How distributed SQL databases solve scale in the healthcare industry

Last edited on June 29, 2020

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    Healthcare industry companies count on their database solutions to protect sensitive data and to deliver consistent performance. They also need the database to streamline communication between a complicated backend full of disparate systems.

    For most of the last 30 years this meant relying on Oracle because Oracle delivers the consistency required in an industry where lives are at stake and data must always be correct. The rise of cloud-native, distributed SQL database technology that offers a high level of consistency and horizontal scale is giving the healthcare industry a more flexible option.

    One healthcare company's migration from Oracle to distributed SQL Copy Icon

    Oracle delivers the transactional consistency needed to ensure that patients receive optimal outcomes from healthcare providers. But Oracle does not scale horizontally. Until recently, this wasn’t worth complaining about because there weren’t any distributed SQL (or NewSQL) databases that could guarantee a high level of consistency. And using something scalable like a NoSQL database was not an option because eventual consistency is out of the question.

    For the past two years, one forward-thinking healthcare provider has been migrating workloads off of Oracle and onto CockroachDB. While testing CockroachDB, they realized that the distributed SQL database shares a lot of qualities with Oracle: it speaks SQL, it delivers a high level of consistency, and it’s compatible with Postgres. The primary difference is that CockroachDB delivers these qualities in a cloud-native distributed environment.

    What this means for the healthcare industry is that there is now a proven database solution that can meet the consistency requirements, and can support the complicated backend systems that all need to talk to one another, while also giving healthcare companies the freedom to scale with ease. They can begin a migration to the cloud. They can easily expand services into new regions. Most importantly, they can have the flexibility to control when they scale, without having to worry about the burden of manual sharding.

    Read about how one innovative healthcare provider is moving workloads from Oracle and Redis over to CockroachDB.

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