Amazon EC2

MongoDB runs well on Amazon EC2. To deploy MongoDB on EC2 you can either set up a new instance manually (refer to Deploy MongoDB on EC2) or deploy a pre-configured AMI from the AWS Marketplace (refer to Deploy from the AWS Marketplace for more information).

Storage Considerations

EC2 instances can be configured either with ephemeral storage or persistent storage using the Elastic Block Store (EBS). Ephemeral storage is lost when instances are terminated so it is generally not recommended for use unless you’re comfortable with the data-loss implications.

For almost all deployments EBS will be the better choice. For production systems we recommend using

  • EBS-optimized EC2 instances
  • Provisioned IOPS (PIOPS) EBS volumes

Storage configurations can vary from one deployment to the next but for the best performance we recommend one volume for each of the following: data directory, journal, and log. Each of those has different write behaviours and we use one volume for each to reduce IO contention. Different RAID levels such as RAID0, RAID1, or RAID10 can also be used to provide volume level redundancy or capacity. Different storage configurations will have different cost implications especially when combined with PIOPS EBS volumes.

Deploy from the AWS Marketplace

There are three officially maintained MongoDB AMIs on the AWS Marketplace. Each AMI comes pre-configured with individual PIOPS EBS volumes for data, journal, and the log.

For specific information about how each instance was configured, refer to Deploy MongoDB on EC2.

Deploy MongoDB on EC2

The following steps can be used to deploy MongoDB on EC2. The instances will be configured with the following characteristics:

  • Amazon Linux
  • MongoDB 2.4.x installed via Yum
  • Individual PIOPS EBS volumes for data (1000 IOPS), journal (250 IOPS), and log (100 IOPS)
  • Updated read-ahead values for each block device
  • Update ulimit settings

Before continuing be sure to have the following:

Create the instance using the key pair and security group previously created and also include the --ebs-optimized flag and specify individual PIOPS EBS volumes (/dev/xvdf for data, /dev/xvdg for journal, /dev/xvdh for log). Refer to the documentation for ec2-run-instances for more information on devices and parameters.:

$ ec2-run-instances ami-05355a6c -t m1.large -g [SECURITY-GROUP] -k [KEY-PAIR] -b "/dev/xvdf=:200:false:io1:1000" -b "/dev/xvdg=:25:false:io1:250" -b "/dev/xvdh=:10:false:io1:100" --ebs-optimized true

You can use the instance-id returned to ascertain the IP Address or DNS information for the instance:

$ ec2-describe-instances [INSTANCE-ID]

Now SSH into the instance:

$ ssh -i /path/to/keypair.pem ec2-user@ec2-1-2-3-4.amazonaws.com

After login, update installed packages, add the MongoDB yum repo, and install MongoDB:

$ sudo yum -y update

$ echo "[MongoDB]
name=MongoDB Repository
enabled=1" | sudo tee -a /etc/yum.repos.d/mongodb.repo

$ sudo yum install -y mongodb-org-server mongodb-org-shell mongodb-org-tools

Next, create/configure the mount points, mount each volume, set ownership (MongoDB runs under the mongod user/group), and set the /journal link:

$ sudo mkdir /data /log /journal

$ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/xvdf
$ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/xvdg
$ sudo mkfs.ext4 /dev/xvdh

$ echo '/dev/xvdf /data ext4 defaults,auto,noatime,noexec 0 0
/dev/xvdg /journal ext4 defaults,auto,noatime,noexec 0 0
/dev/xvdh /log ext4 defaults,auto,noatime,noexec 0 0' | sudo tee -a /etc/fstab

$ sudo mount /data
$ sudo mount /journal
$ sudo mount /log

$ sudo chown mongod:mongod /data /journal /log

$ sudo ln -s /journal /data/journal

Now configure the following MongoDB parameters by editing the configuration file /etc/mongod.conf:

dbpath = /data
logpath = /log/mongod.log

Optionally, if you don’t want MongoDB to start at boot you can issue the following command:

$ sudo chkconfig mongod off

By default Amazon Linux uses ulimit settings that are not appropriate for MongoDB. To setup ulimit to match the documented ulimit settings use the following steps:

$ sudo nano /etc/security/limits.conf
* soft nofile 64000
* hard nofile 64000
* soft nproc 32000
* hard nproc 32000

$ sudo nano /etc/security/limits.d/90-nproc.conf
* soft nproc 32000
* hard nproc 32000

Additionally, default read ahead settings on EC2 are not optimized for MongoDB. As noted in the read-ahead settings from Production Notes, the settings should be adjusted to read approximately 32 blocks (or 16 KB) of data. The following command will set the readahead appropriately (repeat for necessary volumes):

$ sudo blockdev --setra 32 /dev/xvdf

To make this change persistent across system boot you can issue the following command:

$ echo 'ACTION=="add", KERNEL=="xvdf", ATTR{bdi/read_ahead_kb}="16"' | sudo tee -a /etc/udev/rules.d/85-ebs.rules

Once again, repeat the above command for all required volumes (note: the device we created was named /dev/xvdf but the name used by the system is xvdf).

