Google Cloud launches AlloyDB, a new fully-managed PostgreSQL database service, which is said to be 100 times faster for analytical queries than the standard version of PostgreSQL


On day one of the 2022 annual I/O conference on Wednesday, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) announced a new database option called AlloyDB, built around the open-source PostgreSQL database that became a popular choice for developers. The new database is designed to appeal to users whose code stack relies on a full database offering options such as transactions, stored procedures, or ACID-compliant triggers (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability) .

While AWS (Amazon Web Service) remains the global leader in cloud computing, GCP announced new data storage and processing solutions yesterday in an effort to bridge the gap between the two companies. With AlloyDB, GCP believes it will be able to directly compete with existing offerings from companies such as Oracle, IBM or Microsoft by offering classic functionality in a modern, cloud-native package. He estimates that AlloyDB is twice as fast for transactional workloads as Aurora PostgreSQL from AWS and four times faster than standard PostgreSQL for the same workloads.

Additionally, AlloyDB is said to be up to 100 times faster for analytical queries than the standard version of PostgreSQL. We have a lot of customers, including travel agencies, retailers, car manufacturers, or financial services who have purchased these very expensive proprietary databases and are really trying to break free from them and go open source. We can guess the reasons why customers want to change supplier. The cost is certainly part of it, but there are a lot of prohibitive licensing terms,” says Andi Gutmans, managing director and vice president of databases at GCP.

They are audited. There are a lot of practices, I would say, unfriendly, he added. Gutmans spent several years at AWS before joining Google as General Manager and Vice President of Engineering for its database products in 2020. Adding to the points listed by Gutmans the fact that Postgres is now t has now become a sort of de facto standard for open source relational databases (and a decline of MySQL), we understand better why Google has decided to offer a dedicated and efficient PostgreSQL service. Gutmans believes that customers should be enticed by AlloyDB.

AlloyDB is a fully managed database service compatible with PostgreSQL. If you’re used to the GCP ecosystem, a fully managed PostgreSQL database service might sound familiar. After all, the company already offers CloudSQL for PostgreSQL and Spanner, Google Cloud’s fully managed relational database service, also offers a PostgreSQL interface. But these various services simply provide an interface compatible with PostgreSQL to allow developers with these skills to use them.

AlloyDB is the standard PostgreSQL database at its core, although the team has modified the core to allow it to make best use of Google’s infrastructure, while allowing the team to stay up to date with new releases as they are released. . Then, technically, the AlloyDB team relied on Google’s existing infrastructure, which disaggregates compute and storage. It’s the same layer of infrastructure that powers Spanner, BigQuery, and virtually all of Google’s services. According to Gutmans, this already gives the service a leg up on its competitors.

He explained that AlloyDB focuses specifically on PostgreSQL and nothing else. You don’t always have the ability to optimize so much when you have to support more than one [moteur de base de donnes et langage de requte]. We have decided that what companies ask us [c’est] Postgres for these legacy database migrations, so let’s just do the best in Postgres, he said. For example, the team’s changes to the Postgres kernel now allow it to scale the system linearly to more than 64 virtual cores.

On the analytics side, the team developed a custom caching service based on machine learning to learn a client’s access patterns and then convert Postgres’ row format to a columnar format. memory that can be scanned much faster. AlloyDB will be hosted in Google Cloud and billed as a service. In that regard, Gutmans told the conference on Wednesday that the new pricing model is designed to be simpler and free from the kind of hidden fees that often create large, unexpected bills.

For example, Google’s model does not include input/output (I/O) charges, a common surcharge in some contracts from cloud service providers like AWS. Google’s new offering joins those of several other companies that are developing database products around PostgreSQL. Some cloud service providers, such as DigitalOcean, Vultr, and AWS, offer managed versions of popular open source databases like MySQL, Redis, and PostgreSQL. These products provide the standard version of the database.

These solutions also take care of much of the software installation, server configuration, and updating tasks as new security patches become available. Meanwhile, other companies are building more polished versions around the open source database, while adding a few new features that allow them to create a new brand. Companies like Yugabyte and Fly.io create versions of PostgreSQL that scale to large datasets distributed around the world.

They handle a large part of the data synchronization tasks between the different instances and shards. Some companies like Oracle and PlanetScale are doing something similar with MySQL, another popular open source option. Google aims to set itself apart with faster performance and a rock-solid SLA. The company has rewritten some basic storage routines to speed up transactional and analytical queries. AlloyDB will provide users with the ability to configure storage to suit their usage pattern.

Source: Google Cloud

And you?

What is your opinion on the subject?
What do you think of Google’s new AlloyDB product?
What do you think of the results of the benchmark tests of AlloyDB AWS Aurora and the standard version of Postgres?

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