UPDATED 12:50 EDT / FEBRUARY 08 2023


Q&A: Cockroach Labs, Authzed stress the importance of distributed SQL databases

As companies choose the right database to build their services on for cloud-native services, the idea of a distributed database is a hot topic.

Cockroach Labs Inc., which offers a distributed SQL database that is highly scalable, reliable and resilient, and one of its customers, Authzed Inc., are convinced that distributed databases on open source are the future. Authzed offers a service called SpiceDB, which enables enterprises to store, query and validate application permissions all in one place. For them, a distributed database was essential.

Lisa Marie Namphy (pictured, left), head of developer relation at Cockroach Labs, and Jake Moshenko (pictured, right), co-founder of Authzed, spoke with theCUBE industry analysts John Furrier and Savannah Peterson at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA 2022, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. (* Disclosure below.)

They discussed the choices companies have while searching for a distributed database and why Authzed thought Coackroach Labs was ideal for their needs[The following content has been condensed for clarity.]

Furrier: Why did Authzed choose Cockroach Labs, and what do they solve?

Moshenko: We’re a permission service, and … the data that you store in a permission service is incredibly sensitive. You need it to be around … you need it to be available. If the permission service goes down, almost everything else goes down, because it’s all calling into the permission service: ‘Is this user allowed to do this? Are they allowed to do that?’ And if we can’t answer those questions, then our customer is down. Permission services are one of the only services that you usually don’t share geographically. So, we also needed a globally distributed database with all of those other properties.

Furrier: The cloud is essentially a distributed database at this point. What’s making this more important than ever?

Moshenko: For our use case, it was just a hard requirement. We had to be able to have this global service. But I think just for general use cases … a distributed database has that … shared-nothing architecture that allows you to kind of keep it running and horizontally scale it. And as your requirements and as your applications needs change, you can just keep adding on capacity and keep adding on reliability and availability.

Furrier: As the mainstream enterprise comes into these conversations at Cockroach, what’s on their mind?

Namphy: The mainstream enterprise hasn’t been lagging as much as people think. Certainly there’s been pockets in big enterprises that have been looking at this, and as distributed SQL, it gives you that scalability that it’s absolutely essential for big enterprises, but also it gives you the multi-region … you have to be globally distributed. And, for us, for enterprises, you need your data near where the users are. You have to be able to have a multi-region functionality, and that’s one thing that distributed SQL lets you build and that what we built into our product.

Furrier: For Authzed, can you explain the relationship between Kubernetes?

Moshenko: Our flagship product right now is [Authzed SpiceDB Dedicated], and … what we’re doing is we’re spinning up a single tenant Kubernetes cluster. We’re installing all of our operator suite, and then we’re installing the application and running it in a single tenant fashion for our customers in the same region — in the same data center where they’re running their applications to minimize latency.

Because of this as an authorization service, latency gets passed on directly to the end user, so everybody’s trying to squeeze the latency down as far as they can. And our strategy is to just run these single tenant stacks for people with the minimal latency that we can and give them a VPC dedicated link, very similar to what Cockroach does in their dedicated product.

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the KubeCon + CloudNativeCon NA 2022 event:

(* Disclosure: Cockroach Labs Inc. sponsored this segment of theCUBE. Neither Cockroach Labs nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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