Prototype your app on InfluxDB Cloud Serverless

Utilize InfluxDB Cloud Serverless to prototype your production application and then move it to InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated. Learn about important differences between Cloud Serverless and Cloud Dedicated and best practices for building an application prototype on Cloud Serverless.

Key differences between InfluxDB Cloud Serverless and Cloud Dedicated

User interface differences

Administrative tools and user interfaces differ between InfluxDB Cloud Serverless and InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated. InfluxDB Cloud Serverless is designed for individual developers, data scientists, and general hobbyists, as well as business-to-business (B2B) customers. The Cloud Serverless graphical user interface (GUI) provides basic features for database administration (add/delete databases, generate tokens, etc.), query, visualization, and dashboarding.

Unlike Cloud Serverless, Cloud Dedicated does not come with a GUI. Cloud Dedicated customers use an administrative command line tool (influxctl) for managing databases and tokens. The influxctl utility is not available for InfluxDB Cloud Serverless. Because the platforms use different administrative tools, if you’re using Cloud Serverless as an evaluation platform for Cloud Dedicated, you won’t be able to evaluate the Cloud Dedicated administrative features directly.

Terminology differences

InfluxDB Cloud Serverless was an upgrade that introduced the InfluxDB 3.0 storage engine to InfluxData’s original InfluxDB Cloud (TSM) multi-tenant solution. InfluxDB Cloud utilizes the Time-Structured Merge Tree (TSM) storage engine in which databases were referred to as “buckets”. Cloud Serverless still uses this term.

InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated has only ever used the InfluxDB 3.0 storage engine. Resource names in Cloud Dedicated are more traditionally aligned with SQL database engines. Databases are named “databases” and “measurements” are structured as tables. “Tables” or “measurements” can be used interchangeably.

Term InfluxDB Cloud Serverless InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated
Name for a database Bucket Database
Name for a collection subset of a database Measurement Table or measurement

These are just terminology differences, not functional differences, and shouldn’t impact using Cloud Serverless for evaluation, prototyping, or staging.

InfluxQL data retention policy mapping differences

InfluxDB utilizes database and retention policy (DBRP) mappings to support InfluxQL queries written for InfluxDB 1.x. To query using InfluxQL, InfluxDB Cloud Serverless requires that customers first create DBRP mappings (via the CLI or API) for the bucket. In Cloud Dedicated, DBRP mapping is handled through naming conventions and doesn’t require customers to configure a mapping for InfluxQL queries.

Query Language Differences

InfluxDB Cloud Serverless and Cloud Dedicated support SQL and InfluxQL.

Language InfluxDB Cloud Serverless InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated
SQL Natively supported Natively supported
InfluxQL Natively supported Natively supported

The v2 API (which uses the Flux language for querying) is reachable in InfluxDB Cloud Serverless, but isn’t supported. If you plan to use InfluxDB Cloud Serverless as an evaluation or staging platform for InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated, use SQL or InfluxQL.

API and client library differences

Because the v2 Query API uses Flux, customers should avoid using the v2 API when querying InfluxDB Cloud Serverless as an evaluation, staging, or prototyping platform for InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated.

For writing data, InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated and InfluxDB Cloud Serverless both support the v1 API and the v2 write API.

In addition, InfluxDB v3 client libraries are available that work the same for both InfluxDB Cloud Serverless and InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated and help avoid any API differences between the two platforms. For more detailed information about choosing a client library, see the Choosing a Client Library When Developing with InfluxDB 3.0 blog post.

Tasks and alerts differences

InfluxDB Cloud Serverless had built-in task and alert systems. These were built on Flux and have not been carried forward to InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated. If you use InfluxDB Cloud Serverless as an evaluation platform for InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated, don’t utilize these features as they aren’t available on InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated.

With InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated, you can build custom task and alerting solutions or use 3rd-party tools like Grafana or Prefect–for example:

Token management and authorization differences

In addition to the token management UI differences mentioned previously (there is a UI and API for this with Cloud Serverless, with InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated you use influxctl), there are also differences in the granularity of token permissions—InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated has a few more permission options.

