Reliable, scalable hands-off database vendor, but at a cost
March 05, 2018

Reliable, scalable hands-off database vendor, but at a cost

Anonymous | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 6 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Overall Satisfaction with IBM Cloud Databases

Compose is our database vendor for all our backend systems. Their hosted Mongo solution has powered our products from the early days as a 3 person startup to now being acquired twice and part of an 800+ person organization. Through this scaling we have not had any fulltime DBAs, so we relied on the managed offering to have high uptime and provide consistent service with minimal tinkering.

Pros

  • High uptime
  • Consistent performance
  • Same-as-you-bought-it versioning

Cons

  • Performance recommendation - with us not having a DBA or mongo expert in house, we had to do a lot of learning on our own. After seeing tools like mlab, Mongo's own cloud offering, Scalegrid, etc, the monitoring and performance tools offered by Compose are dead last in the pack.
  • More graceful scaling - we operate a fairly large instance of Mongo, and pay handsomely for it each month. But every now and again the Compose team had to intervene due to disk space issues which we expected would have been taken care of by them in advance. Whenever they intervened our performance was diminished from 6-48 hours.
  • Better communication - the reps are generally knowledgeable and respond within 12 hours, but when your entire stack relies on Compose as a point of failure it would be appreciated if there was a method to contact when there are urgent issues or outages.
  • Proactive assistance - we always had to initialize requests despite the stats all being available to Compose. No recommendations ever were proactively offered despite our large monthly bill and longterm status as a customer.
  • It's enabled us to scale without an expensive DBA, but at the cost of $10k/mo Compose bills and a fair chunk of time learning how to diagnose performance issues along the way.
  • mlab, scalegrid, objectrocket and MongoDB
We have one instance of mLab that has been equally easy to scale as Compose, but with the added benefit of extensive logging and performance monitoring tools, including an index suggester. All modern cloud db providers seem to offer more of this type of functionality at this point, and we have been on Compose classic so it is possible the latest version of Compose has more of it.

Scalegrid and ObjectRocket are also about half the cost of Compose, which has been very appealing.
Startups will benefit from their reasonable pricing at smaller sizes with high availability, however if anything goes astray they are on their own to solution the problem.

Larger companies may have the internal expertise to solution on their own and appreciate the hands off approach, but then they also need to have a small data store size for the pricing to make sense versus rolling their own solution.

IBM Cloud Databases Feature Ratings

Automatic software patching
Not Rated
Database scalability
6
Automated backups
3
Database security provisions
8
Monitoring and metrics
3
Automatic host deployment
Not Rated

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