MongoDB And Alibaba Cloud Extend Strategic Partnership By Four Years

The MongoDB database powers Alibaba Cloud’s ApsaraDB for MongoDB database-as-a-service offering, which is seeing significant sales growth in China, especially among gaming developers, according to the companies.


Next-generation database developer MongoDB and Chinese cloud platform giant Alibaba Cloud are extending by four years their strategic alliance under which the MongoDB cloud database is the foundation for Alibaba Cloud’s managed database service.

In addition to extending the term of the partnership that was originally struck in 2019, MongoDB and Alibaba Cloud are also expanding aspects of the alliance including new joint marketing efforts, joint revenue commitments and tighter technology integrations.

The new agreement, unveiled Thursday, builds on what has proven to be a popular database offering in the China market, especially within that country’s gaming development and automotive industries, said Alan Chhabra, MongoDB executive vice president for worldwide partnerships, in an interview with CRN.

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“We have grown 8X customer adoption of the ApsaraDB for MongoDB since 2019. Eight X in four years,” Chhabra (pictured) said, referring to the Alibaba Cloud product that incorporates the MongoDB database.

“What’s amazing is that while other U.S. software providers have struggled to figure out how to sell in China, this has been the opposite,” Chhabra said. “I would say how we struck a partnership with [Alibaba] should be a role model for other American ISVs trying to go service developers in China, software providers that want to offer cloud-based services, SaaS offerings.”

MongoDB is one of the leading next-generation database developers with its namesake NoSQL document-oriented database. The company also offers MongoDB Atlas, a fully managed cloud database-as-a-service.

The alliance expansion is the latest announcement from MongoDB relating to partnerships the database developer has with the major cloud platform companies including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft’s Azure.

MongoDB has established comprehensive strategic alliances with the cloud hyper-scalers, despite also competing with them in some areas, with MongoDB Atlas running on each company’s cloud platform. The database company has had a long-time relationship with Google Cloud and last year established a deep relationship with AWS and extended its Microsoft Azure alliance.

MongoDB offers its database under an open-source server-side public license and has long seen a huge volume of downloads of the company’s software in China, according to Chhabra.

MongoDB has an OEM partnership with Alibaba Cloud through which the giant Chinese cloud company embeds the MongoDB database as the core of its ApsaraDB for MongoDB database service. Since the service’s initial availability the two companies have seen an eight-fold increase in ApsaraDB for MongoDB consumption.

“The three years of cooperation with MongoDB have demonstrated how much customers can benefit when we closely integrate MongoDB’s capabilities with Alibaba Cloud’s cloud-native environment,” said Li Feifei, vice president of Alibaba Group and president and senior fellow of database systems at Alibaba Cloud Intelligence, in a statement. “By using the MongoDB database with Alibaba Cloud’s distinctive features, customers can rapidly innovate and scale their business while reducing costs and increasing efficiency on ApsaraDB for MongoDB.”

The new agreement extends the partnership to 2027. It also expands elements of the relationship to include an increase in joint revenue commitments, more personnel from each company dedicated to the partnership, tighter integrations between the two companies’ products, and additional joint marketing activity, Chhabra said.

MongoDB will also now be featured as a component of the Alibaba Cloud management console, as the database is with management consoles for other major cloud platforms, according to Chhabra.

The MongoDB executive said that given the ability of MongoDB to work with unstructured data, ApsaraDB for MongoDB has been especially popular with the gaming development industry in China, which produces mobile video games for domestic and worldwide use.

China’s government regulators have issued fewer licenses for new video games in recent years, but appears on track to issue more licenses this year, according to published reports. “I think there’s a tidal wave coming based on that trend,” Chhabra said.

The fast-growing automotive industry in China, which manufactures cars for domestic sales and export, has also been a big adopter of ApsaraDB for MongoDB, Chhabra said. The statement issued by the two companies said usage of ApsaraDB for MongoDB by the automotive industry in China has doubled in just the past year.

Systems integrators and IT consultants that work with MongoDB and Alibaba will also benefit from the extended MongoDB-Alibaba Cloud relationship by providing a platform for developing and modernizing cloud applications, especially for clients in Asia and the Middle East, according to Chhabra.

This week Alibaba Group said it plans to spin out Alibaba Cloud as an independent, publicly traded company within a year. Chhabra said that plan should have no impact on the MongoDB-Alibaba Cloud relationship.