What do you like best?
- Latest version of PostgreSQL database engine available (11.2). Our previous hosted database provider was stuck at version 9.6.
- Quick and easy database forking.
- Painless Google Cloud Platform VPC peering setup at no extra cost.
- Easy to switch back-and-forth between VPC and public network.
- Direct access to the secondary read-only replica on high availability plans. Other providers usually hide the replica and only make it available when failing over.
Management and Monitoring:
- Good web management console.
- Command-line interface client.
- Terraform infrastructure management. I haven't tested it yet, but I plan to.
- Integration with Datadog infrastructure monitoring service provider.
- TOTP two-factor authentication.
- Good email support. I asked some technical questions before I started using the service and the response was fast and detailed.
What do you dislike?
Pricing and Plans:
- More expensive than AWS RDS and GCP Cloud SQL. However, smaller providers like Aiven take their database offerings more seriously instead of just seeing them as add-ons to their other cloud services.
- Storage options are too inflexible. They start with 8 GB and then immediately jump to 80 GB.
- Backup downloading is cumbersome. You must use PostgreSQL's pgdump CLI utility, and if you want to download an older snapshot, you must first restore it to a database instance using point-in-time recovery and then create a dump using pgdump. Ideally, I should be able to go to the web console, select a snapshot and click "Download".
- Backup retention time is too short. Business plans only have 14 days, while I think that 30 days should be the minimum for production-grade plans.
- The current plaintext database administrator password can be obtained from the web console. Access to the web console itself can be protected with two-factor authentication, but I still think that the best password recovery option is the generation of a new password.
Recommendations to others considering the product:
It may be a bit expensive, but if you want a managed database provider that sees PostgreSQL as a core product and not an add-on, go with Aiven.
What problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We have multiple backend services running on GCP that use PostgreSQL for data storage.