PlanetScale Advances Hybrid Clouds Based on Kubernetes

PlanetScale announced that its PlanetScaleDB database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering based on Kubernetes and the Vitess open source software that makes it possible to cluster MySQL compatible databases is now available in beta on multiple clouds spanning multiple regions.

Company CEO Jiten Vaidya says Vitess, which along with Kubernetes is a graduated project maintained under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), now have more control over their data because it’s easier to migrate data or move entire databases. That level of portability means IT organizations no longer have to be concerned about becoming locked into a single cloud service provider, he says.

PlanetScale, which led the original development of Vitess, is making the latest iteration of PlanetScaleDB initially available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), with support for Microsoft Azure to follow. PlanetScaleDB allows replicas of one database to run across multiple regions within a cloud provider to create disaster-resilient database clusters. IT teams, for example, can set up one master database that they use to write data, while a replica on a different cloud can quickly become the new master database in the event of a disaster.

Vaidya says because MySQL remains the most widely deployed database in modern cloud deployments, many of those organizations have come to view Kubernetes as the equivalent of an operating system for the cloud. Once there is enough critical mass of Kubernetes in place, he notes, it then becomes possible to implement a truly hybrid cloud computing environment.

Most IT organizations as yet don’t have a formal hybrid cloud computing strategy. Most are employing multiple clouds to varying degrees. Open source databases such as MySQL combined with Kubernetes will make it possible to much more easily migrate data in and out of different clouds as needed, says Vaidya. Most IT teams will discover the level of control over cloud computing environments they can regain in a more ad hoc manner; however, once they discover that capability it should not be long before they begin to leverage it to drive down cloud costs by threatening to migrate data from one cloud service provider to another.

Naturally, it remains to be seen how many IT organizations will follow up on that threat, given all the work involved moving data. At the very least, however, IT organizations can now make a credible threat assuming their workloads are too deeply entwined with proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs).

IT environments going forward will almost always be hybrid by default. While there may be a lot of enthusiasm for Kubernetes, most workloads still run in an on-premises IT environment. It will take many years for IT teams to replace those monolithic workloads with modern applications running on Kubernetes clusters. However, the faster they make that transition, the lower the total cost of IT will be when compared to the existing level of complexity. PlanetScale, in the meantime, is betting that at the core of those hybrid clouds there will be many instances of MySQL relational databases running on Kubernetes clusters.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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