Which Cloud Database Platform to Choose for Your Applications

August 11, 2022

Alisdair Broshar

Alisdair Broshar
@AlisdairBroshar

18 min read

If your application needs persistent data, you are going to need a database. Easier said than done because managing a database can be a challenge. Not only do you need to set up, maintain, scale, and patch databases, but also you need to create strong backup policies, ensure sharding and replications.

Long story short, managing a database is time-consuming and requires a dedicated and skilled team, which is why people opt for managed databases, sometimes referred to as DBaaS or Database as a Service.

The two major benefits of managed databases:

  1. By outsourcing database management, engineering teams can focus their time and energy on other projects, like adding new features.
  2. Scalability, security, and compliance standards come built-in to the service, which solves a lot of pain points for several teams within a business.

That being said, choosing a database cloud platform provider has long-term implications since the opportunity cost of switching increases as the amount of data you manage rises.

In this post, we cover the most popular managed database offerings as of 2022 and their unique advantages. Since the most popular database management system choices are PostgreSQL, MySQL, and MongoDB, our analysis focuses on the database cloud platform providers that cater to these open-source databases.

Our insights aim to help you pick the right DBaaS for your next project.

Comparison of Different Managed Database Offerings

After reviewing 24 database cloud services and comparing their offerings, we have compiled this analysis of 13 database cloud service providers that impressed us with their developer experience, robustness, and developer-friendly plans.

Our analysis is based on the criteria most developers look at when choosing a database cloud platform solution:

  • Compatibility with standard DBMS
  • Locations for global deployment capabilities
  • Price

After a detailed analysis for all of the databases, there is a summary table to compare the database cloud platform providers.

An important note about this analysis: two crucial features when selecting a database are automated backups and feasibility to rollback. Most DBaaS offerings include these features, but the frequency and flexibility could depend on the plan. That being said, make sure to inquire about how frequently they create backups, for how long they store backups, and how easy it is to rollback.

Aiven

First on the list is Aiven, a database cloud service provider with a wide variety of managed open-source database solutions for SQL, NoSQL, Stream, Graph databases. Founded in 2016, Aiven is headquartered in Helsinki, Finland with offices in Berlin, Boston, and Sydney.

  • Compatibility: Apache Cassandra, Apache Kafka, Apache Kafka Connect, Apache Kafka MirrorMaker 2, Elasticsearch, Grafana, InfluxDB, M3, M3 Aggregator, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Redis.
  • Locations: Over 90 regions covered with 5 different cloud service providers. USA: 14 locations; Canada: Montreal, Toronto, Quebec City; South America: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Africa: Cape Town, South Africa; UK: London; Cardiff; Europe: 10 cities; Asia / Pacific: 11 cities; Middle East: Dubai, UAE; Bahrain; Australia: Victoria, Sydney, New South Wales.
  • Price: Ranges from $19 - $99 per month depending on the underlying cloud service provider and locations. Storage capacity and RAM change according to DBMS solution.

Aiven is a true champion of open-source technology. Their innovative solutions enable developers to incorporate powerful open-source database solutions, saving time and energy. Since Aiven provides a wide variety of managed database solutions, with a vast range of locations, multi-cloud support, and affordable starting prices, many projects will find a satisfying solution with Aiven. They offer a free trial of 30 days.

CockroachDB Serverless

CockroachLabs built CockroachDB Serverless to be a fully-managed offer for Cockroach DB, its distributed SQL database built on a transactional and strongly consistent key-value store. Cockroach DB was inspired by Google's F1 and Spanner technologies. Founded in 2015, Cockroach DB has its headquarters in New York City, USA.

  • Compatibility: Cockroach DB. It uses the PostgreSQL wire protocol.
  • Locations: Deployable in 20 locations across AWS and GCP.
    • AWS locations: Oregon, USA; Ohio, USA; North Virginia, USA, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Paris, France; London, UK; Dublin, Ireland; Frankfurt, Germany; Sydney, Australia, Jurong, Singapore, Mumbai, India; Seoul, South Korea; Tokyo, Japan.
    • GCP locations: Iowa, USA; Los Angeles, USA; Oregon, USA; North Virginia, USA; South Carolina, USA; Ghislain, Belgium; Eemshaven, Netherlands; Singapore; Changhua County, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan, Hong Kong, Asia Pacific; London, UK; Montreal, Canada, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Sydney, Australia.
  • Price: Free tier includes GCP-Iowa and AWS-Oregon. The paid tier is $360 per month, or $0.50 per hour, for GCP and $396 per month, $0.55 per hour, for AWS with 2 vCPU and 60GB disk.

