October 17, 2019 By Phil Alger 3 min read

When we introduced Dedicated Cores for IBM Cloud Databases, you could only provision new databases with dedicated cores. Now, that’s changed. 

(Read the original dedicated cores announcement.)

You may have noticed a slight change to your IBM Cloud Databases deployment settings. Now, everyone has access to dedicated cores, even on databases that have already been provisioned. That means that you no longer have to select whether you want dedicated cores for your deployment at provisioning time. 

So now, if you decide that you want all the benefits of dedicated cores for your databases right now, you can make the switch directly from your deployment’s console on IBM Cloud.

Why would you want to use dedicated cores? 

Dedicated cores are Virtual Processor Cores (vCPUs) that allow customers who want to add hypervisor-level isolation to their databases instances. Giving customers this added level of control granularity ensures that their data processing and RAM remain separated from other customers, mitigating possibilities of the “noisy-neighbor” effect. This essentially moves the database from a multi-tenant to a single-tenant host and guarantees that customer databases receive at least the minimum amount of compute they select. 

Provisioning dedicated cores

To start using dedicated cores for your existing deployments, first select your database. Then, in your database’s settings select the Settings tab. At the bottom of the Scale Resources panel, you will see Dedicated Cores.

By default, you’re using compute resources on shared hosts so you will see “0” dedicated cores. 

Now, move the slider to the number of dedicated cores you want. The number of cores starts with 3 and goes up to 30, guaranteeing that you will have, at minimum, the number of cores that you specify. Remember that the allocation of dedicated cores is independent of the allocation of disk and RAM. 

Dedicated cores are billed per member, per core. That means that if you have a database with two members and you select three dedicated cores, you will start out with three dedicated cores per member, totaling six dedicated cores.

Databases with two members are IBM Cloud Databases for Redis, IBM Cloud Databases for PostgreSQL, and IBM Cloud Databases for MongoDB

IBM Cloud Databases that have three members are IBM Cloud Databases for etcd, IBM Cloud Databases for Elasticsearch, and IBM Cloud Messages for RabbitMQ. For these databases, when you want to add the minimum three dedicated cores, you will be billed for a total of nine dedicated cores (or three dedicated cores per member). 

Once you’re happy with the number of cores, click Scale Deployment and you’ll get dedicated cores. Note that your database will be restarted, so make sure you account for that before adding this feature.

How many dedicated cores to start with?

This is a tricky question because it depends on the workload of the database. If you’re experiencing very high workloads, you’ll want to start with a higher number of cores than a database that doesn’t experience very high workloads. Unlike disk, you can scale the number of dedicated cores up and down. If you monitor your databases and decide that you need more cores, then scale up; likewise, if you need to scale down, you can do that, too.

Need more information?

Feel free to reach out to our support team, or if you’re interested in trying out IBM Cloud Databases, click Get Started with IBM Cloud Databases. 

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