Citus has been making headlines lately. Just a couple of weeks ago it announced Citus 5, the latest version of its Postgres database product, but even bigger news was that it was open sourcing it, a bold move for sure. Today, it announced it was releasing a beta of Citus Cloud, its shiny new Database as a Service offering.
Citus 5 brought some important scaling ability around memory and processing power, but when you scale up, you need more resources and that can get expensive when you run your own datacenter, especially as we enter an age with increasingly large amounts of (big) data. The cloud as you probably know by now offers elastic resources that expand (and contract) as you need them, a seemingly perfect use case for a database.
But it’s not just about scalability, it’s also about management. Companies spend inordinate amounts of time on the care and feeding of their databases. By delivering Citus as a service, it takes away a significant part of that burden. In particular, it shifts the responsibility from the customer to Citus to ensure the integrity of the database with continuous archiving and disaster recovery in the event of well, a disaster.
While database administrators (DBAs) might still have to think about scale (because adding cloud servers still costs you money), delivering this as a managed service takes away a lot of the heavy lifting.
Citus has teamed up with AWS on this project because many customers are already running Citus on AWS anyway and it seemed like a logical place to start. Over time the company may start looking at supporting other cloud services, but as a startup with limited resources, it wanted to start with the world’s most popular Infrastructure as a Service provider first and then consider other options over time.
The company sees the beta testing period lasting until perhaps June or July, but founder and CEO Umur Cubukcu said the company is trying to automate as much as possible for customers, and working with Beta customers it can fill in any missing functionality they request. When that process is complete, they will make the service generally available.