Google’s AlloyDB combines PostgreSQL with GCP’s open framework


Choice is always a good thing. Starting today, businesses facing data overflow issues (pretty much every business) will have a new cloud-based option to store their files, data, metadata, and logs.

That choice is provided by Google Cloud Platform, which today unveiled a new parallel database, AlloyDB, at Google’s I/O 2022 virtual conference. AlloyDB is built on the popular open source PostgreSQL database which has been a standard choice for developers for over three decades, so the new database might be both familiar and brand new to a good portion of its users. .

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According to Gartner Research, 75% of global databases are expected to be running in the cloud this year. AlloyDB is expected to carry much of the data load created by the explosion of the e-commerce and social media sectors, as well as all the new applications and data that will fill digital vaults in preparation for the future Web3 environment.

What AlloyDB brings to the market

Two of the biggest differentiators that AlloyDB brings to the table are speed and more predictable pricing, Andi Gutmans, vice president of databases at Google, told ZDNet.

“We can actually run analytical queries up to 100 times faster than open source Postgres,” Gutmans said. “Transactionally, based on our benchmarks, we run up to about four times faster than open source Postgres, and about twice as fast as Amazon’s equivalent offering (Aurora).

“We focused a lot on making sure the performance on the transactional side, and then [its extension] analytics is the best,” added Gutmans. “That means customers who want to do real-time fraud detection, real-time recommendations, real-time inventory management — they can actually do a lot of that right in their operational store. .”

As for pricing, storing data in the cloud has always been an inexact science. Most cloud providers, such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, Dell, Oracle, and others, charge users for data egress, computing, IOPS, and other services.

So Google decided to take the risk on itself and simplify the pricing model, Gutmans said. No access fees or IOPS will be charged for AlloyDB.

“From the beginning, customers have paid for computing, and for the storage they use, they pay for IOPS usage,” Gutmans said. “That was actually one of the biggest pain points we heard from some customers: it was about 60% of their bill. As far as IOPS, they didn’t think they could control it. is really hard to manage because customers can’t predict the cost; it depends on how much data is in memory, how much storage, etc. So we’ve removed that fee.”

“Our goal was really to make it a set-and-forget computing experience — like an autopilot,” Gutmans said.

Expected use cases of AlloyDB

AlloyDB is for DBAs with code stacks that use a full database that offers options like transactions and ACID-compliant stored procedures (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability). Gutmans told ZDNet that he expects AlloyDB to quickly enter the market and directly compete with conventional databases from Oracle, IBM or Microsoft by providing the necessary functionality in a cloud-native package that will be easier to control. CFOs will also appreciate this part.

Here’s how AlloyDB differentiates itself from its competitors, according to Gutmans:

  • Unlike Oracle, AlloyDB supports PostgreSQL. Additionally, AlloyDB supports both Postgres implementation and automation features such as autoscaling. It delivers four times faster performance than standard PostgreSQL for transactional workloads, and it achieves a high availability SLA of up to 99.99%, Gutmans said.

  • AlloyDB offers more than twice the processing speed of Amazon Aurora. Additionally, Gutmans said, AlloyDB has a friendlier pricing model, as shown above. Unlike Amazon Aurora, AlloyDB will not charge for I/O, which can be a major source of unpredictable costs – up to 60% of the total bill for transactional workloads.

  • AlloyDB is a new option for enterprises looking to move away from proprietary databases, as well as PostgreSQL users with demanding, high-end applications. It enables users to cost-effectively modernize their proprietary databases and scale their business-critical workloads, Gutmans said.

In technical terms, AlloyDB is: an intelligent storage service optimized for databases; an optimized database engine that is 100% compatible with PostgreSQL; and a service with built-in autopilot capabilities, including built-in integration with Vertex AI, which allows users to invoke models directly within a query or transaction.

AlloyDB also has a built-in columnar accelerator to run analytical queries faster than standard PostgreSQL, Gutmans said. It is a flexible tool for developers thanks to the combination of PostgreSQL and the open infrastructure of Google Cloud. With this, developers will be able to use AlloyDB to quickly build applications and scale them, all with their existing open source skills, Gutmans said.


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