To startup MongoDB, issue the following command:

$ sudo service mongod start

And now connect to the MongoDB instance using the mongo shell:

$ mongo
MongoDB shell version: 2.4.8
connecting to: test

To have MongoDB startup automatically at boot issue the following command:

$ sudo chkconfig mongod on

For production deployments consider using Replica Sets or Sharding.

Backup, Restore, Verify

Depending upon the configuration of your EC2 instances, there are a number of ways to conduct regular backups of your data. For specific instructions on backing up, restoring and verifying refer to EC2 Backup and Restore.

Deployment Notes

Instance Types

MongoDB works on most EC2 types including Linux and Windows. We recommend you use a 64 bit instance as this is required for all MongoDB databases of significant size. Additionally, we find that the larger instances tend to be on the freshest ec2 hardware.

Running MongoDB

Before running the database one should decide where to put datafiles. Run df -h to see volumes. On some images /mnt will be the many locally attached storage volume. Alternatively you may want to use Elastic Block Store which will have a different mount point.

If you mount the file-system, ensure that you mount with the noatime and nodiratime attributes, for example:

/dev/mapper/my_vol /var/lib/mongodb xfs noatime,noexec,nodiratime 0 0

Create the mongodb datafile directory in the desired location and then run the database:

mkdir /mnt/db
./mongod --fork --logpath ~/mongod.log --dbpath /mnt/db/

Operating System

Occasionally, due to the shared and virtualized nature of EC2, an instance can experience intermittent I/O problems and low responsiveness compared to other similar instances. Terminating the instance and bringing up a new one can in some cases result in better performance.

Some people have reported problems with ubuntu 10.04 on ec2.

Please read Ubuntu issue 614853 and Linux Kernel issue 16991 for further information.


Port Management

By default the database will now be listening on port 27017. The web administrative UI will be on port 28017.


Change the default TCP keepalive time to 300 seconds. See our troubleshooting page for details.

Secure Instances

Restrict access to your instances by using the Security Groups feature within AWS. A Security Group is a set of firewall rules for incoming packets that can apply to TCP, UDP or ICMP.

A common approach is to create a MongoDB security group that contains the nodes of your cluster (replica set members or sharded cluster members), followed by the creation of a separate security group for your app servers or clients.

Create a rule in your MongoDB security group with the “source” field set to the Security Group name containing your app servers and the port set to 27017 (or whatever port you use for your MongoDB). This will ensure that only your app servers have permission to connect to your MongoDB instances.

Remember that Security Groups only control ingress traffic.

Communication Across Regions

Every EC2 instance will have a private IP address that can be used to communicate within the EC2 network. It is also possible to assign a public “elastic” IP to communicate with the servers from another network. If using different EC2 regions, servers can only communicate via public IPs.

To set up a cluster of servers that spans multiple regions, it is recommended to name the server hostname to the “public dns name” provided by EC2. This will ensure that servers from a different network use the public IP, while the local servers use the private IP, thereby saving costs. This is required since EC2 security groups are local to a region.

To control communications between instances in different regions (for example, if you have two members of a replica set in one region and a third member in another), it is possible to use a built-in firewall (such as IPtables on Linux) to restrict allowed traffic to certain (elastic) IP addresses or ports.

For example one solution is following, on each server:

  • set the hostname of the server
sudo hostname server1
  • install “bind”, it will serve as local resolver
  • add a zone for your domain, say “myorg.com”, and add the CNAMEs for all your servers
server1          IN     CNAME   ec2-50-19-237-42.compute-1.amazonaws.com.
server2          IN     CNAME   ec2-50-18-157-87.us-west-1.compute.amazonaws.com.
  • restart bind and modify /etc/resolv.conf to use the local bind
search myorg.conf


  • verify that you can properly resolve server1, server2, ... using a tool like dig.
  • when running mongod, db.serverStatus() should show the correct hostname, e.g. “server1:27017”.
  • you can then set up replica sets or shards using the simple hostname. For example connect to server1 and run rs.initiate(), then rs.add('server2:27017').