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October 30, 2018

Cockroach Labs Rolls Geo-Location DB Service

George Leopold

Database vendors are increasingly focusing on the lack of enterprise expertise for handling distributed SQL databases by offering managed services. Among the challenges in implemented “global” databases is compliance with local data governance guidelines.

That’s the strategy being introduced by transactional database provider Cockroach Labs, which this week unveiled what it calls a “geo-distributed” database service.

The New York-based company said Tuesday (Oct. 30) its cloud-native managed service for geo-distributed SQL databases will initially launch on Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Google Cloud. The premise behind the new database service is allowing financial, gaming and health care sectors to implement, scale and manage global databases.

In one example, the company said its database service could be used to implement features like geo-partitioning to minimize system latency. That capability is used to locate data closest to where is it needed while complying with data localization requirements and regional data privacy rules such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation.

The company’s 2.0 release earlier this year added a geo-partitioning feature 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.”

Cockroach Labs CEO Spencer Kimball said the managed service was prompted by “surging demand and [the] operational burden of implementing a geo-distributed database.” The company and other SQL database vendors assert their approach is best suited cloud-based managed services.

The unveiling of the managed database service coincides with the release of the latest version of CockroachDB that includes migration tools for MySQL and PostgreSQL.

Cockroach Labs was founded in 2015 by Kimball and other former Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL) engineers. That startup’s transactional database has roots in Google’s Spanner distributed database that stores multiple copies of data in multiple locations.

Among the vendor’s competitors is AWS Aurora. Cockroach Labs said this week the latest version of its flagship database provides a five-fold increase in transaction volume along with greater throughput than Aurora based on industry benchmark results.

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