We are excited to announce a partnership with Kindred Futures to build the next generation global online gaming platform for their parent company Kindred Group plc. Kindred is a rapidly growing, global business with strict data privacy and technical requirements. Their ambitious project to build a global online gaming platform with multiple active data centers that span continents is an exciting opportunity for our team.
Furthermore, the close collaboration between our engineering teams is helping to shape the development of CockroachDB, starting with a design partnership for a geo-partitioning feature planned for the 1.2 release.
We recently sat down with Kindred CTO Marcus Smedman to discuss the partnership and learn why he thought CockroachDB was the right solution for Kindred.
How did you first meet the Cockroach Labs team? What made them stand out?
Marcus - We first met Cockroach Labs a couple of years ago. They immediately stood out because they were trying to solve a problem that we were increasingly facing but for which no suitable solution existed in the marketplace. They are pretty much unique in their approach and capabilities.
What does CockroachDB’s product or approach do for Kindred? What problem is it solving?
Marcus - As Kindred continues to grow rapidly, gaining customers from across the globe, we need to ensure that we can still deliver the optimum experience – wherever our customers are in the world. The further they were from our data centers the more lag they would experience – which is not only frustrating but a deal breaker if trying to bet on fast moving in-play betting markets.
By working with CockroachDB, we expect to be able to operate multiple active data centers – all perfectly synchronised with each other. This will allow us to offer the fastest possible performance of our products and services.
How did the partnership come about?
Marcus - It developed slowly actually. We took the time to learn about CockroachDB and their approach, and in parallel they learned about us and our particular challenges. As we both learnt more about each other it became apparent that there was the potential for considerable mutual benefit if we worked closely together, as partners. The strong foundation we built during that deliberately slow learning period is paying dividends through a really close fit – in terms of product direction and team dynamics.
Why were you looking for a partner or new vendor? Why weren’t current tech providers the right choice?
Marcus – Outside of Google, there is no solution like this available anywhere. We had a well understood problem, and needed to find the right people to solve it with us. Cockroach Labs have repeatedly shown themselves to be that ideal partner.
Why a partnership, rather than a standard operator/supplier relationship?
Marcus – This is no off the shelf product, or it wasn’t when we started working together. Through close collaboration we hope to help shape or influence the development of the solution, a least a little bit anyway, although we are quick to acknowledge that they are bringing all the expertise!
This close collaboration simply would not happen in a standard operator / supplier relationship, where we would have to simply fit into a predetermined product roadmap that was not designed around our needs. With Cockroach Labs we have what feels like the opposite.
Ultimately we would like to have a great solution to our particular challenge and at the same time, we would like to see Cockroach Labs go on to great things, becoming a hugely successful international company. If our partnership can contribute to their success in any way, then we will be really happy..
When you’re working with a start up, what specific benefits and/or challenges does that bring?
Marcus - The two companies are of course different in many ways, with very different technical, cultural and structural set ups. Part of being partners is understanding each other’s ways of working, and any particular priorities and constraints there might be. I’m sure at times our internal processes - pretty much inevitable for a medium size company - have meant we have moved a little slower than Cockroach Labs would have been able to, as a smaller more agile company but they understood that and were happy to move at our pace. Equally we had to understand they were working on a brand new product, learning as they went, growing fast. We are more used to working with established companies with well defined processes, but were happy to flex that approach to accommodate the startup journey they are working though.
How do you see the partnership developing further?
Marcus - CockroachDB is still in its early days with version 1.1 released. The future release plans are really exciting and are integral components of solving our global performance challenge. We hope to see this partnership continue to grow and strengthen, delivering ever increasing benefit to both parties.