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API Management / Data / Networking

Hasura Launches New Data Network for APIs Only

Hasura DDN is a new edge network using Graph Query Language and designed for transporting real-time, streaming and analytical data.
Jun 29th, 2023 9:36am by
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Red Hat is a sponsor of The New Stack.

Data networks are generally used for file sharing, application operations or internet access, but what about a network strictly for distributing application programming interfaces? After all, an API is pretty esoteric, given that it is not standard data but a set of rules that define how two pieces of software can interact with each other.

Well, that out-of-the-ordinary system now exists, and it’s designed to do a ton of heavy lifting behind the scenes that developers will appreciate.

Bangalore- and San Francisco-based Hasura recently launched Hasura DDN, a new edge network using Graph Query Language and designed for transporting real-time, streaming and analytical data. It enables developers to run low-latency/high-performance data APIs at a global scale, with no additional effort and no additional fees, according to the company.

Hasura CEO and co-founder Tanmai Gopal told The New Stack that it is “the world’s first CDN (content delivery network) for data,” in which all projects deployed on Hasura Cloud are automatically deployed to an edge network of 100-plus global regions. It pre-connects all those hard-to-navigate networking nodes and protocols that take more time than they should to secure. Hasura automatically routes and executes client requests on the Hasura instance closest to the client, minimizing latency.

The edge-based network integrates with distributed databases including CockroachDB, Amazon Aurora, Yugabyte and others, Gopal said. The company is unafraid to guarantee 99.99% uptime, so there’s an important consideration, Gopal said.

“Our service is multicloud and multiregion, and we make sure that people can connect their sources of truth to the medium,” Gopal said. “The EVN (Easy Virtual Network, a Cisco creation that simplifies Layer 3 network virtualization) becomes the API that enables other applications that are external and other microservices or APIs — anything — connect to that layer and get access. So that’s the way that we think about it.”

Hasura’s GraphQL Engine provides GraphQL APIs over new or existing Postgres databases. With a query, it instantly composes a GraphQL API that is backed by databases and services so that the developer team gets immediately productive, Gopal said.

The Rise of Polyglot Data

“A big change that has happened over the past few years is the rise of polyglot data. One general-purpose database is not going to fit all,” Gopal said. “First, you know that you’re going to need multiple databases for which you need to build next-generation applications (for various use cases). You’ll want to combine your general-purpose database with AI for a vector database; for real-time analytics solutions, again, you’d need something else to upgrade your general-purpose DB. So systems are becoming polyglot, which is the big goal for this.

“The second change is that we have so much data in so many different technologies. If only we could unify them, we would be able to extract so much more value, and be able to build next-generation applications, so we can add value for our users. That’s what we’re seeing, and that explains the timing of having this now become an infrastructure layer.”

Hasura DDN is made possible by a major architecture change of the Hasura engine that reduced its cold start time to under 1 millisecond, Gopal said. As a result, the Hasura runtime can be instantiated on the edge region when the API is invoked, enabling instant auto-scaling to handle any spike in traffic globally. Numbers folks will want to know that DDN is a cost-efficient way to get value-based API pricing, instead of infrastructure-based pricing and alternative approaches, such as always-on or warmed-up instances, he said.

Trending: New Methods of Developing and Managing APIs

“Organizations should not be caught up in a single way of doing API development and integration,” Paul Nashawaty, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, told The New Stack. “Often organizations do not realize there is a better way to enable the creation and usage of API performance at a global scale. By integrating with distributed databases, Harusa minimizes the latency from the consumer to the underlying data source. This can be achieved with both heritage and new data sources.”

Hasura GraphQL Engine includes new features that include:

  • Instant GraphQL APIs: The engine can generate a GraphQL API from a Postgres database in seconds, making it easy to get started and to build new features.
  • Built-in authorization: Includes a built-in authorization engine that allows users to control who has access to data.
  • Real-time subscriptions: Supports real-time subscriptions, which allow users to keep clients up-to-date with changes to your data.
  • Webhooks: The engine also can generate webhooks, which allow users to be notified when certain events occur in your database. This is useful for integrating your GraphQL APIs with other systems.

Hasura is used by a variety of companies, including Atlassian (powers its GraphQL APIs for Jira, Confluence, and Bitbucket), GitLab (GraphQL APIs for GitLab.com) and Red Hat (GraphQL APIs for OpenShift).

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