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InfoQ Homepage News Google Announces Preview of AlloyDB Omni: Run a PostgreSQL-Compatible Database Anywhere

Google Announces Preview of AlloyDB Omni: Run a PostgreSQL-Compatible Database Anywhere

Google recently announced the preview of AlloyDB Omni, a downloadable edition of AlloyDB designed to run on-premises, at the edge, across clouds, or even on developer laptops.

AlloyDB Omni is powered by the same engine that underlies the cloud-based AlloyDB service, a fully-managed, PostgreSQL-compatible database service that the company released into general availability last year. Google claims that AlloyDB Omni is more than two times faster than standard PostgreSQL for transactional workloads and delivers up to 100x faster analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL.

Furthermore, Omni utilizes AlloyDB's columnar engine to minimize latency for query results by storing frequently accessed data in an in-memory columnar format. This enables faster scanning, joining, and aggregating of data. Additionally, the system employs machine learning to automatically organize data between row-based and columnar formats, switch between execution plans, and convert data formats as required.

In addition, AlloyDB Omni has an index advisor to optimize frequently run queries. Andi Gutmans, GM and VP of engineering for databases at Google Cloud, and Gurmeet Goindi, director of product management, explain the index advisor in a Google blog post:

The AlloyDB Omni index advisor helps alleviate the guesswork of tuning query performance by conducting a deep analysis of the different parts of a query, including subqueries, joins, and filters. It periodically analyzes the database workload, identifies queries that can benefit from indexes, and recommends new indexes that can increase query performance.


With regards to the index advisor, Gleb Otochkin, a cloud advocate at Google, tweeted:

Running my test AlloyDB in a VirtualBox VM on my mac with only 6Gb mem allocated to the VM. But it seems like the index advisor works correctly. Query exec time reduced from 18ms to less than 3ms.

Companies can use AlloyDB Omni as a drop-in alternative to PostgreSQL and use all the tools compatible with PostgreSQL to back up and replicate their databases. In addition, the service is fully compatible with any PostgreSQL-enabled applications that businesses may already be using.

A respondent, TheTao, on a HackerNews thread, questioned the use of AlloyDB Omni:

Why would anyone use this as opposed to using Postgres? The value prop of run-anywhere applies to Postgres as well. I see column store and index advisor as the two features, but if I don't need these, is there any reason?

Another Gabe Weiss responded:

It's twice as fast as out-of-the-box PG for most things and up to 100x faster for reads, depending on what you're doing. So, there's that.

Also, from manageability, on top of the index advisor, there's also vacuum management, so it will figure out when the best time to do the garbage clean-up while minimizing the impact on performance.

Lastly, more details are available on the documentation pages, and access to the preview is possible via a signup form. Furthermore, Google will offer full enterprise support, including 24/7 technical support, once AlloyDB Omni becomes generally available.

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