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Case Study

mLab Seamlessly Migrates about.me’s MongoDB Database from AOL to AWS

about.me sees improvements in both performance and operational agility after migrating and simplifying their MongoDB architecture.

Highlights
  • about.me successfully transitions its MongoDB database from AOL’s servers to AWS with zero downtime.
  • mLab simplified about.me’s MongoDB deployments to a simpler, more cost-effective architecture.
  • about.me radically accelerated the development and testing of new products and features by leveraging mLab’s service to easily provision complex MongoDB clusters.
Customer Profile

about.me is a personal web hosting service that allows its users to establish individual web spaces – single-page digital homes that serve as outlets for creative self-expression online. The social platform also allows users to link multiple online identities, including to their profiles on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, and others.

The Challenge

As part of buying itself back from AOL, about.me needed to move its entire infrastructure from AOL’s private datacenters to the AWS cloud

about.me had been hosting its MongoDB database in AOL’s datacenter after being acquired by the huge mass media corporation. However, in 2013, the company bought itself back from AOL. As a result of the ownership change, about.me needed to migrate its database and services to its new home of choice, the AWS cloud.

A successful migration would be one executed with zero downtime and without any impact to users. Safeguarding customer satisfaction for the growing service during this time was particularly critical. Adding to the technical challenge was the fact that about.me did not have an in-house database administrator, nor a MongoDB expert. The company had to decide – quickly – how to complete its database migration in a way that best served its current customers while laying a cost-effective, long-term foundation for acquiring new ones.

Solution

mLab completes about.me’s MongoDB database migration, maintains a consistent customer experience, and prepares the company for more users

After careful consideration, about.me selected mLab as its MongoDB hosting provider. about.me required a robust, end-to-end solution that would give its development team the tools and support to stay agile and get the most out of MongoDB. mLab offered a comprehensive suite of tools that made it easy for about.me to create, analyze, and scale any MongoDB deployment. about.me’s decision was reinforced by mLab’s position as the most widely deployed MongoDB solution in the world.

Shortly after about.me migrated its application servers to AWS, mLab helped about.me successfully transition its MongoDB database from AOL’s servers to AWS with zero downtime and no impact on its users. Following mLab’s recommendation, about.me also used this migration process as an opportunity to move its deployments to a simpler, more cost-effective architecture.

From managing our seamless MongoDB migration, to delivering essential tools that simplify database management, to helping us scale without growing pains, mLab has been the ideal infrastructure partner. I especially appreciate how we can spin up a cluster instantaneously – just press a button and it appears a minute later. And mLab’s support has been absolutely reliable. We’ve never been lost after talking with them, and I’m glad to have total trust that they’ll see us through any issue or question we may encounter. We’re looking forward to continuing this relationship and further utilizing mLab’s powerful and reliable cloud service.

Paul Nues System Architect, about.me

Benefits

Moving to mLab provides about.me huge advantages compared to running its database infrastructure in AOL’s private datacenters

mLab’s cloud-based MongoDB platform gives about.me the ability to create new database deployments on demand, dramatically simplifying the application development and testing process. Before moving to mLab, provisioning new deployments required collaboration with AOL’s IT staff, a process that often took weeks. Now the creation of new database deployments is 100% self-service for developers, removing infrastructure friction from the application development process.

about.me was also able to greatly simplify its process for managing production deployments by utilizing mLab’s automatic backups, monitoring and alerting via mLab Telemetry, and slow query analytics.

Finally, mLab’s optimized MongoDB platform allowed about.me to significantly reduce the cost and complexity of its production MongoDB deployments. By moving to mLab, about.me was able to convert its production database system to use less hardware while improving performance.

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