Migrating to AlloyDB Omni

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In April 2023, Google Cloud announced the release of AlloyDB Omni, which is the downloadable version of AlloyDB that was released previously. AlloyDB is a database service fully compatible with the PostgreSQL database, which enables organizations to modernize their traditional database systems. This is in line with the ever-increasing demand for higher enterprise database workloads – and for existing PostgreSQL users looking to scale up their current workloads. 

What is driving the popularity of AlloyDB Omni? In this blog, we’ll understand how it offers business value to organizations – and how to migrate to AlloyDB Omni. 

Why are organizations migrating to AlloyDB Omni?

According to Google Cloud, AlloyDB Omni offers twice the speed & performance of the standard PostgreSQL database when handling transactional workloads. Further, AlloyDB Omni’s built-in engine can handle analytical queries 100 times faster than the standard PostgreSQL engine. These features are available at a fraction of the cost of legacy databases like PostgreSQL.

Many organizations are looking to migrate away from traditional or legacy databases due to unfavorable factors like:

  • High licensing costs and fees
  • Vendor lock-ins
  • Complicated user interfaces

Additionally, with traditional databases, organizations are not able to take advantage of the higher performing data management cloud technologies that are available.

For these organizations, AlloyDB Omni is a great alternative as it is fully compatible with the PostgreSQL database – and does not require them to make major changes to their existing system.

How to migrate to AlloyDB Omni

Andi Gutsman of Google Cloud explains how Google has simplified the process of cloud migration from traditional databases to AlloyDB Omni. Following the announcement, customers have “shown a surge of interest in migrating completely off expensive, legacy databases that have unfriendly licensing practices.”

Among the successful case studies, Sunil Coutinho of CME Group says, “AlloyDB Omni enables us to begin modernizing and migrating to Google Cloud, while maintaining our customer commitments and supporting our most mission-critical traditional legacy workloads.” 

As AlloyDB Omni is positioned as an alternative to PostgreSQL, companies can use PostgreSQL tools to back up and replicate their databases. 

Organizations can migrate from PostgreSQL to AlloyDB Omni using either of the following migration methods:

  • By manually importing data files.
  • By using the Google Cloud Database Migration service.

Let’s take a look at each of these 2 methods.

Using AlloyDB, you can import data manually from files located in the Cloud Storage bucket. AlloyDB enables you to import data in a variety of file formats including:

  • CSV format – with each table’s contents stored in a single file (loaded by using the psql command).
  • DMP format – where the binary archive of the entire PostgreSQL database is imported by using the pg_restore command.
  • SQL format – for the textual reconstruction of the entire PostgreSQL database using the psql command.

Alternatively, you can use the Google Cloud Database Migration service tool for AlloyDB to migrate the contents of the active PostgreSQL instance into the AlloyDB cluster. With minimum downtime, this tool enables you to migrate your existing applications to AlloyDB as their data store.

AlloyDB Omni – Supported locales for imported data

AlloyDB Omni supports the following locales for imported data:

  • Complete set of ICU-provided locales 
  • C.UTF-8 and en_US.utf8 locales (provided by libc)

Among these two locales, Google recommends that you use the default C.UTF-8 locale for your new database. Additionally, use the “ALTER_TABLE” query to modify an ICU-based collation for each database table column (as shown below):





You can also add more collations (based on ICU-provided locales) by using PostgreSQL’s “CREATE_COLLATION” command. For the entire list of ICU-provided collations in the AlloyDB cluster, execute the following SQL query on any instance:

SELECT collname FROM pg_collation WHERE collprovider = ‘i’;

How Onix can help you get started with AlloyDB Omni

Among the first Google Cloud partners, Onix brings over 20 years of experience providing varied services for Google. We have been chosen as Google Cloud’s “Partner of the Year” on 13 occasions.

The Onix team can execute a large-scale database migration from PostgreSQL to the AlloyDB Omni cloud platform. Our “Migrate and Modernize” service can help your business prepare for the future – while preventing costly disruptions to your existing infrastructure.

Do you want to seamlessly migrate your traditional database to the future-ready AlloyDB Omni platform? We can help you in this process. Contact our Google Cloud experts today!

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