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April 5, 2018

SQL Database Adds GDPR Compliance Tools

The big data startup Cockroach Labs is itself targeting startups and multinational companies hustling to comply with pending European data governance rules with a new version of its open-source SQL database.

The 2.0 version of Cockroach’s distributed database is aimed at companies transitioning to the cloud that require new capabilities like “geo-partitioning” of data along with the usual performance gains. Specifically, the cloud-native database includes tools for automating the process of building global data structures needed to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation. GDPR takes effect on May 25, 2018.

CockroachDB 2.0’s geo-partitioning feature is touted as enabling “granular control” of data replication by region down to the column level as a way to “keep data close of the customer,” the startup said Wednesday (April 4).

The result, the company adds, is “the ability to direct the movement of data across servers at the database, table, and individual row level.” Hence, data originating from individual countries would exist and could only be accessed within the country of origin. That capability, Cockroach Labs said, represents “a foundational building block for helping companies comply” with GDPR.

The 2.0 version also adds native support for storing, indexing and querying JSON data types, a feature intended to simplify programming for developers working with growing volumes of unstructured data. JSON support also strengthens data integrity guarantees beyond those provided by NoSQL systems.

Among the startup’s selling points is the ability to use an open-source database to build and distribute cloud applications “without giving up SQL.”

“Developers have figured out how to design scalable and adaptable stateless services,” the startup noted in a blog post unveiling its latest database. “However, many still rely on monolithic relational databases for application state.”

Whether deployed on-premises or as a managed service, “these databases are stalling growth as applications ultimately depend on a hard-to-update, single point of failure that can’t take advantage of the nearly unlimited, on-demand resources available in the cloud,” added Nate Stewart, head of Cockroach Labs’ product development unit.

Along with throughput upgrades scaling at 10 times the maximum throughput of Amazon Web Service’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Aurora database in benchmark testing, Postgres-compatible JSON support also is intended to speed queries on large data sets. The startup said those performance enhancements along with the ability to invert indices eliminate the need for mapping out the types of requests to be processed.

Since the release of its first production-ready database last May, Cockroach Labs said it has worked with large customers like Chinese Internet giant Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU) to migrate web-scale workloads onto its distributed SQL database. More recently, it has worked with application container orchestration specialist Mesosphere.

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