CockroachCloud is a promising solution for those looking to leverage the power of CockroachDB without having to worry about managing their databases. It is committed to durability in case of hardware failure, horizontal scalability, and consistent ACID transactions. The free tier is great for those who want to test the solution before migrating to the affordable paid tier.

Crunchy Data

Crunchy Data offers a fully managed Postgres on your choice of cloud provider with Crunchy Bridge. Backups are included, you pay for the resources you use, and there is point-in-time recovery built-in. You can use their API to automate the deployment, management, and scaling of your databases.

  • Compatibility: Postgres - Versions 12, 13, and 14.
  • Locations: Deployable in 23 locations across AWS, Azure, and GCP.
    • AWS locations: Oregon, USA; Ohio, USA; North Virginia, USA; N. California, USA; Toronto, Canada; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; Frankfurt, Germany; Stockholm, Sweden; Milan; Italy; Sydney, Australia; Jurong, Singapore; Mumbai, India; Tokyo, Japan.
    • Azure locations: Virginia, California, Washington, Iowa, Texas, USA; Ireland; Germany, Europe; Toronto, Canada; Australia East; Australia Southeast; Japan West; Japan East.
    • GCP locations: Iowa, Virginia, Oregon, USA; Montreal, Canada; Finland, Belgium, Germany, Europe; Tokyo, Japan; Mumbai, India; Sydney, Australia.
  • Price: Plans start at $35 per month.

Crunchy Bridge is a champion of developer experience and the next-generation cloud native Postgres. It is a great choice for startups and businesses looking for a solution that will scale as they grow.

DigitalOcean Managed Databases

DigitalOcean, Inc. is an American cloud infrastructure provider headquartered in New York City with data centers worldwide that just did their IPO in March 2021. It is an established cloud service provider that runs on its own servers located worldwide.

  • Compatibility: MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Redis.
  • Locations:
    • New York City, Amsterdam, San Francisco, Singapore, London, Frankfurt, Toronto, and Bangalore.
  • Price: Starting at $15 per month for 1GB memory, 1 vCPU, and 10 GB disk.

Starting prices for its managed database offerings are affordable, making it a solid choice for small to medium size projects that seek to leverage MySQL, PostgreSQL, or Redis. Moreover, its plans offer more storage capacity than similar offerings, making it useful for projects with higher storage requirements.

FaunaDB

Fauna is a distributed document-relational serverless database that is available as a cloud API. Using a Calvin-based architecture, Fauna combines the relational querying you can find in a SQL database with the flexibility of a NoSQL database.

  • Compatibility: Fauna
  • Locations: Europe and the US. The Classic option creates two replicas in the US and one in Europe.
  • Price: Free-tier provides a monthly capacity 100k read ops, 50k write ops, 500k compute ops and 5GB storage. If you want additional features or support, you can size up to their Individual, Team, or Business plan according to your needs.

You can use two APIs to intereact with Fauna: GraphQL and FQL. The Fauna GraphQL API comes built-in to Fauna and lets you query data and perform mutations against your schema. Fauna Query Language (FQL) is the functional query language created by Fauna that resembles SQL.

Fauna provides a variety of cool features like drivers to help you start querying data from your application in the language of your choice and streaming from events is currently available in early access.

Heroku Managed Databases

Launched in 2007, Heroku is a PaaS company that offers managed database solutions. Their data teams build, operate, secure, and validate compliance for 3 open-source databases.

  • Compatibility: PostgreSQL, Redis, and Apache Kafka.
  • Locations:
    • North Virginia, USA; Oregon, USA; Frankfurt, Germany; Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia; and Dublin, Ireland.
  • Price: Starting at $0 per month for PostgreSQL and Redis. PostgreSQL free tier comes with 1GB storage capacity while Redis free tier comes with 25MB in memory. Apache Kafka offering starts at $100 per month with 3.73 GB capacity.

Heroku is an established PaaS company that runs on AWS servers located worldwide. Setting up a managed database is very easy with Heroku, so it is a great option for those who are aiming to save time and get started quickly. Its free tier for PostgreSQL and Redis works for testing their solution and running small projects.

