings that add
value at critical points through the project lifecycle,
such as schema design and performance tuning.
The key to Orange Digital’s success has been access to
the MongoDB engineering team. “The best thing has
been that, from the get-go, MongoDB’s engineers have
been very quick to help and have a developerSrst approach, giving helpful, professional advice.”
MongoDB Training provides certiScation and education for developers and DBAs with free online classes,
in person classes in major cities all over the world,
and private, customized offerings in customer facilities.
Read the case study to learn more.
Contact us to learn more.
As all of the examples above illustrate, making the
right choice of database can deliver quantiSed business results — whether measured in time to market,
improved customer experience, enabling new types of
applications, achieving higher revenues or reducing
For more information, please visit mongodb.com or
mongodb.org, or contact us at sales@mongodb.com.
If your next project involves managing the scale and
diversity of data in today’s and tomorrow’s applications, using modern languages and development
methodologies, or running on the latest generations
of commodity hardware on-premise or in the cloud,
then you should evaluate MongoDB.
Website URL
MongoDB Enterprise
Free Online Training
Webinars and Events
MongoDB provides products and services to help customers get to production faster with less effort and
risk, including:
White Papers
Case Studies
MongoDB Enterprise provides a management platform
for automating, monitoring, and backing up MongoDB
deployments; advanced security; support from MongoDB engineers; on-demand training; platform certiScation; and a commercial license.
Get to Production Faster
MongoDB Management Service (MMS) offers automated deployment and zero-downtime upgrades, disaster
recovery and continuous monitoring in the cloud.
Production Support helps customers proactively identify and address potential issues. The same engineers
that build the database are available 24x7x365 to
help teams address their needs quickly and safely.
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