On-Demand MPP Database Overview

On-Demand MPP Databases are cloud-hosted, analytical data warehouses that dynamically adjust their size depending on the difficulty of their workload.

In order to automatically scale compute resources in line with query size and complexity, the architectures of these databases characteristically separate storage from compute. To deal with storage, these databases leverage massive shared cloud infrastructure that provides essentially limitless storage (e.g. AWS S3, Azure Storage, and Google Cloud Storage).

In many cases, they provide the ability to process semi-structured or unstructured data, as well as the structured data that warehouses can more generally handle.

Even though on-demand MPP databases are enormously complicated, from the end users’ perspective, they’re actually quite simple to operate. This is because the physical hardware and many (or all) of the complex technical processes are handled by the cloud provider. This ensures a seamless user experience for uploading and querying data.

Compared to self-managed MPP databases, where the user is responsible for upsizing their cluster to increase storage or computing power, on-demand databases can be easily, and in some cases automatically, scaled up. As in most cases, by outsourcing Ops work makes things easier for you, but can limit customization options for more advanced users.

What are On-Demand MPP Databases really great for?

Consistent Performance no matter the size of your data

On-Demand MPP databases are architected to pull in as many compute resources as necessary to execute a query efficiently, regardless of how large the query or dataset is. For the end user, this generally means queries are never slow.

Ease of use

Much of the hardware and complex technical procedures for these databases are abstracted away from the end user, allowing end-users to spin them up, and manage them without a lot of dev/ops help.

Minimal management

Because storage is basically limitless and compute resources can easily be scaled up or down (if they’re not automatically scaled for you), these systems need much less hand-holding than your average self-managed solution.

Paying for only what you use

Although each on-demand MPP database has its own pricing structure, in general, their approach is to provide variable pricing based on usage, rather than a huge up-front cost. This, combined with their ease-of-use, makes them particularly great for trying out to see what you think.