PlanetScale has released a series of updates for its namesake database as a service platform, with new features for developers.
The open-source DBaaS provider introduced the new features over the past week.
On May 24, PlanetScale launched Portals, which gives organizations read-only regions for databases. On May 25, the vendor made PlanetScale Connect generally available, featuring a new workflow engine for loading and connecting data from different sources. The week of vendor updates was rounded out with the May 26 release of PlanetScale Insights, which brings data observability capabilities to the database as a service.
For PlanetScale, a primary goal of improving data operations is to make it easier for developers to build data-driven applications.
At the foundation of its database-as-a-service platform is the open source Vitess project which provides the technology to run the MySQL database in cloud environments.
PlanetScale faces many competitors in the DBaaS market, including Oracle with its MySQL HeatWave cloud service, Amazon RDS for MySQL and PingCap’s open source TiDB distributed database. A challenge for many DBaaS vendors, including PlanetScale, is to automate more actions to improve performance based on database visibility.
PlanetScale differentiates itself with a number of features, including the previously released version Rewind function for schema changes and now the new PlanetScale Connect workflow engine, said Paul Nashawaty, analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group. The PlanetScale database is developer-friendly, with a code-based approach, he said.
PlanetScale’s database approach is intended to work the same way developers work to build applications, with a programmatic model that relies on code to make changes. It’s an approach that makes PlanetScale look more like a development tool than a traditional database.
“PlanetScale is a really exciting technology for database deployments,” said Paul Nashawaty. “The changes act and feel like code changes for the database.”
Paul NashawatyAnalyst, Corporate Strategy Group
Content Delivery Network Capacity for Developer Database
One of the new features the database-as-a-service provider launched last week, the PlanetScale Portals service, offers developers a read-only replica of a database that can be deployed in any geographic location. specific.
Database administrators have long used various techniques to enable faster access to read-only data, including caching technology like Say it again.
With portals, PlanetScale’s goal is to provide users with an easier approach to enabling read-only replicas rather than requiring them to manually configure caches, said Nick Van Wiggeren, vice president of engineering at PlanetScale. Users can set up the feature with just a few clicks, and the service requires no application changes.
The benefit for application developers is a data source that can be closer to where end users are, which will provide lower latency and better response time.
“Users can simply query an up-to-date replica that’s milliseconds away from the application, and then that load doesn’t fall back to the back-end database,” Van Wiggeren said. “It’s much easier by clicking a few buttons, instead of having to figure out how to manually add caching to an app.”
Application performance management
Vendors address the application performance management needs of organizations with several tools and services. Datadog and New Relic, for example, are among the vendors offering such technology systems.
With PlanetScale Insights, the database-as-a-service provider provides what Van Wiggeren called an observability tool specifically designed for its database. With the Insights feature, rather than users needing to install a third-party agent to gain insight, PlanetScale provides an integrated tool that gives complete visibility into all database operations and queries.
Because it’s a built-in feature, Van Wiggeren said it was possible to quickly identify potential misconfigurations or performance issues.
However, what Insights does not currently provide is an automated troubleshooting capability that the observability tool helps identify. PlanetScale’s engineering team sees the tool as a way to give developers the information they need in an understandable format, so they can troubleshoot issues when they arise.
The vendor’s goal for future PlanetScale updates will be to add more automation to the database where possible.
But more automation isn’t the only target for future database updates, said Sam Lambert, CEO and president of PlanetScale.
The supplier is also working on compliance initiatives, including one to comply with the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)) Health Care Privacy Act.
“It’s not fundamental to the database,” Lambert said of compliance efforts. “These are just table bets to unlock bigger and bigger accounts.”
Editor’s note: Enterprise Strategy Group is a division of TechTarget.