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Altoros Benchmark: Compare Couchbase Cloud™, MongoDB™ Atlas, and AWS DynamoDB

MongoDB vs. Couchbase

When comparing MongoDB vs. Couchbase, you should know that Couchbase was designed so all users benefit from clustering and rebalance, which improves data safety. On the other hand, MongoDB’s performance suffers from master-slave replication, which can cause idle nodes and low hardware utilization. Another difference is that all MongoDB services share the same resources, making it impossible to isolate workloads. These differences equate to a less performant infrastructure and higher total cost of ownership for MongoDB customers.

Challenge 1:
Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS)

MongoDB Atlas provides less control over data, poorer performance, and a higher TCO

Read the Altoros benchmark: Couchbase Cloud vs. MongoDB Atlas >

MongoDB Atlas

MongoDB Atlas is a multicloud DBaaS hosted by MongoDB.
A recent YCSB evaluation by Altoros revealed Atlas’ most serious shortcomings: It doesn’t scale linearly. It doesn’t allow you to choose which nodes will run which services. And it doesn’t support JOIN operations on sharded collections out of the box.
Atlas also runs on MongoDB’s managed cloud, which means you have no control over the underlying infrastructure. Because MongoDB manages your data, your applications may be at risk of violating data security and sovereignty regulations.

Couchbase Cloud

Couchbase Cloud is the DBaaS for Couchbase Server.
It’s the best-performing DBaaS on the market thanks to its distributed architecture, built-in optimization features, and support for JOIN operations. Couchbase Cloud is more scalable than MongoDB, and it was 2 to 12 times faster than Atlas in the Altoros benchmark.
Couchbase Cloud’s main deployment method is in your own virtual private cloud (VPC) hosted by your cloud service provider. With in-VPC deployment, you maintain complete control of your data and its security and compliance.

Challenge 2:
Elastic capacity and scale-agnostic architecture

MongoDB leaves data at risk because it’s inflexible and can’t adapt to modern workloads 

Learn more about MongoDB’s architectural weaknesses >


MongoDB’s performance suffers from master-slave replication, which can cause idle nodes and low hardware utilization.
All MongoDB services share the same resources, making it impossible to isolate workloads.
Single-node and sharded environments require different development patterns and changes to the way applications function. This discourages the use of sharding by putting the burden on the application and operations teams to know their data and tune it differently for different access patterns.


Couchbase was designed as a masterless, clustered, and replicated distributed database from day one – all nodes can read and write. All users benefit from clustering and rebalance, which improves data safety.
Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) enables independent scaling and complete workload isolation.
With high performance at scale, application behavior is unchanged whether growing from a single dev node to 3 test nodes or to 20 production nodes in a cloud.

Challenge 3:
Performance at scale

MongoDB performance rapidly degrades as the cluster size or number of users increases

See how Couchbase outperforms MongoDB on enterprise workloads >



MongoDB's performance suffers from limited page cache capability, requiring third-party tools to achieve acceptable norms for an enterprise-scale database.

Another MongoDB disadvantage is that inefficient routing layers add complexity and latency to requests.

Also, rigid data and index partitioning limitations require slow cross-node scatter-gather methods for some queries. This approach slows query performance, especially on enterprise clusters.


Couchbase has a tightly managed and fully integrated caching layer for both data and indexes, and doesn’t need additional caching products for high performance.

Intelligent routing with direct application-to-node document lookup allows for efficient communications with single network hop access.

Global indexes allow indexes to be partitioned independently of data, minimizing latency for important queries.

Challenge 4:
Integrated enterprise functionality

MongoDB limits many features depending on deployment model or third-party requirements

Learn more about integrated Couchbase capabilities >


MongoDB’s key disadvantage is that some of its most attractive capabilities are bolted on rather than tightly coupled to the core database. These bolt-ons include replication, sharding, limited full-text search, and SQL-based analytics.

Because MongoDB uses a unique proprietary query language that can be hard to learn (Figure 1), you must hire developers with specific platform experience in order to get lasting value.

Finally, sharded environments have functionality limitations. Stitch functions and mobile sync are available only through the hosted Atlas offering.