Instaclustr

Instaclustr offers fully managed solutions for scalable open-source technologies. Started in 2013, Instaclustr has offices in Australia, the US, and Europe.

  • Compatibility: Apache Cassandra, Apache Kafka, Apache Kafka Connect, Apache Spark, Elasticsearch, and Redis.

  • Locations: Deployable in more than 25 locations over 3 different cloud service providers. USA: 8 cities; Canada: Quebec City, Toronto, Montreal; South America: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Africa: Cape Town, South Africa; Europe: 8 cities; UK: London; Asia / Pacific: 6 cities; Middle East: Bahrain; Dubai, UAE; Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Sydney.

  • Price: Free trial available. Price depends on the provider, location, and database system.

    For Redis 6.0.9, prices range from $50.58 for AWS, $108.51 for GCP, and $169.88 for Azure. Moreover, the amount of SSD storage, memory, and CPU change according to the cloud service provider.

    • AWS: 20 GiB SSD, 2 GiB Memory, 2 CPUs at $50.58 per node per month;
    • Azure: 64 GiB SSD 7 GiB memory 2 CPU at $108.51 per node per month;
    • GCP: 30 GiB SSD, 3.75 GiB 1CPU at $169.88 per node per month.

Beginning with a fully-managed solution for Apache Cassandra, Instaclustr has expanded its offerings to provide solutions for a variety of open-source databases all in a unified platform. It automates much of the database management such as provisioning, monitoring, and patching. With Instaclustr you have the option to bring your own cloud service provider or run on their account. Considering its offerings and focus, it is a better choice for medium to large projects than small projects.

MongoDB Atlas

MongoDB is the creator of MongoDB. MongoDB Atlas is its fully-managed MongoDB plan that runs across AWS, Azure, and GCP. MongoDB was first released in 2009 and MongoDB Cloud in 2020. Headquarters in New York City, USA.

  • Compatibility: MongoDB
  • Locations: Deployable across AWS, Azure, and GCP in 16 different locations located around the world. See Comparison Matrix below for details.
  • Price: Free tier includes 512 MB storage with the option to scale to 5GB. The Dedicated Clusters plan starts at $57 per month for developers and teams that need more than the free tier provides.

MongoDB Atlas is a leading cloud database solution for MongoDB. Built-in services like Atlas Search, Atlas Data Lake, and MongoDB Charts facilitate building powerful apps with MongoDB. Moreover, the user interface is easy to use. Its free tier supports small projects, and its paid tier is affordable for medium-sized projects. Today, MongoDB prides itself on availability, scalability, and compliance with data security and privacy standards.

Neon

Currently in a limited beta release, Neon is being developed by a team that is very experienced in Postgres and building databases. Neon aims to be a serverless, fault-tolerant, and branchable Postgresql that is. Open source and cloud native, Neon is being built with a focus on developer experience.

  • Compatibility: Postgres
  • Locations: Oregon, US and more regions coming soon
  • Price: Free tier includes up to 1 vCPU, 256 MB, up to 10 GB storage, and 3 projects per user.

Neon plans to provide a fully managed Postgres that separates storage and compute. Built-in features include bottomless storage, scale-to-zero, and branching for different environments. You can sign up for early access here.

PlanetScale

Founded in 2018, PlanetScale is a serverless database platform with impressive features and scaling capabilities. PlanetScale is built on MySQL and Vitess, a technology that was developed at Youtube to scale MySQL databases across servers. Vitess is now a part of the CNCF, and its co-creators have created PlanetScale to offer a managed solution for Vitess. Its headquarters are in Mountain View, CA, USA.

  • Compatibility: MySQL
  • Locations: North Virginia, Oregon, USA; Dublin, Ireland; Frankfurt, Germany; Mumbai, India; Singapore; Tokyo, Japan; Sydney, Australia; Sao Paulo, Brazil.
  • Price:
    • Hobby Tier: This free tier allows for one database per organization with 5 GB storage, 1 billion row reads per month, and 10 million row writes per month.
    • Scaler: Starting at $29 per month, you have 10 GB storage, 100 billion row reads per month, 50 million row writes per month, 2 production branches, 5 development branches, 15 days audit log, and support.
    • Team: Starting at $599 per month, the Team tier includes 100 GB storage, 500 billion row reads per month, 100 million row writes per month, 3 production branches, 10 development branches, 60 days audit log, and larger resource allocation.

Enterprise plans are available as well.

