September 29, 2022
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Cockroach Labs, a company founded by ex-Googlers, has released the next update of its open source, fault-tolerant distributed SQL database, CockroachDB, in a bid to help enterprise engineering teams prototype faster, automate more operations, and maintain peak performance during massive transaction spikes across geographies — all with a single platform.

For the uninitiated, CockroachDB, which has similar underpinnings to Google’s Cloud Spanner, is part of a growing breed of globally distributed transaction databases and was launched into general availability in 2017 after being announced in 2014.

The database, which is built on top of RocksDB — a transactional and consistent key-value store designed to withstand data center failures — gets its name for being resilient (just as a cockroach can survive most difficult situations) in the face of disasters, as it leaves a copy of the data across its nodes.

“The target for this type of specialized database is organizations that have globally distributed operations that require a single source of the truth,” said Tony Baer, principal and founder of dbInsight.

“The advantage is that distributed databases dispense with the need for setting up multiple database instances that then must be reconciled. The drawback of distributed transaction databases is that they can be complex to model and operate,” Baer said.

Accelerating enterprise application development lifecycles

Dubbed update 22.1, the new CockroachDB release comes with a new command line tool (CLI), a new integration with Datadog, and a quality of service (QoS) tool, among other features that help accelerate the application development lifecycle.

These features allow enterprises to scale with demand anywhere, Cockroach Labs said.

The new CLI tool is expected to help enterprise users manage and scale their cluster with code, the company said, adding that the update also includes integrations with popular database library tools such as Prisma and Google Pub/Sub.

The QoS feature is designed to let users maintain peak performance while handling millions of transactions per second, and addresses data domiciling regulations for multiregional and multinational businesses.

The new integration with cloud monitoring software provider Datadog, enables  monitoring of clusters, and offers recommendations and insights to optimize database performance, the company said.

 CockroachDB’s latest update also comes with support for time-to-live (TTL), which lets developers set a lifespan for row-level data.

API helps automate deployment, scaling

In order to help developers optimize the database and avoid redundant tasks such as downtime for maintenance or patching, update 22.1 also comes with a new administrative API to automate deployment and scaling.

Analysts believe that Cockroach Labs is vying for space in the modern application development market in its effort to increase adoption of its database.

“These features go some distance to enable CockroachDB to fit in with modern development methods that accelerate time to benefit for standing up new instances, and therefore, delivering business benefits,” Baer said.  

Separately, Constellation Research’s principal analyst, Holger Mueller said that the new features indicate that the company is serious about pushing enterprise adoption.

In terms of competition, Cockroach DB’s rival seems to be Google Cloud Spanner, even though subscribing to Cloud Spanner may tie an enterprise to the Google Cloud Platform ecosystem, Mueller noted.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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