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Data & Analytics • August 22, 2023

Reimagine Database Modernization on AlloyDB with Quantiphi

If you’re looking to liberate your organization from legacy databases and their expensive and often limiting licensing, you may have already considered making a move to cloud-based alternatives. In December 2022, Google announced the general availability of AlloyDB for PostgreSQL for all businesses, marking a key milestone in database modernization. AlloyDB is a fully-managed PostgreSQL-compatible database service with native Google Cloud support. 

alloydb-image2

Why Choose AlloyDB?

Today, with the exponential growth of data in business, enterprises require enhanced scalability, improved agility, elasticity, and cost-effectiveness of their database systems. AlloyDB is an excellent choice that ticks every box. Fully compatible with PostgreSQL, AlloyDB delivers superior performance and fast real-time insights and provides flexibility and true portability for your workloads. Based on Google’s performance tests, AlloyDB is more than four times faster for transactional workloads, and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL. 

AlloyDB is designed for mission-critical applications and offers extensive data protection and 99.99% availability. It provides many additional features absent in traditional PostgreSQL such as AI-powered management and comprehensive integration with Google Cloud’s AI and data analytics services. Powered by an intelligent, database-optimized storage service that facilitates seamless scaling with predictable performance, AlloyDB’s analytical acceleration capabilities and automated tiering of data make it ideal for high-value workloads with minimal management. The columnar engine capabilities differentiate AlloyDB from its competitors for faster query performance. 

Historically, persistent attempts have been made to disaggregate computing and storage within databases for many years now. AlloyDB has scaled new heights with the disaggregation of storage with a compact and effective log processing system. This is reserved for enabling the offloading of many database operations to the storage layer itself, exemplifying AlloyDB’s intelligent and database-aware storage nature.

The columnar engine stores column-specific metadata and caches it in its metastore. The metadata consists of column-level operational data (e.g. aggregation), which is utilized intelligently while queries are being run on AlloyDB, without scanning the entire data. This facilitates the efficient processing of large chunks of columnar data, leading to faster and more efficient results. Customers can check if the columnar engine is available as a flag in their instance. In order to evaluate if it is running in the query, customers can review the query execution plan.   Additionally, Google's latest distributed file system, Colossus, powers AlloyDB’s storage at the back end, lending it additional speed and reliability.

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AlloyDB- High-level Logical Architecture


Finally, AlloyDB scores highly in terms of cost-effectiveness. Its transparent and predictable pricing comes with no proprietary licensing or opaque I/O charges. 

Unlock Opportunities for your Enterprise Roadmap

AlloyDB helps enterprises capture value through the following:

  • Swift Migration from on-prem operational data systems: According to a Gartner report, 75% of databases are currently running in the cloud. AlloyDB’s high scalability, availability SLA, and full integration with Google’s suite of AI/ML products come together to deliver the best of cloud to its customers. The migration of on-prem or self-managed databases to AlloyDB can be implemented easily with Google’s Database Migration Service which is currently in public preview now. This is slated to be the most preferred option as it brings together batch and continuous migration under one safe roof. It is complete with other methods like pgdump and restore, manual file copy, replication using pglogical, and third-party tools.
  • Pivoting from proprietary or legacy PostgreSQL systems to AlloyDB: Open-source data systems present distinct advantages such as cost-effectiveness, compatibility to work with various systems, and flexibility to customize. PostgreSQL champions open-source features such as portability, easy license management, and cost-effectiveness. It is furnished with rich functionality such as enterprise features, extendable architecture, and high scalability. Lastly, PostgreSQL is a tested approach for mission-critical applications, complete with a large and knowledgeable support community. With AlloyDB, a customer gets all this and more.
  • Reaping the benefits of real-time business analytics:  The adoption of AlloyDB empowers businesses to maximize the benefits of a database capable of hybrid transaction/ analytical processing (HTAP). HTAP processing alleviates the complexity of managing several environments for analytical and operational databases by running queries on the latest data found in operational databases. This drives better decision-making through real-time business insights. 
Benefits of AlloyDB
Benefits of AlloyDB


BigQuery or AlloyDB: What’s the right fit for your business? 

BigQuery is Google’s premier tool for Data Warehousing. It empowers businesses around the world with analytics and data warehousing due to its minimal setup with no need to manage storage, capacity, computing, indexes, or infrastructure. With BigQuery, you can set up a production-grade data warehouse with serverless autoscaling queries in minimal time. BigQuery is typically the ideal choice for offline and large-scale data analytics. The minimal setup and infrastructure management empower BigQuery’s customers to deploy petabyte-level datasets and get queries fast. 

However, BigQuery may not be the right choice for operational analytics. Operational analytics include processing analytical queries that are built into a user-facing application and need to run on the latest transactional data. Enterprises that currently run analytical workloads on operational databases struggle to migrate to BigQuery with minimal application changes. Customers seeking to perform a moderate level of analytics over the transactional data would need to add another service to their architecture and invest in setting up and maintaining ETL between them. This would greatly increase the complexity of the infrastructure. In principle, most customers want to query the database directly in real-time as opposed to setting up a comprehensive large-scale data analytics solution. 

AlloyDB serves as the ideal alternative solution for these scenarios, particularly for enterprises migrating from legacy systems to the cloud. AlloyDB’s native compatibility with existing PostgreSQL servers and full integration for the Database Migration Service provides heterogeneous migration from other database systems. Although AlloyDB is currently at its nascent stage and a direct comparison with BigQuery regarding real-world results cannot be made, it is slated to be more useful and efficient for teams with prior infrastructure experience and protocols. 

How can Quantiphi help? 

As a data and AI-first digital engineering company, Quantiphi is best known for providing custom solutions across AI and data platforms leveraging niche, cutting-edge products, and solutions that enable our customers to stay ahead of the curve of innovation. We are thrilled to announce that Quantiphi has been designated as a launch partner for AlloyDB, a testament to our long-standing partnership with Google Cloud. During AlloyDB’s preview phase, we carried out extensive testing and noted encouraging results which we will cover in our subsequent blog on AlloyDB. 

Get in touch with our experts to know how you can modernize your database management with AlloyDB. 

Written by

Praveen Kumar Srivastava , Amit Sharma & Vivek Vamadevan

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