Databases

Introducing AlloyDB for PostgreSQL: Free yourself from expensive, legacy databases

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Enterprises are struggling to free themselves from legacy database systems, and need an alternative option to modernize their applications. Today at Google I/O, we’re thrilled to announce the preview of AlloyDB for PostgreSQL, a fully-managed, PostgreSQL-compatible database service that provides a powerful option for modernizing your most demanding enterprise database workloads. 

Compared with standard PostgreSQL, in our performance tests, AlloyDB was more than four times faster for transactional workloads, and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries. AlloyDB was also two times faster for transactional workloads than Amazon’s comparable service. This makes AlloyDB a powerful new modernization option for transitioning off of legacy databases.

As organizations modernize their database estates in the cloud, many struggle to eliminate their dependency on legacy database engines. In particular, enterprise customers are looking to standardize on open systems such as PostgreSQL to eliminate expensive, unfriendly licensing and the vendor lock-in that comes with legacy products. However, running and replatforming business-critical workloads onto an open source database can be daunting: teams often struggle with performance tuning, disruptions caused by vacuuming, and managing application availability. AlloyDB combines the best of Google’s scale-out compute and storage, industry-leading availability, security, and AI/ML-powered management with full PostgreSQL compatibility, paired with the performance, scalability, manageability, and reliability benefits that enterprises expect to run their mission-critical applications.

As noted by Carl Olofson, Research Vice President, Data Management Software, IDC, “databases are increasingly shifting into the cloud and we expect this trend to continue as more companies digitally transform their businesses. With AlloyDB, Google Cloud offers large enterprises a big leap forward, helping companies to have all the advantages of PostgreSQL, with the promise of improved speed and functionality, and predictable and transparent  pricing.”

AlloyDB is the next major milestone in our journey to support customers' heterogeneous migrations. For example, we recently added Oracle-to-PostgreSQL schema conversion and data replication capabilities to our Database Migration Service, while our new Database Migration Program helps you accelerate your move to the cloud with tooling and incentive funding. 

“Developers have many choices for building, innovating and migrating their applications. AlloyDB provides us with a compelling relational database option with full PostgreSQL compatibility, great performance, availability and cloud integration. We are really excited to co-innovate with Google and can now benefit from enterprise grade features while cost-effectively modernizing from legacy, proprietary databases."—Bala Natarajan, Sr. Director, Data Infrastructure and Cloud Engineering, PayPal 

Let’s dive into what makes AlloyDB unique

With AlloyDB, we’re tapping into decades of experience designing and managing some of the world’s most scalable and available database services, bringing the best of Google to the PostgreSQL ecosystem. 

At AlloyDB’s core is an intelligent, database-optimized storage service built specifically for PostgreSQL. AlloyDB disaggregates compute and storage at every layer of the stack, using the same infrastructure building blocks that power large-scale Google services such as YouTube, Search, Maps, and Gmail. This unique technology allows it to scale seamlessly while offering predictable performance.

Additional investments in analytical acceleration, embedded AI/ML, and automatic tiering of data means that AlloyDB is ready to handle any workload you throw at it, with minimal management overhead.

Finally, we do all this while maintaining full compatibility with PostgreSQL 14, the latest version of the advanced open source database, so you can reuse your existing development skills and tools, and migrate your existing PostgreSQL applications with no code changes, benefitting from the entire PostgreSQL ecosystem. Furthermore, by using PostgreSQL as the foundation of AlloyDB, we’re continuing our commitment to openness while delivering differentiated value to our customers.

“We have been so delighted to try out the new AlloyDB for PostgreSQL service. With AlloyDB, we have significantly increased throughput, with no application changes to our PostgreSQL workloads. And since it's a managed service, our teams can spend less time on database operations, and more time on value added tasks.”—Sofian Hadiwijaya, CTO and Co-Founder, Warung Pintar

With AlloyDB you can modernize your existing applications with:

1. Superior performance and scale
AlloyDB delivers superior performance and scale for your most demanding commercial-grade workloads. AlloyDB is four times faster than standard PostgreSQL and two times faster than Amazon’s comparable PostgreSQL-compatible service for transactional workloads. Multiple layers of caching, automatically tiered based on workload patterns, provide customers best-in-class price/performance.

2. Industry-leading availability
AlloyDB provides a high-availability SLA of 99.99% inclusive of maintenance. AlloyDB automatically detects and recovers from most database failures within seconds, independent of database size and load. AlloyDB’s architecture also supports non-disruptive instance resizing and database maintenance. The primary instance can resume normal operations in seconds, while replica pool updates are fully transparent to users. This ensures that customers have a highly reliable, continuously available database for their mission-critical workloads.

“We are excited about the new PostgreSQL-compatible database. AlloyDB will bring more scalability and availability with no application changes. As we run our e-commerce platform and its availability is important, we are specially expecting AlloyDB to minimize the maintenance downtime.”—Ryuzo Yamamoto, Software Engineer, Mercari (​​Souzoh, Inc.)

3. Real-time business insights 
AlloyDB delivers up to 100 times faster analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL. This is enabled by a vectorized columnar accelerator that stores data in memory in an optimized columnar format for faster scans and aggregations. This makes AlloyDB a great fit for business intelligence, reporting, and hybrid transactional and analytical workloads (HTAP). And even better, the accelerator is auto-populated, so you can improve analytical performance with the click of a button. 

“At PLAID, we are developing KARTE, a customer experience platform. It provides advanced real-time analytics capabilities for vast amounts of behavioral data to discover deep insights and create an environment for communicating with customers. AlloyDB is fully compatible with PostgreSQL and can transparently extend column-oriented processing. We think it's a new powerful option with a unique technical approach that enables system designs to integrate isolated OLTP, OLAP, and HTAP workloads with minimal investment in new expertise. We look forward to bringing more performance, scalability, and extensibility to our analytics capabilities by enhancing data integration with Google Cloud's other powerful database services in the future.”—Takuya Ogawa, Lead Product Engineer, PLAID

4. Predictable, transparent pricing
AlloyDB makes keeping costs in check easier than ever. Pricing is transparent and predictable, with no expensive, proprietary licensing and no opaque I/O charges. Storage is automatically provisioned and customers are only charged for what they use, with no additional storage costs for read replicas. A free ultra-fast cache, automatically provisioned in addition to instance memory, allows you to maximize price/performance.

5. ML-assisted management and insights 
Like many managed database services, AlloyDB automatically handles database patching, backups, scaling and replication for you. But it goes several steps further by using adaptive algorithms and machine learning for PostgreSQL vacuum management, storage and memory management, data tiering, and analytics acceleration. It learns about your workload and intelligently organizes your data across memory, an ultra-fast secondary cache, and durable storage. These automated capabilities simplify management for DBAs and developers. AlloyDB also empowers customers to better leverage machine learning in their applications. Built-in integration with Vertex AI, Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence platform, allows users to call models directly within a query or transaction. That means high throughput, low-latency, and augmented insights, without having to write any additional application code.

Get started with AlloyDB

A modern database strategy plays a critical role in developing great applications faster and delivering new experiences to your customers. The AlloyDB launch is an exciting milestone for Google Cloud databases, and we’re thrilled to see how you use it to drive innovation across your organization and regain control and freedom of your database workloads.

To learn more about the technology innovations behind AlloyDB, check out this deep dive into its intelligent storage system. Then, visit cloud.google.com/alloydb to get started and create your first cluster. You can also review the demos and launch announcements from Google I/O 2022.