What is Amazon DynamoDB and what are its top alternatives?
Top Alternatives to Amazon DynamoDB
Google Cloud Datastore
Use a managed, NoSQL, schemaless database for storing non-relational data. Cloud Datastore automatically scales as you need it and supports transactions as well as robust, SQL-like queries. ...
MongoDB stores data in JSON-like documents that can vary in structure, offering a dynamic, flexible schema. MongoDB was also designed for high availability and scalability, with built-in replication and auto-sharding. ...
Developers simply store and query data items via web services requests and Amazon SimpleDB does the rest. Behind the scenes, Amazon SimpleDB creates and manages multiple geographically distributed replicas of your data automatically to enable high availability and data durability. Amazon SimpleDB provides a simple web services interface to create and store multiple data sets, query your data easily, and return the results. Your data is automatically indexed, making it easy to quickly find the information that you need. There is no need to pre-define a schema or change a schema if new data is added later. And scale-out is as simple as creating new domains, rather than building out new servers. ...
Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web ...
The MySQL software delivers a very fast, multi-threaded, multi-user, and robust SQL (Structured Query Language) database server. MySQL Server is intended for mission-critical, heavy-load production systems as well as for embedding into mass-deployed software. ...
Partitioning means that Cassandra can distribute your data across multiple machines in an application-transparent matter. Cassandra will automatically repartition as machines are added and removed from the cluster. Row store means that like relational databases, Cassandra organizes data by rows and columns. The Cassandra Query Language (CQL) is a close relative of SQL. ...
It is optimized for data sets ranging from a few hundred gigabytes to a petabyte or more and costs less than $1,000 per terabyte per year, a tenth the cost of most traditional data warehousing solutions. ...
Apache Aurora is a service scheduler that runs on top of Mesos, enabling you to run long-running services that take advantage of Mesos' scalability, fault-tolerance, and resource isolation. ...
Amazon DynamoDB alternatives & related posts
related MongoDB posts
Recently we were looking at a few robust and cost-effective ways of replicating the data that resides in our production MongoDB to a PostgreSQL database for data warehousing and business intelligence.
We set ourselves the following criteria for the optimal tool that would do this job: - The data replication must be near real-time, yet it should NOT impact the production database - The data replication must be horizontally scalable (based on the load), asynchronous & crash-resilient
Based on the above criteria, we selected the following tools to perform the end to end data replication:
We chose MongoDB Stitch for picking up the changes in the source database. It is the serverless platform from MongoDB. One of the services offered by MongoDB Stitch is Stitch Triggers. Using stitch triggers, you can execute a serverless function (in Node.js) in real time in response to changes in the database. When there are a lot of database changes, Stitch automatically "feeds forward" these changes through an asynchronous queue.
We chose Amazon SQS as the pipe / message backbone for communicating the changes from MongoDB to our own replication service. Interestingly enough, MongoDB stitch offers integration with AWS services.
In the Node.js function, we wrote minimal functionality to communicate the database changes (insert / update / delete / replace) to Amazon SQS.
Next we wrote a minimal micro-service in Python to listen to the message events on SQS, pickup the data payload & mirror the DB changes on to the target Data warehouse. We implemented source data to target data translation by modelling target table structures through SQLAlchemy . We deployed this micro-service as AWS Lambda with Zappa. With Zappa, deploying your services as event-driven & horizontally scalable Lambda service is dumb-easy.
In the end, we got to implement a highly scalable near realtime Change Data Replication service that "works" and deployed to production in a matter of few days!
We use MongoDB as our primary #datastore. Mongo's approach to replica sets enables some fantastic patterns for operations like maintenance, backups, and #ETL.
As we pull #microservices from our #monolith, we are taking the opportunity to build them with their own datastores using PostgreSQL. We also use Redis to cache data we’d never store permanently, and to rate-limit our requests to partners’ APIs (like GitHub).
When we’re dealing with large blobs of immutable data (logs, artifacts, and test results), we store them in Amazon S3. We handle any side-effects of S3’s eventual consistency model within our own code. This ensures that we deal with user requests correctly while writes are in process.
related Amazon S3 posts
To provide employees with the critical need of interactive querying, we’ve worked with Presto, an open-source distributed SQL query engine, over the years. Operating Presto at Pinterest’s scale has involved resolving quite a few challenges like, supporting deeply nested and huge thrift schemas, slow/ bad worker detection and remediation, auto-scaling cluster, graceful cluster shutdown and impersonation support for ldap authenticator.
