Citus Blog

Articles tagged: Citus Cloud

Craig Kerstiens

ZFS Private Beta on Citus Cloud

Written byBy Craig Kerstiens | July 19, 2018Jul 19, 2018

ZFS is a open source file system with the option to store data on disk in a compressed form. Itself ZFS supports a number of compression algorithms, giving you flexibility to optimize both performance and how much you store on disk. Compressing your data on disk offers two pretty straightforward advantages:

  1. Reduce the amount of storage you need—thus reducing costs
  2. When reading from disk, requires less data to be scanned, improving performance

To date, we have run Citus Cloud—our fully-managed database as a service that scales out Postgres horizontally—in production on EXT4. Today, we're excited to announce a limited beta program of ZFS support for our Citus Cloud database. ZFS makes Citus Cloud even more powerful for certain use cases. If you are interested in access to the beta contact us to get more info, or continue reading to learn more about the use cases where ZFS and Citus and Postgres can help.

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Craig Kerstiens

Monitoring your Citus Cloud cluster with Datadog

Written byBy Craig Kerstiens | April 25, 2018Apr 25, 2018

At the heart of most applications is a database. Ensuring your database is performing well is key to ensuring your your customers receive a good experience when working with your app. It's likely you're already monitoring your systems today, and want to monitor your database using similar tooling. Today we're excited to release turnkey integration for one of the more popular tools out there to monitor Citus Cloud clusters: Datadog.

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Postgres has long been a reliable database for keeping your data safe, and it is used in a variety of flexible ways. Because of the many flexible ways it can be used (ranging from embeded devices to data warehousing to large transactional system) it also comes with a lot of knobs to configure it. Part of our approach in providing a fully managed database as a service is configuring Postgres to be production ready from the moment you click a provision, which is what you get with Citus Cloud.

Over time though we have seen a need for more flexibility to tune and customize configurations to your specific needs. Part of this flexibility is in supporting the rich feature set of Postgres features such as JSONB, rich indexing, and more. Part is supporting a broad set of extensions such at HyperLogLog, pg_partman, TopN, PostGIS, and more. And today we're excited to support custom configuration of your Citus clusters on Citus Cloud to enable even broader flexibility.

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Today we're excited to announce that you can now use our fully-managed database as a service, Citus Cloud, to manage protected health information (PHI) and to build HIPAA-compliant applications on top of Postgres. For those of you building apps in healthcare environments regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA, you can feel safer knowing you now have a scalable Postgres database that meets your healthcare compliance requirements. .

If you're building an application on top of Postgres and you need a combination of horizontal scale as well as HIPAA compliance, reach out to us if you want more information about getting a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Citus Data in place.

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Craig Kerstiens

Citus Cloud Retrospective for 12/14/2017

Written byBy Craig Kerstiens | December 20, 2017Dec 20, 2017

On Thursday December 14th we experienced a service outage across all of Citus Cloud, our fully managed database as a service. This was our first system wide outage since we launched the service in April of 2016.

We know that Citus Cloud customers trust us with their data, and its availability is critical. In this case we missed the mark and we’re sorry. We've worked over the last few days to thoroughly understand what went wrong and steps we can take to limit the likelihood of this problem occurring again. In addition, we found improvements we can make to our architecture and incident response processes to allow us to better respond to similar types of problems in the future.

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Claire Giordano

A Flywheel for SaaS Databases ft. Postgres and Citus

Written byBy Claire Giordano | November 21, 2017Nov 21, 2017

What happens to your database when your SaaS application is an overnight success? When your customer base has grown bigger than you’d always hoped but it all happened so fast and now what do you do? What happens when your SaaS application needs to scale, but your database is getting more and more sluggish?

Until recently, the conventional wisdom for SaaS startups is that you should launch your application on top of an open source relational database, like Postgres or MySQL. And that once you become an overnight success, you will need to slog your way through a period of fail whales while you re-architect your app to go to NoSQL. Or while you re-architect your app to shard at the application layer. Ick.

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Relational databases have been a mainstay in applications for decades now. And with their dominance has come a rich set of tools: you have tools to help with monitoring, to gain insight into performance, and to operate the database in safe ways.

The knock against relational databases has long been: what happens when you need to scale? At that point, you usually have to make difficult trade-offs, like having to trade off relational semantics in order to get a database that scales out (think: NoSQL.) Or having to find a way to reduce the amount of data you need to retain, in order to continue to skate by with a single-node relational database. Or having to trade off as much as a year’s worth of application features in order to divert an engineering team away from your core business, to instead spend their time sharding the application. Bottom line: the database trade-offs to get scale can be painful.

Today I’m excited to announce Citus Cloud 2, the newest version of our cloud database. We launched the first release of Citus Cloud 18 months ago as a fully-managed database as a service that enables you to keep right on scaling your relational database. If you’re unfamiliar, Citus is an extension to Postgres that transforms your Postgres database into a distributed system under the covers, while appearing to your application as a single-node database. With Citus, you don’t need to teach your application all about distributed systems to continue scaling. We make Citus available as open source, as on-prem enterprise software, and as a fully-managed database as a service, Citus Cloud. And with Citus Cloud, you have all of your management/backups/etc. taken care of for you.

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Craig Kerstiens

Fork your distributed Postgres database with Citus

Written byBy Craig Kerstiens | August 4, 2017Aug 4, 2017

Having a database staging environment that is as close to production as possible is key to being able to test your app. This applies to both your code and to your database. Far too often a staging database is a forgotten child in your stack—not getting the same love and attention as your production instance. For some teams, their staging database is years old, or worse yet, their staging database is a 10 GB sample of a 2 TB production database.

What if you could easily have a full staging environment to experiment with, that is an exact copy of your production database? Even if that production database is 50 TB?

As of today on Citus Cloud—our fully-managed database as a service that is built to scale-out (and based on Postgres!)—you can get a full fork of your production database with the click of a button.

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Just as Heroku has made it simple for you to deploy applications, at Citus Data we aim to make it simple for you to scale out your Postgres database.

Once upon a time at Heroku, it all started with git push heroku master. Later, the team at Heroku made it easy to add any service you could want within your app via heroku addons:create foo. The simplicity of dragging a slider to scale up your dynos is the type of awesome customer experience we strive to create at Citus. With Citus Cloud (our fully-managed database as a service), you can simply drag and save—then voila, you've scaled the resources to your database.

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AWS is the leader when it comes to the cloud, and for good reason. AWS is well ahead in the quality and breadth of services they offer.

However, when a service is running at the scale of AWS, it is natural to expect some failures to occur. According to AWS EBS availability is designed for 99.999%.

The annual failure rate (AFR) is 0.1% - 0.2%, where failure means a complete or partial failure. For example, if you had 1,000 EBS discs, you should expect 1 or 2 to have a failure per year. In our experience, partial failure is significantly more common than a complete loss. Even so, a partial loss can take a lot of time to resolve and can still be debilitating to a business.

Over the years, there have been some AWS failures that made news headlines due to havoc caused for both companies and their users. These incidents put a spotlight on AWS’ imperfections.

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