Cockroach Labs Adds Operator for Deploying Database on Kubernetes

Cockroach Labs has updated its open source distributed SQL database to make it easier to deploy on Kubernetes clusters using Operator tools the company has added.

Jim Walker, vice president of product marketing for Cockroach Labs, says CockroachDB 20.2 is designed around a shared-nothing architecture that makes it easier for applications to scale up and down along with the rest of Kubernetes environment.

The latest version of the CockroachDB also adds support for spatial data types and associated libraries based on a PostGIS syntax. That syntax extends the Postgres SQL application programming interface (API) to include support for partial indexes, materialized views, enumerated types (ENUMs) and user-defined schemas.

The latest release also adds support for Java tools such as Hibernate, MyBatis, Spring Data JPA and Spring Data JDBC, as well the Active Record tool for Ruby.

CockroachDB 20.2 also adds basic distributed backup and restore capabilities to CockroachDB Core that previously were only available in the enterprise edition of the database, along with a storage engine dubbed Pebble that scales better than the previous storage engine. In addition, IT teams can schedule automated backups and import data both faster and in bulk.

This update also provides improvements to logging, role-based access control (RBAC) and certificate CockroachDB management.

Finally, Cockroach Labs has added two pages to help developers introspect and understand query performance: a SQL transactions page and database sessions page. Overall, Cockroach Labs claims this latest release offers a 40% improvement when running TPC-C benchmarks.

The company is adding an Operator to its database just as the number of stateful applications being deployed on Kubernetes clusters is starting to increase. The CockroachDB architecture makes it possible to employ a single data layer across a distributed Kubernetes environment regardless of what distribution of Kubernetes is being run or the number of regions, masters or clusters involved, Walker says.

He notes there are about 230 organizations that are paying for support for the open source database, which is written in the Go programming language. Two-thirds of those instances are deployed in a cloud environment managed by Cockroach Labs. Organizations using CockroachDB in production environments include Comcast, Doordash, eBay, Nubank, JPMorganChase and SpaceX.

Approximately half the instances of CockroachDB deployed on Kubernetes environments are running in on-premises environments, which, Walker notes, sets the stage for employing the database across a federated or distributed hybrid cloud environment.

Walker says most of the instances of CockroachDB are provisioned by DevOps teams, but Cockroach Labs expects database administrators (DBAs) will continue to play a significant role in managing databases and storage resources going forward.

There are, of course, no shortage of options when it comes to databases and data stores for applications deployed on Kubernetes clusters. The challenge now is figuring out which type of databases or data storage best suits the requirements of a particular application. The days when organizations standardize on a single database platform may be long over, but that also means there’s plenty of room for error when it comes to determining which type of database to use in an application environment.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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