Our infrastructure is built on top of Amazon EC2 and we leverage Amazon S3 for storing our data. This separates compute and storage layers, and allows multiple compute clusters to share the S3 data.
We have hundreds of petabytes of data and tens of thousands of Apache Hive tables. Our Presto clusters are comprised of a fleet of 450 r4.8xl EC2 instances. Presto clusters together have over 100 TBs of memory and 14K vcpu cores. Within Pinterest, we have close to more than 1,000 monthly active users (out of total 1,600+ Pinterest employees) using Presto, who run about 400K queries on these clusters per month.
Each query submitted to Presto cluster is logged to a Kafka topic via Singer. Singer is a logging agent built at Pinterest and we talked about it in a previous post. Each query is logged when it is submitted and when it finishes. When a Presto cluster crashes, we will have query submitted events without corresponding query finished events. These events enable us to capture the effect of cluster crashes over time.
Each Presto cluster at Pinterest has workers on a mix of dedicated AWS EC2 instances and Kubernetes pods. Kubernetes platform provides us with the capability to add and remove workers from a Presto cluster very quickly. The best-case latency on bringing up a new worker on Kubernetes is less than a minute. However, when the Kubernetes cluster itself is out of resources and needs to scale up, it can take up to ten minutes. Some other advantages of deploying on Kubernetes platform is that our Presto deployment becomes agnostic of cloud vendor, instance types, OS, etc.
#BigData #AWS #DataScience #DataEngineering
Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:
- GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
- Respectively Git as revision control system
- SourceTree as Git GUI
- Visual Studio Code as IDE
- CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
- Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
- SonarQube as quality gate
- Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
- VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
- Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
- Heroku for deploying in test environments
- nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
- SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
- Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
- PostgreSQL as preferred database system
- Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)
The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:
- Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
- Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
- Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
- Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
- Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
- Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
related MySQL posts
We've been using PostgreSQL since the very early days of Zulip, but we actually didn't use it from the beginning. Zulip started out as a MySQL project back in 2012, because we'd heard it was a good choice for a startup with a wide community. However, we found that even though we were using the Django ORM for most of our database access, we spent a lot of time fighting with MySQL. Issues ranged from bad collation defaults, to bad query plans which required a lot of manual query tweaks.
We ended up getting so frustrated that we tried out PostgresQL, and the results were fantastic. We didn't have to do any real customization (just some tuning settings for how big a server we had), and all of our most important queries were faster out of the box. As a result, we were able to delete a bunch of custom queries escaping the ORM that we'd written to make the MySQL query planner happy (because postgres just did the right thing automatically).
And then after that, we've just gotten a ton of value out of postgres. We use its excellent built-in full-text search, which has helped us avoid needing to bring in a tool like Elasticsearch, and we've really enjoyed features like its partial indexes, which saved us a lot of work adding unnecessary extra tables to get good performance for things like our "unread messages" and "starred messages" indexes.
I can't recommend it highly enough.
Our most popular (& controversial!) article to date on the Uber Engineering blog in 3+ yrs. Why we moved from PostgreSQL to MySQL. In essence, it was due to a variety of limitations of Postgres at the time. Fun fact -- earlier in Uber's history we'd actually moved from MySQL to Postgres before switching back for good, & though we published the article in Summer 2016 we haven't looked back since:
The early architecture of Uber consisted of a monolithic backend application written in Python that used Postgres for data persistence. Since that time, the architecture of Uber has changed significantly, to a model of microservices and new data platforms. Specifically, in many of the cases where we previously used Postgres, we now use Schemaless, a novel database sharding layer built on top of MySQL (https://eng.uber.com/schemaless-part-one/). In this article, we’ll explore some of the drawbacks we found with Postgres and explain the decision to build Schemaless and other backend services on top of MySQL:
related Cassandra posts
1.0 of Stream leveraged Cassandra for storing the feed. Cassandra is a common choice for building feeds. Instagram, for instance started, out with Redis but eventually switched to Cassandra to handle their rapid usage growth. Cassandra can handle write heavy workloads very efficiently.
