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How We’re Raising the Bar on Hosted Database Support

How We’re Raising the Bar on Hosted Database Support

If choosing a database in a crowded market is challenging, choosing where you will run said database can prove equally tricky. The options are endless, but it’s pretty common these days to run your database on a hosted service, whether that’s something like Amazon RDS or a database company’s own cloud, like the one we have at Timescale. Still, one of the most critical aspects to consider when selecting a hosted provider is cloud support. What will your cloud provider do to help ensure your hosted database is successful?

The Value of Deep, Consultative Support

From the user’s perspective, one should expect a minimum set of services from the hosting provider, from backups to speedy and steady help when the database is down or other platform-related issues arise, etc. But what if your queries are slow? Or what if a feature does not work as expected? Or would you like guidance on how to architect for future growth? You may not have to consider the physical infrastructure when running a cloud database, but these are still real and valid concerns.

Here at Timescale, we want you to be successful with your time-series and relational data. One of the ways we do that is through our Slack Community, where many of us here at Timescale work together with many folks in our community on questions and issues. Many folks from our community work with each other as well. It’s a fantastic, vibrant community and is open to everyone. We also have a very active Timescale Community Forum. But that’s not all we do—we are raising the bar on hosted database support.

For our users on Timescale, we take it one step further. We have a team of support engineers located around the world to help with migrations, data modeling, query or ingest performance, compression settings, and more. We offer deep, consultative support for every Timescale user at no additional charge.

This is an investment we’re making in our users, just as our users are making an investment in us by choosing us to host their time-series and relational data. As a comparison, with Amazon RDS, deeply consultative support in addition to general guidance and best practices starts at over $5,000 per month, and lower tiers have only a community forum or only offer general advice.

Here’s what you can expect from working with the Timescale Support Team.

Every Case Is Unique

Adopting a new technology (or refining the operations of the one you’re already using) is hard. While TimescaleDB is an extension on top of PostgreSQL, making it much more immediately recognizable and reducing the amount of new information to learn, we still have our own lingo and concepts. Hypertables and continuous aggregates and compression. Oh, my!

The thing about doing support for a product like TimescaleDB is that there often aren’t easy answers. This is actually a good thing! Our users are talented professionals. Because of that, no easy answers means that the things that do have easy answers—basic configurations, API conventions, etc.—are either well documented or intuitive enough that folks have already figured them out.

What gets left over are the less clear-cut questions and scenarios: Why did this query perform poorly? What should I use for segmenting in compression based on X, Y, and Z factors? Should I use one hypertable or many hypertables?

Editor's Note: One of the most common questions is optimizing “chunk” size. (“Chunk” is Timescale lingo for data partitions within a table.) We answered this question in this blog post.

These questions have many variables, requiring some back and forth. That is the key to our support here at Timescale: collaboration. We don’t tend just to give rote answers. Because when it comes to data, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy. We work with you to understand your problem and requirements and devise a solution that works for you in your specific circumstances. Our approach is inquisitive and exploratory because we want to answer not only the question you have now but the ones you don’t know you have yet.

Work With Your Customers, Improve Your Product

We believe strongly in working through questions and answers together. We’re all subject to the unknown unknowns of the Johari window, so by working together, we collectively increase the things we know and decrease the things we don’t. We understand that when you’re looking for help, the last thing you probably want to get back is a bunch of questions. We ask them to gain a more holistic understanding of the issue at hand to provide more than a bandaid but a real, lasting solution.

Through our interactions with individual customers, we improve our product for everyone.

We view every support case as an opportunity to learn, both as individuals and as a company. As a company, your cases tell us where we can improve. If something isn’t working, that’s something we should look into making better. As individuals, we learn new and innovative ways to look at, analyze, collect, and use data. We learn about operational models and DevOps practices. We learn about new and exciting technologies that work alongside our own that help you answer the questions you need to ask of your data.

In support, at our core, we are eternally curious. Working with you gives us the opportunity to explore new and different things every day. Along the way, we hope we can both learn something as we work through your questions together. At the end of the day, this interchange of ideas makes us all better.

Work With Us!

We’d love to work through some of your questions together. If you are a current user of Timescale, you know where we’re at—shoot us a message at [email protected].

If you’re not yet a Timescale user, you can use it for free for 30 days, no credit card required—and you have full access to our support team during your trial. We look forward to working with you!

Ingest and query in milliseconds, even at terabyte scale.
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