Zilliz Unveils New Pricing Model, Bolsters Its Cloud Vector Database for LLM Apps
Zilliz is looking to become the preferred vector database choice for LLM-powered applications through strategic enhancements and a cost-effective new pricing model that now includes a free tier. The company just announced the latest version of Zilliz Cloud, its fully managed vector database service, with new features and enhancements geared toward AI development.
Zilliz Cloud includes features of Milvus, an open source vector database built for processing vector data at scale that was invented by Zilliz founder and CEO Charles Xie. Although many relational and NoSQL databases have been modified with vector functionality, Zilliz is a native vector database specifically designed for storing and managing vector embeddings.
Vector databases have several use cases but are especially in demand at the moment due to the proliferation of large language models and the subsequent AI development gold rush. Native vector databases often boast faster query times, lower memory usage, and better scalability than traditional databases when it comes to LLM training and deployment.
Depending on their size, training LLMs results in thousands or even billions of vectors and vector embeddings, and a vector database performs a similarity search that finds the best match between the user’s prompt and a specific vector embedding. Zilliz claims to give developers a billion-vector-per-second performance, something the company believes gives it an edge over competitors like Pinecone and Elastic in becoming the preferred database for LLM-powered applications.
The latest version of Zilliz Cloud includes several new tools and features aimed at this goal. There is now API support for popular programming languages and frameworks such as Python, JS, and RESTful APIs. Zilliz Cloud also newly supports JSON data types and users can store and manage JSON data alongside the existing Approximate Nearest Neighbor (ANN) Search capabilities, the company said in a blog post.
The company is also offering dynamic schema support with customizable Zilliz Cloud schemas for users working with data with specific fields or attributes. This new feature allows users to insert entities with dynamically varied fields into a collection rather than being limited to a predefined static schema, the company asserts. Users can also manage access and permissions for their teams with a new Organizations and Roles feature, which may appeal to larger organizations with multiple projects and teams.
Zilliz is working to minimize the problem of LLMs’ tendency to fabricate plausible-sounding information, also known as hallucination. The company says this problem can be reduced by using an external Zilliz Cloud database of accurate, domain-specific data that can help the LLM deliver dependable answers for business use.
Another aspect of the company’s quest to be the top choice for LLM applications is a new pricing plan that gives developers options to balance cost, performance, service quality, and compliance. A new free tier called the starter plan is available on GCP and is appropriate for those looking to experiment or prototype. A standard plan is available on GCP and AWS for teams with less than five engineers and less complex workloads. The enterprise plan is for customers with large-scale organizations requiring advanced security and support. Lastly, there is a self-hosted plan where users can deploy Zilliz on a virtual private cloud with complete control of privacy, security, and regulatory compliance.
Finally, a new open source benchmark tool allows users to compare Milvus or Zilliz with other database solutions. The company says this tool has comprehensive metrics and evaluation capabilities to allow customers to find the solution best aligned with their requirements.
“Generative AI is going to change everything – but first we have to trust it,” said Xie in a statement. “Developers of all sizes will need Zilliz Cloud to power their generative AI applications. And with our new pricing, they all can. With this latest release, we’re out to promote innovation and creativity and help developers create amazing applications that transform their businesses – and the lives of their users – for the better.”