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Latency Comparison Among Serverless Databases: DynamoDB vs FaunaDB vs Upstash

Noah Fischer

Noah Fischer

DevRel @upstash

In this article, I will compare the latencies of three serverless databases DynamoDB, FaunaDB, Upstash (Redis) for a common web use case.

I created a sample news website and I am recording database related latency with each request to the website. Check the website and the source code.

I have inserted 7001 NY Times articles into each database. The articles are collected from New York Times Archive API(all articles of January 2021). I randomly scored each article. At each page request, I query top 10 articles under the World section from each database.

Challenge of Serverless: Database Connections

Noah Fischer

Noah Fischer

DevRel @upstash

Designing a database for serverless, the biggest challenge in our mind was to build an infrastructure which supports per request pricing in a profitable way. We believe Upstash has achieved this. After we launched the product, we saw that there was another major challenge: Database connections!

As you know, Serverless Functions scale from 0 to infinity. This means when your functions get a lot of traffic, the cloud provider creates new containers (lambda functions) in parallel and scales out your backend. If you create a new database connection within the function then you can rapidly reach the connection limit of your database.

If you try to cache the connection outside the lambda functions then another problem occurs. When AWS freezes your Lambda function, it does not close the connection. So you may end up with many idle/zombie connections which can still threaten.