How to Run & Deploy MongoDB Docker Container?


MongoDB is a popular NoSQL Open-Source Database Management System that is an excellent choice for handling large volumes of data. Its features such as Replication, Indexing & Load Balancing assist in providing a high data availability & best-in-class query performance. You can significantly improve the deployment process by using another Open-source tool called Docker.

Setting up MongoDB in a Docker environment has become incredibly straightforward. The process to install MongoDB in Docker is hassle-free, making Docker the ideal choice for anyone looking to streamline their database setup.

Docker provides isolated containers that contain your application as well as the necessary modules required to run the application. Using simple commands, you can download the MongoDB Docker Image and easily deploy a MongoDB Docker Container. 

In this article, you will learn how to easily run & deploy your MongoDB Docker Containers.

Table of Contents

What is MongoDB?

MongoDB Docker - MongoDB Logo
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MongoDB is a popular Free and Open-Source Cross-Platform Document Oriented Database built for efficiently storing and processing massive volumes of data. Unlike traditional Relational Databases, MongoDB is classified as a NoSQL Database Management System that uses Collections and JSON-like Documents instead of tables consisting of rows and columns. Each collection consists of multiple documents that contain the basic units of data in terms of key and value pairs. 

Officially introduced as an Open-source development model in 2009, the MongoDB database is designed, maintained, and managed by MongoDB.Inc under a combination of the Server Side Public License and the Apache License. MongoDB is widely used by organizations such as MetLife, Barclays, Viacom,  New York Times, Facebook, Nokia, eBay, Adobe, Google, etc to efficiently meet their exponentially growing data processing and storage requirements. MongoDB is highly flexible as it supports several programming languages such as C, C++, C#, Go, Java, Node.js, Perl, PHP, Python, Motor, Ruby, Scala, Swift, and Mongoid. 

Key Features of MongoDB

MongoDB offers a wide range of eye-catching features:

  • High Data Availability: MongoDB’s Replication feature provides multiple servers for disaster recovery and backup. Since several servers store the same data or shards of data, MongoDB provides greater Data Availability & Stability. You don’t need to worry about cases of server crashes, service interruptions, or even good old hardware failure as Real-time Replication of data ensures uninterrupted data access and security. 
  • Supercharged Analytics: You may need to consider thousands to millions of variables while running Ad-hoc queries. MongoDB indexes BSON documents and utilizes the MongoDB Query Language (MQL) that allows you to update Ad-hoc queries in real-time. MongoDB offers full support for field queries, range queries, and regular expression searches along with user-defined functions.
  • Indexing: With Multiple Indices and Language-specific Sort Order Features to support complex data set access patterns, MongoDB provides optimal query performance. For the real-time ever-evolving query patterns and application requirements, MongoDB also provides On-Demand Indices Creation.
  • Horizontal Scalability: Using Sharding, MongoDB provides horizontal scalability by using shard keys to distribute data across multiple server combinations. Each shard in every MongoDB Cluster stores portions of the data, thereby acting as a separate database. This collection of comprehensive databases allows efficient handling of growing volumes of data with zero downtime. The complete Sharding Ecosystem is monitored and managed by Mongos that directs queries to the correct shard based on the Shard Key.
  • Load Balancing: Real-time Replication and Sharding greatly influences large-scale Load Balancing. Ensuring top-notch Concurrency Controls and Locking Protocols, MongoDB can effectively handle several concurrent read and write requests for the same data.  
  • Aggregation: Similar to the SQL Group By clause, MongoDB can easily batch process data and present a single result even after executing several other operations on the group data. MongoDB’s Aggregation framework consists of 3 types of aggregations i.e. Aggregation Pipeline, Map-Reduce Function, and Single-Purpose Aggregation methods.

What is Docker?

MongoDB Docker - Docker Logo
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Docker is an Open-Source Software platform that allows you to effortlessly build, test, and deploy applications quickly. Docker packages your applications into standardized executable units called Containers.  Each container consists of the application source code, operating system (OS) libraries, and dependencies required to run that code in any environment. Docker provides you with simple commands to build, deploy, run, update, and stop containers & work-saving automation through a single API.

Key Features of Docker

Docker simplifies your application development process by offering the following intuitive features:

  • Swarn: To easily manage Docker Containers, Docker provides you with a Clustering and Scheduling Tool. It uses the Docker API in the front end, thereby allowing you to use several tools to control it. It is a self-organizing group of engines that enables pluggable backends.  
  • Services: Docker’s Services provides a list of tasks that allows you to specify the state of the container inside a cluster. The tasks in Services are separate instances of containers that are running.
  • Enhanced Productivity: Docker eases up the technical configuration and assists in rapidly deploying your applications. It provides an isolated environment for your application as well as reduces the resources.
  • Versioning: Docker tracks and records the complete information about the Container Version. This allows you to see who built a specific version or roll back to any previous version whenever required. You can also upload only the deltas between an existing version and a new one.
  • Defined Networking: Simplifying the networking process, Docker’s CLI and Engine allow the operators to define isolated networks for containers. Docker provides complete control over the ingress and egress path as the Containers can run in an isolated virtual network. Thus, this also provides an additional layer of security.
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How to set up MongoDB Docker Connection?

