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Giorgi Anakidze
Giorgi Anakidze

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Zero-Cost Database Magic ๐Ÿช„๐Ÿ’พ

Generic Database Image

Whether youโ€™re a hobbyist or a professional developer, at some point youโ€™re going to need a database. ๐Ÿ˜„ We all know the famous solutions like AWS, Azure, or maybe something thatโ€™s more affordable like Linode or DigitalOcean, but what if you only need a database to test some of your ideas? ๐Ÿค” Spinning up your own instance with Docker or just installing it locally may not always be an option. ๐Ÿ˜… I wish there were some database services that would be performant enough for testing your ideas and also were freeโ€ฆ Well, guess what? There are! ๐Ÿ˜Ž And in this article, Iโ€™m going to show off 5 of them, so you can choose the best one for your project! ๐Ÿš€

PlanetScale ๐ŸŒ

PlanetScale logo

PlanetScale is a serverless platform for MySQL which offers really good options on a free tier. ๐Ÿคฉ I think itโ€™d suit most of the developers who want to use MySQL and to save up some money as well. ๐Ÿ’ต Hereโ€™s a short brief of what the free tier has to offer:

  • Storage - 5GB ๐Ÿ“ฆ
  • Reads per month - 1 Billion ๐Ÿ“–
  • Writes per month - 10 Million โœ๏ธ
  • 1 Production Branch ๐ŸŒณ
  • 1 Development Branch ๐ŸŒฑ

As you see, PlanetScale has a pretty good free tier, but thereโ€™s one more service that has even more in theirs, so make sure to read to the end! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cloudflare D1 ๐ŸŒ

Cloudflare D1 Logo

Cloudflare D1 is basically a SQLite database that runs on the edge and is used with Cloudflare Workers. So, if you have your web service deployed to Workers which is also running on the edge, it means that your users will be able to always connect to the closest server and get the least amount of latency for them. โšก Hereโ€™s a short brief of what the free tier has to offer:

  • Serverless SQL Database ๐Ÿ—„๏ธ
  • Reads per day - 5 Million ๐Ÿ“–
  • Writes per day - 100K โœ๏ธ

If youโ€™re someone who enjoys using Cloudflare Workers, D1 might be the best choice for you, make sure to check it out at - Cloudflare D1. ๐ŸŽ‰

Xata ๐Ÿ“Š

Xata Logo

Xata is another serverless relational database that is based on PostgreSQL and ElasticSearch under the hood. ๐Ÿš€ It treats your tables like a spreadsheet and whatโ€™s really cool about it is that it has full-text search built-in. ๐Ÿ” No need to duplicate data to an ElasticSearch instance! They have SDKs for many languages and a visual schema editor. Hereโ€™s a short brief of what the free tier has to offer:

  • 15 GB Storage for your data ๐Ÿ“ฆ
  • Total records - 750K ๐Ÿ“ˆ
  • Branches per database - 15 ๐ŸŒณ
  • Requests per second - 75 โšก Make sure to check it out at - Xata. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Fauna ๐Ÿพ

Fauna Logo

Fauna is another serverless database created by ex-Twitter engineers. It's kind of like MongoDB, but with native JOIN operations, many document databases miss. They have their own language, FQL, and also a GraphQL API. Here's a quick overview of their free tier:

  • 100K TROs (Total Read Operations) ๐Ÿ“–
  • 50K TWOs (Total Write Operations) โœ๏ธ
  • 1GB Storage ๐Ÿ“ฆ
  • 5 Databases ๐Ÿ—„๏ธ Sounds good, but the next one is my personal favorite! ๐ŸŒŸ

Neon ๐Ÿ’ก

Neon Logo

Neon is a serverless PostgreSQL option written in Rust. ๐ŸŽ‰ It has a great free tier, good docs, and supports data branching for various environments. Here's a glance at their free tier:

  • Storage - 3GiB ๐Ÿ“ฆ
  • Branches - 10 ๐ŸŒณ
  • Active time per month - 100 hours (Primary branch stays active even if you go over!) โณ
  • History retention - 7 days ๐Ÿ—“๏ธ
  • Choose the PostgreSQL version and server location ๐ŸŒ

By far, Neon is my top pick! Check it out for yourself at - Neon. ๐Ÿš€

Enjoy these databases and happy coding! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thank you for taking the time to read!ย :)
All of the stories are also available at my personal websiteโ€Š-โ€Š

Top comments (2)

memahesh profile image
Medam Mahesh

Great listing, I will try them.
Is there any reason you did not list MongoDB Free Tier and Firebase? Those are my go-to's when I think of a pet project.

gpskwlkr profile image
Giorgi Anakidze

Hello, Medam

Yes, there is, I think that MongoDB and Firebase are already pretty well known, but I wanted to tell the public about newer products that are not so common.