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Cockroach Labs today announced the public beta of CockroachDB Serverless. CockroachDB Serverless provides a fully elastic cloud data infrastructure that allows applications to be built with less planning for capacity, performance or availability. It is based on CockroachDB, a NewSQL database that seeks to combine the scalability of NoSQL systems with the ACID guarantees of a traditional database system.

CockroachDB Serverless is a fully elastic, globally distributed database. It allows developers to instantly start an instance without setting up any infrastructure and eliminating database operations. It includes built-in autoscaling and offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model with a free tier, accessible without a credit card or commitment.

InfoQ spoke to Jim Walker, senior product evangelist at Cockroach Labs, about the announcement.

InfoQ: Is CockroachDB’s serverless offering hosted on the infrastructure of the main cloud providers, or is it on CockroachDB’s infrastructure? Which cloud providers and geographic regions are supported?

Jim Walker: CockroachDB Serverless is offered on AWS and GCP. As a beta, it’s a single region at the moment, and we’ll be expanding to multiple regions and a global serverless database soon. Within each cloud provider, it is available to be deployed in three different distinct regions.

InfoQ: How does the pricing for the serverless offer work? Do users pay for compute, storage, and networking separately? How is consumption measured?

Walker: Our approach to pricing is based on three principles: make it easy to understand, offer a free option, and make sure there are never any surprises with your bill.

When you create a CockroachDB Serverless cluster, you set a spending limit, and we make sure you never have an invoice for more than that amount. We also provide 5 GB of storage and 25 million AS / month for free for each cluster. If you need more storage or demand units, they cost $ 1 per GB of additional storage and $ 1 per 10 million additional demand units.

Storage is measured as the logical size of your database, which is the size of all your rows. It should be noted that CockroachDB Serverless automatically stores three replicas of all data in different Availability Zones so that you can survive the failure of an entire Availability Zone.

Query units measure the amount of compute and I / O operations that each transaction will result in. Each transaction has different resource needs, and we assess them on the backend. These amounts are reset each month.

InfoQ: Is there a complete parity of functionalities between the serverless offer and the “standard” offer? What are the differences?

Walker: CockroachDB Serverless is a beta and not a parity of features with our flagship CockroachDB Dedicated offering. In particular, it is not yet multi-regional and the API is not available. In addition, the user interface is limited and the backup / restore capabilities are scheduled daily and cannot be controlled. We expect better coverage early next year.

InfoQ: What is the expected cold boot latency for CockroachDB Serverless?

Walker: We would expect a dormant cluster to be awakened in less than 100ms, and the creation of a new cluster is measured in seconds.

InfoQ: How would you recommend that users choose between serverless and non-serverless offerings? When would you advise users to avoid the serverless offering?

Walker: We recommend users to choose CockroachDB Serverless for small projects, SQL learning prototypes and getting started with CockroachDB. Production workloads with deeper demands should choose CockroachDB Dedicated.

Serverless computing is a runtime model of cloud computing in which the cloud provider allocates machine resources on demand, taking care of the servers on behalf of its customers. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, with an increasing number of vendors implementing a serverless offering.

A growing number of vendors are now also offering serverless database platforms. These offerings include Amazon Aurora serverless, Azure SQL Database serverless, and others. They aim to bring the benefits of the serverless execution model to the world of operational databases.

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