InfoQ – October 2021

From Yugabyte Cloud to Amazon QuickSight Q, from Google Distributed Cloud to Cloudflare R2: a recap of the topics I covered for InfoQ in October 2021.

Amazon Introduces RDS Custom for Legacy and Custom Oracle Databases

Amazon recently announced RDS Custom, a managed database service for legacy and custom applications that need access to the underlying operating system and database environment. RDS Custom for Oracle is the first available service.

Google Cloud Spanner Adds PostgreSQL Interface: Is PostgreSQL Now Standard for Cloud Databases?

At the recent Next ’21 conference, Google announced a PostgreSQL interface for Cloud Spanner, the distributed SQL database management and storage service on Google Cloud. The new interface in preview combines the scalability and reliability of Spanner with the familiarity among developers and portability of PostgreSQL.

Google Announces Distributed Cloud

At the recent Next ’21 conference, Google announced Google Distributed Cloud, a set of hardware and software solutions to extend Google infrastructure to the edge and into customer data centers.

Cloudflare Challenges AWS with R2 Storage and No Egress Fees

Cloudflare has recently announced R2 storage, a S3-compatible service to store large amounts of data with no egress bandwidth fees associated. An automatic migration of objects from Amazon S3 to Cloudflare R2 will be offered to facilitate the transition or integration for existing AWS deployments.

AWS Introduces Static IP Addresses for Application Load Balancer

Amazon recently announced that the Application Load Balancer supports AWS PrivateLink and static IP addresses by direct integration with the Network Load Balancer.

Yugabyte Cloud: a Managed Distributed SQL Database

At the recent Distributed SQL Summit, Yugabyte announced the general availability of Yugabyte Cloud, a database-as-a-service version of the Postgres compatible YugabyteDB.

Amazon QuickSight Q: Answers to Business Intelligence Questions

Amazon recently announced the general availability of QuickSight Q, a natural language query tool for the enterprise edition of the managed business intelligence service QuickSight.

Back to All Day DevOps!

In October I will be back to All Day DevOps, the world’s largest DevOps conference, to talk about cost optimization on AWS. Below the abstract of my session.

Watch Your Wallet! Cloud anti-patterns that make your AWS bill skyrocket

Should you really always run your cluster in multiple availability zones? How can a transition rule to Glacier double your storage costs? I want to monitor and understand my data transfer costs, where should I start? Why are backups eating my database budget? What, one more storage class on S3? Following so-called “best practices” works only when you fully understand the implications, costs included. We will address a few cloud anti-patterns, making your bill smaller and your deployment better.

Looking forward to All Day DevOps 2021, see you on line on October 28th!

InfoQ – June 2021

From Bigtable to Amazon Location Service, from DocumentDB to Vertex AI: a recap of the topics I covered for InfoQ in June 2021.

AWS Key Management Service Introduces Multi-Region Keys

AWS has recently announced the availability of KMS multi-region keys, a new feature for client-side applications that makes encrypted data portable across regions.

Google Cloud Improves SLA for Bigtable and Adds New Security Features

Google Cloud has recently raised the availability SLA for Bigtable instances up to 99.999%, matching the SLA for Firestore and Cloud Spanner. The data storage system introduced as well two new security features for enterprise workloads, customer-managed encryption keys (CMEK) and data access audit logs.

Amazon Location Service Generally Available with Routing and Satellite Imagery

AWS has recently announced the general availability of Amazon Location Service, a managed solution designed to add location functionalities to applications. The service relies on location providers like Esri and HERE and now supports routing and satellite imagery capabilities.

Amazon Adds Global Clusters to DocumentDB

Amazon recently announced support for global clusters on DocumentDB, the document-oriented database compatible with MongoDB.

Google Cloud Announces Managed Machine Learning Platform Vertex AI

At the recent Google I/O 2021 conference, the cloud provider announced the general availability of Vertex AI, a managed machine learning platform designed to accelerate the deployment and maintenance of artificial intelligence models.

Changing innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit on the cloud?

I am always curious to find the differences between managed databases on public clouds. Let’s consider for example innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit, a key system variable for MySQL.

locked property

You cannot change it on Cloud SQL for MySQL (the managed service offered by Google) so you cannot make a durability/speed trade-off.

I can see only a few reasons for doing that:

  • google makes it safer for you, you do not know enough. It is a managed service after all
  • they modified the engine and cannot support it
  • they forgot to expose it as a flag but it might be there in one of the next iterations
  • you would pay for more resources to serve your traffic with the default value. Even if you do not need full ACID compliance


By comparison, you can change and set the value of innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit on Amazon RDS or Azure Database for MySQL

A similar issue surface if you want to use utf8mb4 as a character set (4-Byte UTF-8 Unicode Encoding). The feedback on Cloud SQL is

Filter utf8mb4 strings out of your data.

What is the lesson here?

Before choosing one of the main providers to host your database as a managed service, double check that they support all the not default configuration you might have in place or you would like to use. This is extremely important in case of migration across different cloud providers: you do not want to figure out you have a blocker when you are half way through the process.

Avoiding a cloud wreckage

A cargo ship and a sailboat are different ways to cross the ocean. They both have different strengths and limitations but usually reach port safely. Unless you swap crews and put the chief engineer in charge of the spinnaker.

Photo by John Maravelakis on Unsplash

Cloud providers are not different, they have their own strengths and limitations. Just make sure you have the right crew in place when you start a cloud migration. Not reaching dock or asking for help in the middle of the ocean can be costly.

Avoid a wreckage, avoid a mayday.