PlanetScale is an excellent choice for those prioritizing scalability, multi-cloud solutions for disaster recovery, and compliance for multi-region deployments. A noteworthy feature is its live database branches: each live database branch is a separate database deployed with a copy of the main database's schema. This enables non-blocking schema changes, meaning you can update database tables without locking or creating downtime in production databases.

Supabase

Supabase is an open-source alternative to GCP's Firebase that is very developer-friendly. Since Supabase projects are PostgreSQL databases, you can leverage PostgreSQL's row level security for authentication purposes. We are excited to see the arrival of serverless functions on their platform.

  • Compatibility: PostgreSQL
  • Locations: North California; North Virginia; Central Canada; UK; Ireland; Germany; India; Japan; Korea; Australia; Brazil
  • Price: Supabase offers a free tier that allows for 2 free projects, 500MB database and 1GB file storage, 2GB bandwidth, 50,000 monthly active users, and 1-day log retention. Their Pro offering at $25 per month includes an 8GB database, 100GB file storage, 50GB bandwidth, 100,000 monthly active users, daily backups, 7-day log retention, and email support.

Running on AWS, Supabase lets users create their database in one of 12 regions located around the world. Their free tier is a good option for hobby projects and is a great way to explore the platform.

Upstash

Upstash is a low-latency serverless database service that is compatible with a majority of the Redis API.

  • Compatibility: Redis, Apache Kafka, qStash
  • Locations: Deployable across AWS and GCP in North Virginia (AWS); North California (AWS); Oregon (AWS); Iowa (GCP); Frankfurt (AWS); Ireland (AWS); Japan (AWS).
  • Price: Free tier includes one database with 10K commands per day. For additional resources, you will need to add a payment method. Disk storage costs $0.25 per GB per month.
    • Free tier: Limit at 10,000 commands per day.
    • Pay as you go: Unlimited commands are charged at $0.2 per 100K commands with a maximum of $120 per month for Redis and Kafka. $0.40 for 1K requests up to $450 per month for qStash. Includes multi-zone replication and the option for professional support. Multi-zone pricing for Kafka goes up to $0.6 per 100K commands and up to $360 monthly max.
    • Enterprise: Pricing is customized according to the use case. Includes VPC peering and professional support.

Instead of charging during downtime, Upstash charges per request. Prices depend on the tier and database service you use. Note that Kafka is only available in North Virginia and Ireland. A quick note about qStash, it is a message queue and task scheduler for serverless runtimes Upstash created.

Given the propensity toward serverless offerings and the fact Redis is a popular and established DBMS, Upstash is an interesting company to watch.

YugabyteDB Managed

Yugabyte is an open-source, distributed SQL, cloud-native relational database for global apps that was founded in 2016. Core features include low latency, high throughput, and global resilience.

  • Compatibility: PostgreSQL
  • Locations: Deployable across AWS and GCP in 37 diifferent locations around the world. USA: North Virginia, Ohio, North California, Oregon, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Iowa, South Carolina; Canada: Central Canada, Montreal, Toronto; South America Brazil; UK: London; Europe: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands; Asia / Pacific: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia; Middle East: Bahrain; Australia: Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Price: The free-tier is positioned for educational and non-production use. The production tier pricing starts at $0.50 per hour because users are charged $0.25 per vCPU per hour and there is a minimum of 2vCPUs.

YugabyteDB Managed is a fully managed Yugabyte database that runs on AWS and GCP. With the free tier, you can use up to 2 vCPU, 4GB of RAM, and 10 GB of storage. There are limits of either 500 tables or 12.5M rows and no more than 10 database connections. If you need more than this and production-grade availability, you will need to switch to Yugabyte's production tier.

Database Cloud Platform Comparison Table

View the comparison table as an image.

