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Introduction: A Tale of Two Bills

We frequently receive feedback from TiDB Serverless users, and their insights are a driving force behind our ongoing improvements. And increasingly, we hear about significant cost savings from users who have migrated to our platform. Such testimonials are quickly becoming a norm, prompting us to share some user stories that could inspire others in search of database solutions.

In this blog, we will spotlight six real-world cases of cost savings with TiDB Serverless, aiming to reveal how such significant financial benefits aren’t mere outliers but a consistent result of TiDB Serverless’s inherent efficiency.

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Six Stories: Slashing Database Costs by 30% – 80%

These six case studies go beyond mere numbers; they tell stories of change, strategic choices, and, most importantly, cost-efficiency. Lean in as we unravel the specifics behind each case, understanding the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of their decreased bills, and showcasing TiDB Serverless’s potential to cut costs while preserving full functionality.


E-commerce, Data Services
Cost Savings with TiDB: Achieved an 80% reduction in overall IT costs by migrating to TiDB Serverless.

Original DBaaS Provider: Self-hosted databases on a leading public cloud provider.

Workload Requests: AmzTrends, an e-commerce analytics firm, turned to TiDB Serverless to handle their vast database of over 2.2 billion records efficiently.

Reasons for Savings: Simplified architecture, along with automated scaling and pay-per-use pricing, substantially cuts costs.

“After migrating to TiDB Serverless, we’ve been able to confidently leave database concerns behind. This transition not only drastically lowered our costs but also offered a more flexible approach to resource utilization for our enterprise.”

Steve, AmzTrends, PM


Web3, Data Infrastructure
Cost Savings with TiDB: Halved Web3 infrastructure costs by approximately 50%.

Original DBaaS Provider: Amazon Aurora for PostgreSQL and Amazon RDS for MySQL.

Workload Requests: Handles 200 million data requests on a daily basis.

Reasons for Savings: Consolidating tech stack and centralizing data led to remarkable cost efficiencies. The fully managed model was instrumental too.

“By consolidating data from diverse systems into TiDB, we have achieved more efficient resource utilization. This integration has led to a significant decrease in maintenance and hardware expenses, cutting costs by approximately 50%.”

Sun, Data Platform Lead, Chainbase


Web3, Data&AI Ecosystem
Cost Savings with TiDB: Consolidated Data Stack with TiDB Serverless, achieving up to 30% reduction in costs.

Original DBaaS Provider: Included ClickHouse, PostgreSQL, Neo4j, Amazon S3, and MongoDB.

Reasons for Savings: KNN3 reduced costs by utilizing TiDB Serverless’s hybrid processing and auto-scaling, enhancing efficiency in their Web3 data operations.

“TiDB Serverless proves to be a boon for experimental or nascent features. For startups, it’s not only cost-efficient and scalable but also highly conducive to development.”

Thomas Yu, Founder of KNN3 Networks

Holla Group

SNS, Video Chat
Cost Savings with TiDB: Drastically reduced planned budget from an estimated $1,500 for RDS to just $100 with TiDB Serverless.
Original DBaaS Provider: Amazon RDS for MySQL
Reasons for Savings: Elastic scaling and pay-per-use pricing of TiDB Serverless contribute to cost savings.


New Energy, Photovoltaic
Use Cases: SandiSolar+ implements TiDB to process high volumes of real-time photovoltaic data.
Workload Requests: Handle fluctuating data workloads from analyzing photovoltaic inverters and smart meters to track energy production and usage.
Reasons for Savings: TiDB Serverless cuts costs in the energy sector with its scalable real-time data processing, auto-scaling, and pay-per-use billing.

“TiDB Serverless’s pay-as-you-go model for SQL requests and storage keeps SandiSolar+’s costs down by only charging for the resources used.”


Web3, Data Infrastructure
Use Cases: Implemented TiDB Serverless to construct a data infrastructure that is both scalable and performance-driven.
Reasons for Savings: Leveraging TiDB Serverless’s HTAP functionality and auto-scaling features, Chaintool has enhanced its data processing capabilities while achieving notable cost savings.

“As Chaintool’s project expanded and the business requirements evolved, TiDB Serverless’s per-per-use pricing significantly reduced costs while accommodating fluctuating demands and project progress. “

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Two Drivers: Pricing Strategy and Engineering Design

Throughout the six cases we’ve explored, we’ve witnessed the potential for TiDB Serverless to yield 30% to 80% savings in data infrastructure costs. Multiple factors contribute to these savings, but two stand out as the most pivotal: Pricing Strategy and Engineering Design.

Pricing Strategy: Pay Only for Consumption

For example, TiDB Serverless’s billing contrasts with competitors like Amazon RDS for MySQL. Instead of fixed pricing or fees for reserved instances, on-demand use, and additional charges for I/O operations and backups, TiDB Serverless adopts a usage-based model. Users pay for the compute and storage they consume, benefit from free quotas, and can control costs through spending limits and throttling to avoid overages.

Amazon RDS for MySQL – Upfront ModelTiDB Serverless – Usage-based Model
  • Reserved Instances (RI)
  • On-Demand Pricing(Hourly rates for instance)
  • Storage Charges
  • I/O Costs
  • Data Transfer Costs
  • IOPS Monthly Charges
  • Backup & Restore Costs
  • Request Units (RUs): Units used to measure the resources needed for database requests.
  • Storage Charges

It even offers many ways to help users save:
  • Free Quota: 5 Clusters x 5 GiB
  • Cost-Control:
    • Spending Limit: Set budget to cap spending.
    • Throttling: Pauses new connections when spending reaches the set limit.

Engineering Design: Build-in Efficiency

TiDB Serverless allows it to share resources more extensively than conventional serverless architectures. Typical serverless architectures are designed to share compute, storage, and network resources across different customers, but TiDB Serverless takes this a step further.

We’ll delve into it later in our blog.

But one thing for today, this design means we have inherently built efficiency into TiDB Serverless. First of all, the architecture is conducive to straightforward pricing strategy mentioned above. Furthermore, it facilitates a leading-edge capability in the serverless database market: scale-to-zero. This translates directly to cost savings—during lull periods in your application when data traffic is nonexistent, you incur absolutely no costs.

Such engineering feats enable TiDB Serverless to not only deliver cutting-edge database services but also to pass on the cost advantages to customers through a transparent, flexible, and fair pricing model.

In essence, with TiDB Serverless, when your app rests, so does your bill! Let’s toast to the true spirit of serverless.

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About the Author

Heidi is passionate about bridging the information gap between cutting-edge technology and real-world applications. Her focus lies on understanding customer pain points and leveraging innovative marketing strategies to bring the very best solutions to the right users.

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