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Best PlanetScale alternative: TiDB Serverless

PlanetScale is sunsetting their hobby plan, it is still a good product if you can afford at least $39 monthly. Otherwise, you may need an alternative as they will sleep all the databases in the hobby plan on April 8th, 2024.

Neon or supabase sounds good, but you should be very careful because you need to deal with the difference between MySQL and PostgreSQL. Here, I want to introduce TiDB Serverless for you, it may be the best choice for you at present.

MySQL compatible

PlanetScale is built on top of open-source Vitess, a database clustering system for horizontal scaling of MySQL.

TiDB Serverless is also fully MySQL compatible. Which means:

  • You can import the data from PlanetScale to TiDB Serverless smoothly without considering data types and other details.
  • You can still use your preferred driver or ORM. TiDB Serverless works with almost all popular MySQL drivers and ORMs.
  • You need not change any of your codes except the connection string. The connection to TiDB Serverless enforces TLS, but you need not worry about the TLS cert as TiDB Serverless's cert is signed from Let's encrypt, the same as PlanetScale.

True Serverless

PlanetScale advertises that they are serverless in the beginning. But it is strange that you need to choose CPU and memory when you start your PlanetScale journey.

TiDB Serverless provides true serverless for you. It will auto-scale based on your traffic, you only need to pay as you used. It also scales to zero when you don't use it, and It will be ready to serve in seconds when traffic income.


TiDB Serverless provides the following for you, you can continue to use the branching that you are already familiar with in PlanetScale.

  • Data Branching
  • Point-in-time Restore
  • Vector Search
  • Serverless Driver
  • Data Service
  • CLI

There are more waiting for your exploration. get started with TiDB Serverles now!


There are lots of integrations in TiDB Serverless. Here is a simple list:

  • Vercel
  • Cloudflare
  • Dbt
  • Terraform
  • Zapier
  • Prisma

You can find more here


TiDB Serverless provides a more generous free quota for you. You can enjoy 25G storage and 50M Request Units(worth around $5) for every TiDB Serverless cluster and create up to 5 free clusters.

I believe you can also enjoy a free journey in TiDB Serverless If you are going to migrate from PlanetScale hobby plan. One thing you need to pay attention to is importing into TiDB Serverless may burn up your free quota if your data is too large.

According to my test, you may cost around $0.5 for importing one GB of data, which means you may need to pay if your data is larger than 10GB in a database. This may not be accurate, you can import your data to have a try. Don't worry about the fee, TiDB Serverless only limits your traffic instead of charging an extra fee when you exceed the free quota unless you add your credit card and set the spending limit.

As far as I know, TiDB Serverless is optimizing import costs and may charge less for importing in the future.


Want to have a try with TiDB Serverless? I find a migration guide for you.

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