To get started with the MongoDB Docker Connection, you can go through the following steps:

MongoDB Docker Connection Step 1: Download the MongoDB Image

Follow the simple steps given below to get started with setting up the MongoDB Docker Connection: 

  • Step 1:  Ensure that you have Docker installed in your system. If not done already, you can download it from the Official Docker website.
  • Step 2: To check if Docker is running in your system successfully, execute the following command:
service docker status
MongoDB Docker - Docker Status Check
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You will observe the Active & Running Status for Docker in the output.

  • Step 3: To download the latest Docker Image for the MongoDB Database, run the following command:
docker pull mongo

This MongoDB Docker image contains the instructions for creating containers that run on Docker.

You can also specify a particular version number in the command as follows:

docker pull mongo:4.2.2
  •  Step 4: To check the Docker images download in your system, you can run the following command:
docker images
MongoDB Docker - Docker Images List
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MongoDB Docker Connection Step 2: Deploy & Run the Container

To run your MongoDB Docker Container, follow the easy steps given below:

  • Step 1: To run the MongoDB Docker Container in the detached mode( as a Background process), you can use the following command.
docker run --name mongodb -d mongo

Here, the Container is named mongodb and will run in the detached mode using the “-d” argument.

  • Step 2: You can also access the MongoDB server from another application running locally by exposing the port using the “-p” argument:
docker run --name mongodb -d -p 27017:27017 mongo
  • Step 3: Containers can easily run in an isolated environment with a given user-space. Since these are temporary, all the data is erased once the container is restarted. It is great for developers as this ensures that the application runs consistently and allows you to run tests on your system again & again. Though, since you are running the container for MongoDB Database, it is important to preserve data.
MongoDB Docker - Docker Container Architecture
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 You can remedy this by storing the Container data in your host system. To do this,

  • Step 1: Create a new directory /MongoDockerData in your system using the following command:
mkdir -p /MongoDockerData
  • Step 2:  Using the “-v” argument, attach the /MongoDockerData host volume to the /data/db container volume.
docker run -v MongoDockerData:/data/db --name mongodb -d mongo
  • Step 4: For a more secure access to MongoDB Docker Container, you can initialize your MongoDB with a root user. To achieve this you can use MONGO_INITDB_ROOT_USERNAME and MONGO_INITDB_ROOT_PASSWORD environment variables.
docker run --name mongodb -d -e MONGO_INITDB_ROOT_USERNAME=AzureDiamond -e MONGO_INITDB_ROOT_PASSWORD=hunter2 mongo

Here, the command creates a user with root permissions with the user name and password individually specified.

  • Step 4:  At times, you may need to connect to a MongoDB Database that is outside of the Container that is currently running your application. You can use the environment variables to easily set the Connection String to a different value. 
docker run -d --name MYAPP -e MONGODB_CONNSTRING=mongodb+srv://username:password@clusterURL MYAPP:1.0


In this article, you have learned how to effectively set up the MongoDB Docker connection. You can easily download the official MongoDB Docker Image using the “pull” command. After successfully installing the image, you can easily start up the MongoDB Docker Container using the “run” command. To save your MongoDB data on the host system, you can attach a host directory to the Container volume and prevent your data from erasing after every start of the Container. You can also secure your MongoDB Docker Container by specifying the user name and password. 

Apart from MongoDB, you would be using several applications and databases across your business for Marketing, Accounting, Sales, Customer Relationship Management, etc. To get a complete overview of your business performance, it is important to consolidate data from all these sources. To achieve this you need to assign a portion of your Engineering Bandwidth to Integrate Data from all sources, Clean & Transform it, and finally, Load it to a Cloud Data Warehouse or a destination of your choice for further Business Analytics. All of these challenges can be comfortably solved by a Cloud-Based ETL tool such as Hevo Data.  

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Tell us about your experience of deploying & running the MongoDB Docker Container! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sanchit Agarwal
Research Analyst, Hevo Data

Sanchit Agarwal is an Engineer turned Data Analyst with a passion for data, software architecture and AI. He leverages his diverse technical background and 2+ years of experience to write content. He has penned over 200 articles on data integration and infrastructures, driven by a desire to empower data practitioners with practical solutions for their everyday challenges.

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