Couchbase has unified application and management APIs across document lookup, structured query, full-text search, analytics, and triggers. This gives developers easy access to all functionality, including security and management capabilities.

Couchbase’s query language extends ANSI SQL and leverages traditional database skills for easier adoption (Figure 1).

All functionality is available across all deployment models: on premises, containers, and cloud.

Challenge 5:
Mobile and edge computing

MongoDB Realm does not allow data storage and sync for the datacenter of your choice

Learn more about Couchbase vs. MongoDB Realm for mobile and edge computing >

MongoDB Realm

MongoDB Realm sync is cloud centric and relies on network connectivity, which presents an unpredictable point of failure.
Its reliance on the MongoDB Atlas backend-as-a-service (BaaS) platform to support mobile data sync service means that you can’t deploy the solution on premises, in private datacenters, or in distributed cloud environments.
This severely limits options for meeting high availability and responsiveness requirements, as your applications become dependent on an inherently unreliable internet connection.


Couchbase has a flexible platform that supports a variety of advanced topologies for complex edge-to-cloud hierarchies. These include peer-to-peer as well as multi-tier cloud-to-edge topologies.
You can deploy a robust sync solution anywhere you need it – on premises or hosted on any private or public cloud.
Couchbase is cloud native, so you can use cloud tools such as the Couchbase Autonomous Operator for Kubernetes to easily deploy and manage your servers on the cloud or at the edge.

Compare Cloud Database Services

Compare Couchbase Cloud™ with other cloud Database-as-a-Service providers like MongoDB’s™ Atlas cloud service and Amazon’s DynamoDB database service. Find out why Couchbase Cloud is the best solution for you.

                                        Couchbase N1QL
SELECT SUM(value * volume) AS val, symbol
FROM   db.stocks
WHERE  symbol IN ( "AAPL", "GOOG" ) AND value > 0
GROUP  BY symbol
ORDER  BY val DESC, symbol ASC
                                        MongoDB™ Query
	 { "$match": {
	 	 "$and": [
	 	 	 {"symbol": {
	 	 	 	 "$in": [
	 	 	 { "value": {
	 	 	 "$gt": 0 }}]}},
	 { "$group": {
	 	 "_id": {
	 	 	 "symbol": "$symbol" },
	 	 "sum(value * volume)": {
	 	 	 "$sum": {
	 	 	 	 "$multiply": [
	 { "$project": {
	 	 "_id": 0,
	 	 "sum(value * volume)": "$sum(value * volume)",
	 	 "symbol": "$_id.symbol"}}
	 { "$sort": {
	 	 "sum(value * volume)": -1,
	 	 "symbol": 1 }}]})

Figure 1: Couchbase extends ANSI SQL to support the flexible schema of JSON

Altoros Report:

An Analysis of Database Query Languages in MySQL, Couchbase Server, and MongoDB

Get the report

Why enterprises choose Couchbase over MongoDB

directv logo

Today’s viewers demand seamless experiences and constant innovation. Finding MongoDB difficult to use and scale, DirecTV chose Couchbase for unparalleled performance at scale, bidirectional cross datacenter replication to keep services available for viewers 24/7, and N1QL for powerful queries.

Learn more
viber logo

Pushed to scale at a rate its MongoDB and Redis backend could no longer support, Viber switched its messaging platform to Couchbase. With Couchbase, Viber cut its servers by more than 50%, is robust enough to avoid downtime, and now supports close to a million operations per second and datasets with billions of records. 

Learn more
nuance logo

Nuance, a speech recognition and imaging software company, had a monolithic all-Oracle environment that was expensive to scale and inflexible for varied data types. As it explored NoSQL, Nuance found MongoDB hard to manage. It chose Couchbase instead for easy, cost-effective performance at scale and bidirectional replication.

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staples logo

Staples needed to better manage B2B catalogs using 1.6 billion rules applied in real time. Staples tried MongoDB, but its inability to scale easily and affordably led to canceled projects. Couchbase not only enabled Staples to simplify its catalog management using N1QL and JSON, but also improved database performance and reliability.

Learn more