FAQ

1. What is TiDB Cloud?

TiDB Cloud makes deploying, managing and maintaining your TiDB clusters even simpler with a fully managed cloud instance that you control through an intuitive console. You’ll be able to easily deploy on Amazon Web Services or Google Cloud to quickly build mission critical applications.

TiDB Cloud allows developers and DBAs with little or no training to handle once-complex tasks such as infrastructure management and cluster deployment with ease, to focus on your applications, not the complexities of your database. And by scaling TiDB clusters in or out with a simple click of a button, you’ll no longer waste costly resources because you’ll be able to provision your databases for exactly how much and how long you need them.

2. How is TiDB different from other relational databases like MySQL?

TiDB is a next-generation, distributed relational database. TiDB can scale both computing and storage capacity simply by adding new nodes. This makes infrastructure capacity scaling easier and more flexible compared to traditional relational databases that only scale vertically.

TiDB’s advantages over MySQL:

  • TiDB has a distributed architecture with flexible and elastic scalability. It automatically takes care of dynamic distribution, allowing you to easily scale your TiDB cluster horizontally with just a few clicks.
  • TiDB supports high availability with automatic failover, ensuring business continuity with auto-backups regardless of disk or machine failures.
  • TiDB is a Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing (HTAP) database that handles both OLTP and OLAP workloads within one database.

TiDB supports the MySQL protocol and dialect. You can replace MySQL with TiDB to power your applications without changing any code in most cases.

3. What is the relationship between TiDB and TiDB Cloud?

TiDB is an open-source database and is the best option for organizations who want to run TiDB on-premises or in their own data centers.

TiDB Cloud is a fully managed cloud service (Database-as-a-Service) of TiDB. It has an easy-to-use web-based management console to let you manage TiDB clusters for mission-critical production environments.

4. How is TiDB Cloud compatible with MySQL?

Currently, TiDB supports the majority of MySQL 5.7 syntax, but does not support trigger, stored procedures, user-defined functions, and foreign keys. For more details, see Compatibility with MySQL.

If you use the MySQL 8.0 client and it fails to connect to TiDB, try to add the default-auth and default-character-set options:

mysql -h 127.0.0.1 -u root -P 4000 --default-auth=mysql_native_password --default-character-set=utf8
mysql -h 127.0.0.1 -u root -P 4000 --default-auth=mysql_native_password --default-character-set=utf8

This problem occurs because MySQL 8.0 changes the default authentication plugin in MySQL 5.7. To solve this problem, you need to add the options above to specify using the old encryption method.

5. What programming language can I use to work with TiDB Cloud?

Any language supported by the MySQL client or driver.

6. How does TiDB Cloud support strong consistency?

TiDB implements Snapshot Isolation consistency, which it advertises as REPEATABLE-READ for compatibility with MySQL. Data is redundantly copied between TiKV nodes using the Raft consensus algorithm to ensure recoverability should a node failure occur.

At the bottom layer, TiKV uses a model of replication log + State Machine to replicate data. For the write requests, the data is written to a Leader and the Leader then replicates the command to its Followers in the form of log. When the majority of nodes in the cluster receive this log, this log is committed and can be applied into the State Machine.

7. Where can I run TiDB Cloud? (vendor lock-in)

TiDB Cloud is currently available on Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud.

8. What versions of TiDB are supported on TiDB Cloud?

For the currently supported TiDB version, see TiDB Cloud Release Notes.

9. How can I learn about TiDB Cloud?

The best way to learn about TiDB Cloud is to follow our step-by-step tutorial. Check out the following topics to get started:

Look out for TiDB University coming soon!

10. What companies are using TiDB/TiDB Cloud in production?

TiDB is trusted by 1500+ global enterprises across industries such as financial services, gaming, and e-commerce. Our users include Square (US), PayPay (Japan), Shopee (Singapore), and China UnionPay (China). See TiDB’scase studies or contact us for further details.

11. How does TiDB Cloud ensure high availability?

TiDB uses the Raft consensus algorithm to ensure that data is highly available and safely replicated throughout storage in Raft Groups. Data is redundantly copied between TiKV nodes and placed in different Availability Zones to protect against machine or data center failure. With automatic failover, TiDB Cloud ensures that your service is always on.

12. How does TiDB Cloud secure my data?

TiDB Cloud offers enterprise-grade security by deploying clusters in dedicated Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) networks. Each tenant on TiDB Cloud has its own isolated network, and your application service and the TiDB database service use independent VPC networks as well.

Connections between TiDB clients and servers are encrypted using TLS, as are connections between all TiDB component nodes. Data encryption on disk (also known as "at rest") is also enabled by default for all your persisted data and backups.

tidb cloud providers

As a Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, we take data security seriously. We've established strict information security policies and procedures required by the Service Organization Control (SOC) 2 Type 1 compliance. This ensures that our customers' data is secure, available, and confidential.

13. What kind of support is available for customers?

TiDB Cloud is supported by the same team behind TiDB, which has run mission-critical use cases for over 1500 global enterprises across industries including financial services, e-commerce, enterprise applications, and gaming. Support is available 24/7 for TiDB Cloud users.

14. There are different components in my TiDB Cluster. What are PD, TiDB, TiKV, and TiFlash nodes for?

The Placement Driver (PD) is "the brain" of the entire TiDB cluster as it stores the metadata of the cluster. It sends data scheduling commands to specific TiKV nodes according to the data distribution state reported by TiKV nodes in real time.

TiDB is the SQL computing layer that aggregates data from queries returned from TiKV or TiFlash stores. TiDB is horizontally scalable, and increasing the number of TiDB nodes will increase the number of concurrent queries the cluster can handle.

TiKV is the transactional store used to store OLTP data. All the data in TiKV is automatically maintained in multiple replicas (three replicas by default), so TiKV has native high availability and supports automatic failover. TiKV is horizontally scalable, and increasing the number of transactional stores will increase OLTP throughput.

TiFlash is the analytical storage that replicates data from the transactional store (TiKV) in real time and supports real-time analytics workloads. Unlike TiKV, TiFlash stores data in columns to accelerate analytical processing. TiFlash is also horizontally scalable, and increasing TiFlash nodes will increase OLAP storage and computing capacity.

tidb olap oltp workload

15. How does TiDB replicate data between the TiKV nodes?

TiKV divides the whole key-value space into key ranges, and each key range is treated as a “Region”. In TiKV, data is distributed among all nodes in the cluster and uses Region as the basic unit (PD is responsible for spreading Regions as evenly as possible across all nodes in the cluster).

TiDB uses the Raft consensus algorithm to replicate data by Regions. Multiple replicas of a Region stored in different nodes form a Raft Group.

Each data change will be recorded as a Raft log. Through Raft log replication, data is safely and reliably replicated to multiple nodes of the Raft Group.

16. How do I make use of TiDB Cloud’s HTAP capabilities?

Traditionally, there are two types of databases: Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) databases and Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) databases. OLTP and OLAP requests are often processed in different and isolated databases. With this traditional architecture, migrating data from an OLTP database to a data warehouse or data lake is a long and error-prone process.

As a Hybrid Transactional Analytical Processing (HTAP) database, TiDB Cloud helps you simplify your system architecture, reduce maintenance complexity, and support real-time analytics on transactional data by automatically replicating data reliably between the OLTP (TiKV) store and OLAP (TiFlash) store. Typical HTAP use cases are user personalization, AI recommendation, fraud detection, business intelligence, and real-time reporting.

For further HTAP scenarios, refer to How We Build an HTAP Database That Simplifies Your Data Platform.