Why we migrated from PlanetScale to Turso.

Why we migrated from PlanetScale to Turso.
Thibault Le Ouay Ducasse

Aug 20, 2023β€’6 min read

What are we building ? πŸ—οΈ

We are building an open source status uptime monitoring with a beautiful status page. Our goal is to provide a fast service to our users.

To achieve this, we are hosting it on the Vercel Edge Runtime, which requires an Edge Database to fully benefit from it.

We also aim to simplify contributions to our project by eliminating the requirement for an account on an external service.

Our current data tech stack is:

What is PlanetScale ? πŸ—ƒοΈ

PlanetScale is a cloud-native database platform.

It is built on top of the open-source database system Vitess. PlanetScale offers a managed database service that allows developers to deploy, manage, and scale databases easily. In my opinion, the standout feature of PlanetScale is its migration management system.

What is Turso ? 🌍

Turso is a new database provider.

Turso is built on top of LibSQL a fork of SQLite. They provide an edge database that enhances the developer experience of SQLite for your users. It enables extensive replication, allowing you to distribute your data to numerous locations where your users are located.

History of the project πŸ“œ

When we began the project, we opted for PlanetScale due to its simplicity and cost-free database option. They also don't have any cold start which is super nice for us. Since we wanted to build fast, it was a good choice when we started the project. The database was just a URL. Their migration tools, ensuring zero downtime, were also valuable to us during rapid prototyping and frequent modifications.

I came across Turso on X (formely known as Twitter) and became interested in trying it out. It seems promising as their value proposition is an edge database, which is exactly what we need. We plan to deploy the status page to the edge (Vercel Edge Runtime). Calling a database in a specific region would negate the benefits of Vercel Edge Runtime.

What drove our changes ? πŸ€”

Performance 🏎️

Not all of our users are in us-east-1. Users who are not located in us-east-1 should receive the same level of performance as those in that region.

I was playing with this Vercel tool to determine the most suitable database for our users. Among the options, Turso proved to be the fastest.

Turso latency

Turso is around 60ms for 5 serial queries globally.

PlanetScale latency

While PlanetScale is around 450ms for 5 serial queries in a different region.

We considered using read replicas from PlanetScale, but I was also interested in trying out Turso.

With Turso, you only need a single URL for all your replicas, eliminating the need to add this logic in your codebase. Additionally, Turso's scaler plan is more affordable, offering 6 replicas for $29, whereas PlanetScale only allows 3 replicas.

Turso offers 26 regions, while PlanetScale only offers 11 regions (their AWS regions).

Better DX for contributors πŸ§‘β€πŸ’»

We are building an open source status page, and we want to make it easy for everyone to contribute to it.

Asking our users to create an account on a new service is a bit awkward. We could have asked for our user to use Docker and create a MySQL8 database while developing locally. However I don’t like Docker, it consumes too much memory on my laptop 😁.

Or we use a file and SQLite, as it is the best option for everyone. And it’s what we can achieve with Turso: seamless local development.

How the migration went. πŸš€

SQLite has a less powerful type system than MySQL. πŸ“¦

The migration process from MySQL to SQLite requires some changes. SQLite has fewer data types compared to MySQL. For example, DateTime doesn't exist in SQLite, so dates should be treated as integers.

There are only five types in SQLite:

  • INT
  • REAL
  • TEXT
  • BLOB

We use Drizzle for type handling and migration in our codebase, so we weren't significantly affected by this. Additionally, our experience with SQLite has taught us the importance of implementing additional checks in our code, rather than solely relying on the database engine.

Drizzle ORM Migration 😱

We had to write additional SQL for migration when transitioning from Planetscale and/or Prisma. Initially, it was a bit frustrating because Drizzle could not generate all the necessary migration code.

 SQLite does not support "Drop not null from column" out of the box,
 we do not generate automatic migration for that, so it has to be done manually
 Please refer to: <>

 Due to that we don't generate migration automatically
 and it has to be done manually

After migrating a couple of times, you realize that they are mostly the same, and you need to follow these steps.

  1. Create new table
  2. Copy data into new table
  3. Drop old table
  4. Rename new table

As it can been seen in this migration when we released the incident:

ALTER TABLE `incident` RENAME TO `incident_old`;--> statement-breakpoint
ALTER TABLE `incident_update` RENAME TO `incident_update_old`;--> statement-breakpoint
DROP TABLE `incident_old`;--> statement-breakpoint
DROP TABLE `incident_update_old`;--> statement-breakpoint
CREATE TABLE `incident` (
`id` integer PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
`status` text(4) NOT NULL,
`title` text(256) NOT NULL,
`created_at` integer DEFAULT (strftime('%s', 'now')),
`updated_at` integer DEFAULT (strftime('%s', 'now')),
`workspace_id` integer NOT NULL,
FOREIGN KEY (`workspace_id`) REFERENCES `workspace`(`id`) ON UPDATE no action ON DELETE cascade
--> statement-breakpoint
CREATE TABLE `incident_update` (
`id` integer PRIMARY KEY NOT NULL,
`status` text(4) NOT NULL,
`date` integer NOT NULL,
`message` text NOT NULL,
`created_at` integer DEFAULT (strftime('%s', 'now')),
`updated_at` integer DEFAULT (strftime('%s', 'now')),
`incident_id` integer NOT NULL,
FOREIGN KEY (`incident_id`) REFERENCES `incident`(`id`) ON UPDATE no action ON DELETE cascade
--> statement-breakpoint

The Turso Doc πŸ“š

The Turso Documentation has been the major challenge during the migration. We faced difficulties finding the specific information. We needed to make it work both locally and on Turso.

However, we have DMed Glauber Costa, the CEO of Turso, and they are aware of this issue. Hopefully, they will update the documentation soon. We believe that with comprehensive documentation and plenty of examples, Turso will be an even greater product.

The verdict 🍾

We are pleased with the change, regardless of whether our users are interested in the stack we use. We genuinely enjoy using this stack. Turso is still an early product, but we are confident that it will improve over time. I strongly believe in its future.

P.S. We are building OpenStatus in public, follow me or Max on Twitter/X if you want sneak peaks of the upcoming features - it's fun to watch! 🍿

P.P.S: OpenStatus is open-source, you can browse our code on GitHub and give us a star ⭐️