Function InfluxDB Cloud Serverless InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated
API token generation Built-in UI or v2 API influxctl CLI

Performance differences

InfluxDB Cloud Serverless is a multi-tenant solution and has a number of factors that could affect database performance, including:

  • Rate limiting: Limits on reads and writes.
  • Noisy neighbors: Unexpected high usage from other customers could impact your experience.
  • Generic optimization: Cloud Serverless is generically optimized to fit the most common workloads. InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated can be tuned to your specific data sets and workload with options such as custom partitioning.
  • Tag-specific queries: Due to generic optimization, queries that select rows with a subset of tag values may be noticeably slower than in previous versions. If you are using InfluxDB Cloud Serverless for evaluation purposes, consider investing in an InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated proof-of-concept (PoC) to get a more accurate picture of your expected performance.

Schema differences

Schema support in InfluxDB Cloud Serverless and InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated is nearly identical. However, InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated provides more flexibility, letting you raise or exceed limits on the number of tables (measurements) and columns (time, fields, and tags) in a database. See Stay within the schema limits of InfluxDB Cloud Serverless.

Organization management differences

InfluxDB Cloud Serverless has a feature that lets you create sub-organizations within your account. InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated does not have this feature.

Additionally, due to being multi-tenant, Cloud Serverless requires specifying organization name or ID in some interactions. This isn’t required with Cloud Dedicated.

Best practices

Follow these recommended best practices when using InfluxDB Cloud Serverless as an evaluation or prototyping platform for InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated.

Use the v3 lightweight client libraries

Use the InfluxDB v3 lightweight client libraries to help make your code for writing and querying cross-compatible with InfluxDB Cloud Serverless, Cloud Dedicated, and Clustered. You’ll only need to change your InfluxDB connection credentials (host, database name, and token).

Avoid features that are not included with InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated

The easiest way to avoid using features in InfluxDB Cloud Serverless that don’t exist in Cloud Dedicated is to avoid using the Cloud Serverless UI, except when managing tokens and buckets. In order to maintain compatibility with Cloud Dedicated, specifically avoid using the following InfluxDB Cloud Serverless features:

  • The v2 query API and the Flux language
  • Administrative APIs
  • Tasks and alerts from the Cloud Serverless UI (instead use one of the options mentioned in Tasks and alerts differences).
  • InfluxDB dashboards and visualization tools (use 3rd-party visualization tools)

Use SQL or InfluxQL as your Query Language

SQL and InfluxQL are optimized for InfluxDB v3 and both are excellent options in Cloud Dedicated and Cloud Serverless. Avoid Flux since it can’t be used with InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated.

Stay within the schema limits of InfluxDB Cloud Serverless

If you stay within InfluxDB Cloud Serverless limits for tables (measurements) and columns (time, fields, and tags) within a table, then you won’t have any problems with limits in InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated. Cloud Dedicated also provides more flexibility by letting you configure limits.

Description Limit
Tables (measurements) 500
Columns (time, fields, tags) 200

Keep test and production data separate

If you are using InfluxDB Cloud Serverless for prototyping or evaluation, use test data and don’t store production data on the platform. This has the following benefits:

  • Using test data is less risky. If you make a mistake with your schema, you can delete your data and start over. If you use production data that you rely on and only have one copy, schema mistakes are harder to recover from.
  • You won’t need to migrate data. After you have completed your evaluation, you can delete your test data and start using Cloud Dedicated.

You can use live or production data for prototype in InfluxDB Cloud Serverless, and then migrate it to Cloud Dedicated after you complete your evaluation. However, currently this requires that you write code to query and extract the data, convert it to line protocol format, and then write it to InfluxDB Cloud Dedicated.

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The future of Flux

Flux is going into maintenance mode. You can continue using it as you currently are without any changes to your code.

Flux is going into maintenance mode and will not be supported in InfluxDB 3.0. This was a decision based on the broad demand for SQL and the continued growth and adoption of InfluxQL. We are continuing to support Flux for users in 1.x and 2.x so you can continue using it with no changes to your code. If you are interested in transitioning to InfluxDB 3.0 and want to future-proof your code, we suggest using InfluxQL.

For information about the future of Flux, see the following: