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Posted November 28, 2011

Salesforce Heroku Offers Standalone Cloud-Based PostgreSQL Database

By Thor Olavsrud

Heroku has added a standalone database-as-a-service to its arsenal of cloud offerings: Heroku Postgres.

The platform-as-a-service provider, owned by Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM), announced the new offering – a standalone cloud-based PostgreSQL database – last week. The company has offered its cloud-based database services to customers of the Heroku platform since 2007, but this new release extends it to customers who only want the database.

"Until now, Heroku's Postgres database service – originally launched in 2007 – has only been available to Heroku customers for use with Heroku platform apps," said Matthew Soldo, a product manager with Heroku. "With measured service uptime of four nines (99.99 percent), and designed data durability of eleven nines (99.999999999 percent), the service is trustworthy for mission-critical data. As of today, these production-quality Heroku Postgres databases are independently available for use from any cloud platform, provisioned instantly, metered by the second and without contract."

To date, Soldo said Heroku Postgres has written 19 billion customer transactions. It processes 400 million write-transactions every day.

Heroku said it has added a new Web interface for managing databases and "rock-solid durability" based on Continuous Protection technology. Continuous Protection uses PostgreSQL's write-ahead log (WAL) to create write-ahead logs of each change to the database's data or schema and then distributes them to multi-datacenter, high-durability storage. This creates multiple, geographically distributed copies of all data changes as they are written. Soldo said the copies are constantly checked for consistency and corruption. In the case of unrecoverable hardware failure, the logs can be automatically 'replayed' to recover the database to within seconds of its last known state.

"If a meteor were to wipe out the east coast, you won't lose your data," Soldo said. "Continuous Protection comes standard with every database running on Heroku Postgres.

The company said the updates to its database service were also immediately available to its existing database services customers.

The databases are offered contract-free and metered by the second. Heroku is offering six plans. They are the following:

  • Ronin: 1.7 GB cache for $200 per month
  • Fugu: 1.7 GB cache/5x CPU for $400 per month
  • Ika: 7.5 GB cache for $800 per month
  • Zilla: 17 GB cache for $1,600 per month
  • Baku: 34 GB cache for $3,200 per month
  • Mecha: 68 GB cache for $6,400 per month

The service includes Postgres 9.0.5, 24x7 monitoring, technical support, 2 TB of storage, automated database snapshots taken daily, Continuous Protection real-time backups, direct access via any PostgreSQL client and a hardened security environment.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.


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