Digital Communication


Digital Communication

MongoDB vs DynamoDB: comparison


What really stands out when comparing MongoDB vs DynamoDB is the different way they store data and manage it. Additionally, DynamoDB is inserted into the AWS Cosmos while MongoDB offers more freedom.

MongoDB vs DynamoDB: the two successful NoSQL databases

While it used to be difficult to get around the SQL database, the advent of ever-larger data volumes has led applications and websites to find a new approach to data. The solutions are often so-called NoSQL (Not only SQL) systems, such as MongoDB and DynamoDB which work in a non-relational manner and are thus significantly more flexible and above all more capable of scalability. These solutions are document-oriented rather than table-oriented, which allows unstructured or semi-structured data to be stored in a space-saving and clear manner. The database supports the company as its requirements evolve.

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB was created in 2009 by 10gen (now MongoDB, Inc.). It has become one of the most popular solutions in the field of SQL database management systems. It is written in C++ and saves data as binary JSON (BSON) documents. MongoDB is an open source marketed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL) which offers optional commercial support packages. The database whose name is derived from the English “huMONGOus” (gigantic) is known for its flexibility and scalability. MongoDB uses the MongoDB Query Language (MQL) for its queries.

What is DynamoDB?

DynamoDB has existed since 2012. This serverless NoSQL database which originates from Amazon is made available by AWS (Amazon Web Services) as fully managed service. The proprietary application was previously written in Java, in order to manage ever-increasing volumes of data from the company's e-commerce activities. This database works document-oriented and represents one of the fastest solutions offering the most scalability in the NoSQL segment. DynamoDB also uses tables, but these are non-relational. The system build is aimed at large as well as smaller companies whose data volume and workload increase over time.

MongoDB vs DynamoDB: scope of use and scalability

Our MongoDB vs DynamoDB comparison obviously shows that the two NoSQL databases have similar areas of application: MongoDB and DynamoDB come into play where large volumes of data must be stored and managed in a clear manner. MongoDB is adapted to the horizontal scalability of a technique called sharding. Large recordings are automatically fragmented and the load is distributed across different servers. As the system can work seamlessly with unstructured data, it is ideally suited for the management and provision of websites and e-commerce applications. All necessary content, including images and videos, is stored in a single document. Withdrawal is done immediately and without causing any particular delay while the system is operating.

DynamoDB offers similar usage options. Amazon recommends using its own database, especially for applications, media workloads, e-commerce and gaming platforms. This request is completely understandable: this system does not suffer from the MongoDB vs DynamoDB comparison and offers, at least in theory, infinite scalability possibilities.

One of the most notable differences between the systems is the integration with AWS. DynamoDB does not work outside of this environment and is therefore intended for users who live and can work with this restriction. This gives you ample management and benefits from extremely fast writing and reading processes even with rapidly increasing data volumes.


The two databases have similar goals, of course. But when we compare MongoDB vs DynamoDB more closely, it is obvious that their approach is different: MongoDB completely forgoes typical SQL tables and instead saves the data in documents which are in turn grouped into collections. These documents in BSON format consist of key-value pairs and can have different schemas. You can modify them by adding or removing a field. If the keys always consist of a character string, the values ​​can contain character strings, other documents, tables or Boolean values. Searching for text in MongoDB is done via the text index.

DynamoDB works as NoSQL key-value memory which stores data on SSD hard drives. Data can be filed without a schema as numeric, string or binary values. The information is divided into non-relational tables which consist of items containing at least one attribute. The “Create”, “Read”, “Update” and “Delete” operations are available for writing and reading.

Data structure

Other contrasts between MongoDB vs DynamoDB concern data structure and maximum data size. THE MongoDB storage format called BSON is a binary form of JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) that works without a schema. To create a new document, you do not need to create your own collection up front. Instead, you create the document using a simple command which will then either insert into an existing collection or create one automatically. The system accepts data from a maximum size 16 MB.

The DynamoDB data structure is more reminiscent of a classic SQL solution table form. There are, here too, tables which contain elements with particularities, even if the number of these properties can vary. Before you can use an array, you must first create it and define a primary key that partitions the data. Each of these partitions contains three nodes with a copy of the data. As the database is fully managed by the system, this step is fully automated. Another visible difference between MongoDB vs DynamoDB emerges in the size of the stored documents: the Amazon service sets the limit at 400 KB maximum.

Data availability

Generally, DynamoDB divides the three nodes we mentioned into a primary node (master node) and two slave nodes. All write and read operations are performed on the primary node. Only then does replication take place on the two slave nodes. But it is also possible to distribute read operations across the three nodes to avoid any loss of performance.

Comparing MongoDB vs DynamoDB, it appears that the older solution distributes data across multiple nodes and thus avoids any problems due to server failure. Just like Amazon's competitor, there is a primary node which receives the write steps and makes the data available to the slave nodes. In the event of a main node failure, another node automatically replaces it and then becomes a master node, which already has all the data thanks to replication. But this process takes up to 60 seconds.

Infrastructure, compatibility and programming languages

One of the most visible differences between MongoDB vs DynamoDB is in the provision and infrastructure of the two services. MongoDB is a Free, fully open source solution with proprietary support offerings. The database management system is compatible with most cloud solutions, operating systems and containers. Users decide how much control and management effort they want and need. The database must be configured and maintained individually. Although this task is demanding and requires a lot of time, it also offers greater freedom.

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DynamoDB follows a completely different approach: the database part of the AWS environment and cannot operate outside of it. You can certainly use DynamoDB optimally with tools other than those from Amazon, but the application is only poorly compatible with other solutions. The fully managed database is immediately ready to use and automatically takes care of updates, scalability and other tasks. In fact, users only have a limited insight into the work “behind the scenes”.

The following table summarizes the programming languages ​​supported by the two systems:

Programming language Backed by MongoDB Backed by DynamoDB


DynamoDB also takes care of all security related activities for its users. The database that is part of the AWS Cosmos and the IAM model (Identity and Access Management) is very well protected and integrated. Additionally, there is no direct connection to the Internet as requests are first forwarded to an API gateway.

Our MongoDB vs DynamoDB comparison highlights that thework effort East significantly higher using MongoDB if you want to ensure the security of your database. Access permissions, roles and firewalls must be installed and maintained autonomously, at least in standard versions of the system. Managed solutions that provide all the necessary security features can unblock the situation.

The safest solution: choose Managed MongoDB on IONOS and benefit from the know-how of our experts. This gives you the optimal environment for your data. Discover the different features and prices on our official website.

MongoDB vs DynamoDB: Which Companies Use MongoDB or DynamoDB?

Among the companies that fully or partially use MongoDB, we have:

  • Adobe
  • Amadeus
  • AppScale
  • Craftbase
  • Disney
  • Etsy
  • Foursquare
  • Lyft
  • MTV
  • The New York Times
  • Via Varejo

Examples of companies and platforms that manage their data using DynamoDB are:

  • Airbnb
  • Amazon
  • Comcast
  • Disney
  • Dropbox
  • Netflix
  • Nike
  • Redfin
  • Samsung
  • Tinder
  • Zoom

Which service meets your needs?

MongoDB and DynamoDB are two very powerful database management systems that remain flexible and scalable thanks to their NoSQL approach. But the angle of approach of the two solutions is different. If you are looking for a system that is seamlessly integrated with Cosmos AWS, has a solid security architecture, and takes care of most of the administrative tasks for you, DynamoDB is the best option. To have more freedom regarding the Cloud environment and configuration, we advise you to opt for the MongoDB service.

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