Google I/O: AllyDB should offer fast PostgreSQL at predictable costs

Google’s stately family of cloud databases is growing: AllyDB is a fully PostgreSQL 14-compatible, managed cloud-native offer for the operators of large databases: they should no longer shy away from moving to the cloud with significant databases. AllyDB is designed to be faster, highly available, and come with built-in machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. In addition, the costs should be easier to predict than with competing offers.

Conventional relational databases such as PostgreSQL are hardly suitable for operation as a component of a cloud-native environment because they do not scale widely and therefore do not master high availability out of the box. Scaling while maintaining fault tolerance, performance and resiliency is a challenge for any administrator of such databases.


PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL

PostgreSQL is a free, object-relational database management system that is over 30 years old. The software has been further developed by the open source community since 1997.

The cloud, which excels with scalability and high availability, would come in handy. So it’s not surprising that there are already numerous solutions that try to bridge the gap between cloud and PostgreSQL, such as Citus, YugabyteDB or Amazon Aurora from AWS – and now also Google Cloud: “Performance, availability, security and scalability for the most demanding tasks of large company”, Google Cloud boss Thomas Kurian is promoting his “most important cloud announcement in years”. For AllyDB he offers service level agreements with 99.99% availabilitymaintenance window included.

In Google’s own tests, AllyDB is said to have performed twice as fast as Amazon Aurora and four times as fast as a real PostgreSQL database on transactional workloads. For analytical queries, AllyDB is even a hundred times faster than a PostgreSQL original. This should succeed because AllyDB learns automatically which parts of the database should be loaded into the cloud’s memory. Vectorized processes can work on this data particularly quickly.

In addition, AllyDB is not only API-compatible, but also supports over 50 PostgreSQL extensions. The thing isn’t quite finished yet, but a public preview should be open to interested companies with immediate effect, expressly without limiting the number of participants.

The one launched a month ago Database Migration Program is intended to encourage customers to move to the Google Cloud. The provider wants to cushion part of the moving costs with financial incentives. The data company emphasizes the billing model even more strongly at Google I/O: Instead of billing according to I/Os like Amazon Aurora, which is difficult for database owners to estimate, Google Cloud bills AllyDB for computing storage.


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