What news from AWS re:Invent last week will have the most impact on you?
Amazon Q, an AI chatbot for explaining how AWS works.
Super-fast S3 Express storage.
New Graviton 4 processor instances.
Emily Freeman leaving AWS.
I don't use AWS, so none of this will affect me.

CockroachDB Expands Serverless Database Service to Multiple Regions

Customers can distribute rows of a single logical database across multiple cloud regions, and are charged only when used.
Oct 4th, 2023 7:45am by
Featued image for: CockroachDB Expands Serverless Database Service to Multiple Regions
Nate Stewart, Cockroach Labs chief product officer (left), along with Peter Mattis, co-founder and CTO at Cockroach Labs.

For budding web giants requiring more resilience for their globally-distributed applications, Cockroach Labs has added a serverless “pay-as-you-go” option for the global and multiregion availability of its CockroachDB cloud native database service.

With this update, customers can distribute rows of a single logical database across multiple cloud regions. As it is a serverless service, customers are charged only for the exact usage of storage and compute, according to the company.

Previously, with the cloud database service, spinning up a new region for a CockroachDB database could be costly, as the only option available would be through dedicated clusters. This new serverless option could potentially cut costs as customers only pay for what they use.

“What we see is that our customers have many different workloads, and only some of those workloads are able to take full advantage of dedicated clusters,” explained Nate Stewart, Cockroach Labs chief product officer. “But for some, the usage is so low, that they don’t need the whole machine.”

In these cases, serverless can provide a lower-cost option for running a service in additional regions. With this service, customers are charged by what is called a request unit, which is a combined summation of all the resources a database uses to complete a transaction including CPU, storage and networking costs.

Running your applications across multiple regions is advantageous for a number of reasons. One is to keep the application running even when an entire region of a cloud provider service goes offline (like, say, from a data center outage). With CockroachDB in place, the application can still serve customers from other regions.

Multi-region support is also good for serving customers in countries with strict laws requiring user data to be housed in the same region they live in. And there is also a performance advantage in keeping the data as close to the customer as possible.

Stewart said the serverless pay-as-you-go option can be appealing for those operations that may not be used heavily on a day-to-day basis, such as user registration.

“The choice between dedicated and serverless isn’t at the company level, it’s really at the workload level,” Stewart said.

CockroachDB is unique among databases systems in that it is not confined to running a  single server, meaning it can be spread (“distributed”) across multiple servers, giving it greater resilience in case one a single server fails, as well as the ability to scale up to larger workloads through simply adding additional hardware. It retains full SQL and ACID compatibility as regular relational databases. The company is pitching both the database itself as well as the cloud-managed version for organizations that want to build cloud native infrastructures.

The feature update was one of a number the company announced at its annual Roachfest user conference, being held this week in New York.

The company also revealed that the CockroachDB is now available on Microsoft Azure, making it now available on all three cloud services (it is already available on Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform).

In addition, the company has added live migration support for its  CockroachDB MOLT (Migrate Off Legacy Technology) suite of tools for migrating databases onto Cockroach. This feature allows customers to do so without disrupting operations. The toolset provides a way to test and validate applications at production scale prior to migrating.

And as a tech preview, the company has also provided a way to migrate PostgreSQL stored procedures over to CockroachDB.

Here are other highlights from day one of the conference:

Group Created with Sketch.
TNS owner Insight Partners is an investor in: Pragma.
THE NEW STACK UPDATE A newsletter digest of the week’s most important stories & analyses.