Google Releases Preview of AlloyDB Omni: Handle a PostgreSQL-Compatible Database Anywhere

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

AlloyDB Omni is driven by the same engine that powers the company’s cloud-based AlloyDB service, a fully-managed, PostgreSQL-compatible database service that went live last year. Google says that AlloyDB Omni is more than twice as fast as ordinary PostgreSQL for transactional workloads and up to 100x quicker for analytical queries.

Additionally, Omni makes use of AlloyDB’s columnar engine to reduce query latency by storing frequently requested data in an in-memory columnar format. This allows for quicker data scanning, merging, and aggregation. Moreover, machine learning is used to automatically arrange data between row-based and columnar forms, switch between execution plans, and convert data formats as needed.

AlloyDB Omni also has an index adviser for optimizing frequently run queries. In a Google blog post, Andi Gutmans, GM and VP of engineering for databases at Google Cloud, and Gurmeet Goindi, director of product management, describe the index advisor:

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.

Gleb Otochkin, a cloud advocate at Google, tweeted about the index advisor:

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.

Businesses may utilize AlloyDB Omni as a drop-in replacement for PostgreSQL and any PostgreSQL-compatible technologies to back up and duplicate their databases. Furthermore, the service is entirely compatible with any existing PostgreSQL-enabled apps in use by organizations.

On a HackerNews thread, TheTao questioned the usage 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.

Finally, further information is accessible on the documentation sites, and access to the preview is provided through a signup form. Additionally, once AlloyDB Omni is widely accessible, Google will provide complete business support, including 24/7 technical assistance.

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