Cassandra is a great tool that allows you to scale write capacity simply by adding more nodes, though it is also very complex. This complexity made it hard to diagnose performance fluctuations. Even though we had years of experience with running Cassandra, it still felt like a bit of a black box. When building Stream 2.0 we decided to go for a different approach and build Keevo. Keevo is our in-house key-value store built upon RocksDB, gRPC and Raft.
RocksDB is a highly performant embeddable database library developed and maintained by Facebook’s data engineering team. RocksDB started as a fork of Google’s LevelDB that introduced several performance improvements for SSD. Nowadays RocksDB is a project on its own and is under active development. It is written in C++ and it’s fast. Have a look at how this benchmark handles 7 million QPS. In terms of technology it’s much more simple than Cassandra.
This translates into reduced maintenance overhead, improved performance and, most importantly, more consistent performance. It’s interesting to note that LinkedIn also uses RocksDB for their feed.
#InMemoryDatabases #DataStores #Databases
related Amazon Redshift posts
Back in 2014, I was given an opportunity to re-architect SmartZip Analytics platform, and flagship product: SmartTargeting. This is a SaaS software helping real estate professionals keeping up with their prospects and leads in a given neighborhood/territory, finding out (thanks to predictive analytics) who's the most likely to list/sell their home, and running cross-channel marketing automation against them: direct mail, online ads, email... The company also does provide Data APIs to Enterprise customers.
I had inherited years and years of technical debt and I knew things had to change radically. The first enabler to this was to make use of the cloud and go with AWS, so we would stop re-inventing the wheel, and build around managed/scalable services.
For the SaaS product, we kept on working with Rails as this was what my team had the most knowledge in. We've however broken up the monolith and decoupled the front-end application from the backend thanks to the use of Rails API so we'd get independently scalable micro-services from now on.
Our various applications could now be deployed using AWS Elastic Beanstalk so we wouldn't waste any more efforts writing time-consuming Capistrano deployment scripts for instance. Combined with Docker so our application would run within its own container, independently from the underlying host configuration.
Storage-wise, we went with Amazon S3 and ditched any pre-existing local or network storage people used to deal with in our legacy systems. On the database side: Amazon RDS / MySQL initially. Ultimately migrated to Amazon RDS for Aurora / MySQL when it got released. Once again, here you need a managed service your cloud provider handles for you.
Future improvements / technology decisions included:
Caching: Amazon ElastiCache / Memcached CDN: Amazon CloudFront Systems Integration: Segment / Zapier Data-warehousing: Amazon Redshift BI: Amazon Quicksight / Superset Search: Elasticsearch / Amazon Elasticsearch Service / Algolia Monitoring: New Relic
As our usage grows, patterns changed, and/or our business needs evolved, my role as Engineering Manager then Director of Engineering was also to ensure my team kept on learning and innovating, while delivering on business value.
One of these innovations was to get ourselves into Serverless : Adopting AWS Lambda was a big step forward. At the time, only available for Node.js (Not Ruby ) but a great way to handle cost efficiency, unpredictable traffic, sudden bursts of traffic... Ultimately you want the whole chain of services involved in a call to be serverless, and that's when we've started leveraging Amazon DynamoDB on these projects so they'd be fully scalable.
Looker , Stitch , Amazon Redshift , dbt
We recently moved our Data Analytics and Business Intelligence tooling to Looker . It's already helping us create a solid process for reusable SQL-based data modeling, with consistent definitions across the entire organizations. Looker allows us to collaboratively build these version-controlled models and push the limits of what we've traditionally been able to accomplish with analytics with a lean team.
For Data Engineering, we're in the process of moving from maintaining our own ETL pipelines on AWS to a managed ELT system on Stitch. We're also evaluating the command line tool, dbt to manage data transformations. Our hope is that Stitch + dbt will streamline the ELT bit, allowing us to focus our energies on analyzing data, rather than managing it.
related Apache Aurora posts
Docker containers on Mesos run their microservices with consistent configurations at scale, along with Aurora for long-running services and cron jobs.