PlanetScale Intros DBaaS Platform Capabilities

May 20, 2021

PlanetScale introduced a new database-as-a-service that lets developers create a new database in seconds that will grow as they grow, for years, with no limitations on scalability. Currently in use by Figma and MessageBird, PlanetScale has until now provided a hosted version of Vitess, the peerlessly-powerful open source database that underlies YouTube, Slack, Square and AirBNB. The new offering moves well beyond these foundations with a developer-first database requiring no knowledge or selection of all of the usual cloud zones, cluster sizes, and other DB-centric minutiae that others require and that increase developer overhead.

“SaaS companies and major enterprises alike struggle with database management at scale,” said James Governor, RedMonk cofounder. “Engineering teams end up focusing on scaling challenges rather than application, feature and platform improvements. Managed services have emerged as the preferred approach, underpinning the relational renaissance, because databases are a hard problem. The future database should scale seamlessly without intervention, with a crisp modern developer experience. That’s the space PlanetScale is addressing.”

PlanetScale accelerates companies’ success by being both the best choice for developers on day one, when they create their company, and the most scalable choice when they hit hyperscale. Its backend technology, based on Vitess, was developed at YouTube to power YouTube. It runs on tens of thousands of servers at colossal scale and is now being rapidly adopted by hyperscalers including Slack, GitHub, Square and Figma.

“As engineers at any fast growing company know, early scaling decisions have a huge impact on your ability to deliver your product to customers as the business grows,” said Karl Matthias, director, platform and architecture at Community. “Few teams have the expertise to design and manage scalable data systems that let you focus on delivering value to customers—instead of doing scaling sit-ups. This is the PlanetScale offering and, to my knowledge, it’s unique in the industry.”

New platform capabilities include:

Branching: A New Era for Cloud Databases -- Developers can now create a branch of their database -- as they would with code in Git -- and develop it discreetly prior to connecting with it in production. This lightweight solution branches only the schema and leaves the data where it resides.

Non-blocking Schema Changes -- With PlanetScale, database migrations are as easy as pushing code. There are no locks and no hassles for developers.

Best. CLI. Ever. -- Everything you’d want to control from the CLI, actually controllable by the CLI. And lots of great stuff you’d never think possible, too.

“Legacy databases have been developed with an eye to solving hard problems, but not to creating good experiences for developers, or to scaling as they scale,” said Sam Lambert, chief product officer at PlanetScale. “In a sense, the database industry forgives itself for making its products hard to use, due to the difficulty of the problems they are solving. We feel that’s unforgivable. PlanetScale is the fastest database to set up and fastest to iterate -- it’s a developer tool, but we've also got you when it comes to scaling.”

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