An Introduction to a Distributed SQL Database with CockroachDB

A Distributed SQL database, such as CockroachDB, delivers effortless and elastic cloud scale while guaranteeing transactions. It is a database that reimagines the execution and storage layers while still allowing developers to still use familiar SQL syntax.

DBTA held a webinar with Jim Walker, VP product marketing, Cockroach Labs who discussed horizontal scale of a database without sharding, how active-active endpoints eliminate downtime, and more.

A database gets scaled for volume and reach, he explained. There are two types of scale for a database: vertical, which adjusts the size of the machine that the database runs on, and horizontal, which adds more machines to run the database on.

The traditional and successful way to horizontally scale a database is by sharding. However, it increases bugs because developers have to write more complicated SQL to handle sharding logic. And schema modification becomes incredibly complex to execute resulting in downtime and increased risk, he said.

Sharding also causes operations issues. REsharding a database to accommodate even further scale is difficult and a single shard failure can cause ripple effect for database resiliency. Backups are complex and failover architectures more complicated and more costly, he explained.

Cloud-native databases deliver agility and scale. Distributed SQL is an evolution of the database for cloud native, distributed transactions. It can implement a standard SQL interface, ease operational complexity of scale, is geo-replicated, always on and resilient,  ACID compliant distributed transactions, and ties data to a location, Walker said.

CockroachDB is a distributed, relational database that can be used for mundane and high value workloads. It is a database cluster that is comprised of nodes that appear as a single logical database. And it gives developers familiar standard SQL.

The platform can scale the database by simply adding more nodes. CockroachDB auto-balances to incorporate new resources and no manual work is required.

An archived on-demand replay of this webinar is available here.