A Database to Build What You Dream

A Database to Build What You Dream

Today marks a significant milestone for Cockroach Labs. We are announcing our most recent round of funding, raising significant capital at a $5B valuation. This latest round of funding is a reflection of our customers’ rapid advances in production deployments, supporting the growth of our business. 

We started this company as a small team of software engineers frustrated with the lack of sophisticated database technology in the open source ecosystem. In 2015, we set out to provide a next-generation open source database capable of picking up the baton from venerable, but aging, monolithic databases like Oracle, Postgres, and MySQL. While plenty of applications and services continue to be served by this earlier generation of databases, the ones which will be built in the decades ahead, the ones which will change the world, require data architectures capable of exploiting the true benefits of the global public cloud. The companies being built today, many of which will assume their places in the future ranks of the Fortune 500, require operational databases that are resilient to cloud outages while accommodating massive growth in data intensivity from globally dispersed customers.

Every job is easier when you have the right tools. Our combined experience working at some of the world’s biggest technology-focused companies made it clear that those tools would need to be built from the ground up. The operational database is essential to every application, and no operational database is more suitable to the highest value use cases than relational. Our ambition was nothing less than to build a truly distributed relational database to exploit the advantages inherent in the cloud: near-frictionless acquisition of commodity resources, multiple data centers within regions, and multiple regions across the globe. And that is what we did. Almost seven years later, CockroachDB is running at scale in more than 200 customers, many of which are the fastest growing leaders in their respective verticals.

The mission to make data easy for every developer and the impact it has had on our customers is what drives us. Our community continues to grow: CockroachDB now has more than 22,000 Github stars and over 500 open source contributors, and the CockroachDB serverless platform has drawn in over 10,000 new users only weeks after its beta launch. There are now tens of thousands of CockroachDB clusters in deployment around the world, and more than 50% of our customers are running their applications on the CockroachDB dedicated fully managed cloud service

This additional funding allows us to accelerate our investment in R&D, to continue the innovation necessary to fulfill our vision.

But what is that vision exactly?

Give application developers the power to build what they dream

Our vision of cloud computing over the next decade is to enable every developer who can build an application to also launch that application themselves, using a truly “serverless” technology stack. The primary goal is to reduce labor costs and time-to-value associated with deployment and maintenance — as close to zero as possible.

In addition to removing the complexity inherent in cloud deployments, applications must build on a data architecture capable of scaling globally, with costs that exactly match usage – these are capabilities currently available only to the world’s largest technology leaders. This vision requires multiple layers of serverless technology, from the execution layer (think AWS Lambda or GCP CloudRun, as just two examples) to the data architecture. None is more fundamental – or more difficult to build – than the operational database that is the heart of any application.

In pursuit of this vision, in October we launched CockroachDB serverless, the first truly serverless relational database. That means a database which requires no capacity planning around numbers or sizes of nodes, elastically scales to any size without worrying about sharding, has global geographic reach, and survives cloud outages as a matter of course.

What makes it truly serverless is that it can also scale down to zero and then launch from a cold start in 100s of milliseconds. This means it can be offered without a minimum cost, allowing the starting point to be a very generous and perpetual free tier. Applications which scale elastically beyond the free tier pay only and exactly for what they use.

That is the Cockroach Labs vision. Creating the data platform that will help developers everywhere — from the smallest start-up to the category leader and every stage in between — to build the kind of applications that can change the world, and to build them quickly and inexpensively.

We still have a ways to go until we deliver on the full value of a SQL API in the cloud, but CockroachDB serverless removes the majority of the friction of the database even today. This latest round of funding gives us ample resources to achieve our complete vision.

You can get involved, too

Try CockroachDB for yourself, and share your feedback with us so that we can keep making the product better. You can start instantly and for free with CockroachDB serverless. Or contact us if you already have a project in mind and want to learn more about how CockroachDB might be a fit. 

Also, if you want to be a part of bringing this vision to life, please consider joining us. We are hiring in every department and at every level. We have offices in New York, San Francisco, and Toronto plus “clusters” in Denver, Seattle, London, and other cities, as well as a significant distributed workforce of remote Roachers. You can learn more about our culture here, or get to know some of the people you would work with on YouTube.

About the author

Spencer Kimball

Spencer Kimball is the co-founder and CEO of Cockroach Labs, where he maintains a delicate balance between a love for programming distributed systems and the excitement of helping the company grow smoothly. He cut his teeth on databases during the dot com heyday, and had a front row seat at Google for a decade’s worth of their evolution.

github link

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