DBaaS ProviderDBMS CompatibilityCitiesEntry Price
AivenMySQL
PostgreSQL
Apache Kafka
Apache Kafka Connect
Apache Kafka MirrorMaker 2
Apache Cassandra
M3
M3 Aggregator
Elasticsearch
Redis
InfluxDB
Grafana
USA: 14 locations
Canada Montreal; Toronto; Quebec City
South America: Brazil
Africa: South Africa
United Kingdom: London; Cardiff
Europe: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium; and 7 more cities.
Asia / Pacific: Japan, Indonesia, India, and 8 more cities.
Middle East: UAE and Bahrain
Australia: Victoria, Sydney, New South Wales
Plans start at $19 per month.
CockroachCloudCockroachDBUSA: Oregon; Ohio, Iowa, North Virginia, Los Angeles, South Carolina
Canada: Montreal
South America: Brazil
Europe: France, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands
UK: London
Asia / Pacific: Singapore, India, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong
Australia: Sydney
Free Tier
Crunchy DataPostgreSQLUSA: North Virginia, Oregon, Ohio, N. California, Washington, Iowa, Texas
Canada: Toronto and Montreal
South America: Brazil
Europe: Ireland, Germany, France, Sweden, Italy, Finland, Belgium
Asia / Pacific: Singapore, Japan, India
Australia: Sydney
Plans start at $35 per month.
DigitalOceanMySQL
PostgreSQL
Redis
USA: New York, San Francisco
Canada: Toronto
Europe: The Netherlands and Germany
UK: London
Asia / Pacific: Singapore and India
Plans start at $15 per month.
FaunaDBFaunaEurope and the USA.Free-tier
HerokuPostgreSQL
Redis
Apache Kafka
USA: North Virginia, Oregon
Europe: Ireland and Germany
Asia / Pacific: Japan
Australia: Sydney
PostgreSQL and Redis
plans start at $0 per month.

Apache Kafka
Plans start at $100 per month.
InstaclustrApache Cassandra
Apache Kafka
Apache Kafka Connect
Apache Spark
Elasticsearch
Redis
USA: Oregon; North Virginia; Ohio; Iowa; Texas; Washington; California; South Carolina
Canada: Quebec City; Toronto; Montreal
South America: Brazil
Africa: South Africa
Europe: Germany, Ireland, France, and 5 more cities.
UK: London
Asia / Pacific: Singapore, Japan, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan
Middle East: Bahrain and UAE
Australia: Victoria, New South Wales, Sydney
Free trial. Starting prices differ per node per month across cloud service providers.
MongoDB AtlasMongoDBUSA: North Virginia, Oregon, Iowa, Texas, California
Canada: Quebec City, Toronto
South America: Brazil
Europe: Ireland, Germany, Belgium
Asia / Pacific: Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Hong Kong
Middle East: Dubai and UAE
Australia: Sydney, New South Wales, Victoria
Free tier
NeonPostgreSQLUSA: OregonFree tier available in beta.
PlanetScaleMySQLUSA: North Virginia and Oregon
South America: Brazil
Europe: Germany and Ireland
Asia India, Japan, Singapore
Australia: Sydney
Free tier
SupabasePostgreSQLUSA: North California; North Virginia
Canada: Central Canada
South America Brazil
UK: London;
Europe: Ireland and Germany
Asia / Pacific India, Japan, Korea
Australia: Sydney
Free tier
UpstashRedis
Apache Kafka
qStash
USA: North Virginia, North California, Iowa, Oregon
Europe: Germany and Ireland
Asia / Pacific: Japan
Free tier
YugabyteDB ManagedMySQL
PostgreSQL
USA: North Virginia, Ohio, North California, Oregon, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Iowa, South Carolina
Canada: Central Canada, Montreal, Toronto
South America Brazil
UK: London
Europe: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Poland, Belgium, Finland, the Netherlands
Asia / Pacific: Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, India, Singapore, Taiwan; Indonesia
Middle East: Bahrain
Australia: Sydney and Melbourne
Free tier

Increasing Efficiency and Productivity with Managed Databases and Serverless

Opting for a database cloud platform solution frees up energy and time for your engineering teams, so they can focus on projects and tasks unique to your business. The overview provided in this article aims to supply you with insights that will help when selecting a managed provider.

An additional way to increase your team's efficiency and productivity is to transition to serverless deployments for your web apps, APIs, and web services.

Koyeb is a developer-friendly serverless platform to deploy apps globally. Thanks to native support of popular languages and built-in Docker container deployment, you can use Koyeb's serverless platform to deploy your projects.

With Koyeb, you can scale like internet giants without their budget. See the benefits of going serverless, get started with a free account today!

Here are some useful resources to get you started:

  • Koyeb Documentation: Learn everything you need to know about using Koyeb.
  • Koyeb Tutorials: Discover guides and tutorials on common Koyeb use cases and get inspired to create your own!
  • Koyeb Community Slack Channel: Join the community chat to stay in the loop about our latest feature announcements, exchange ideas with other developers, and ask our engineering teams whatever questions you may have about going serverless.