CASE STUDY

Financial data firm consolidates multiple legacy Oracle databases into a single global CockroachDB deployment

Hybrid-Cloud, Multi-Region CockroachDB

  • Hybrid Cloud

  • Multi-Region

  • Oracle Migration

Overview

An American financial data firm was frustrated by its legacy Oracle database architecture and decided to explore new solutions. The team sought to consolidate their numerous databases around the globe into a single platform and migrate apps to the cloud. They turned to CockroachDB for its ability to deploy across both on-premise machines and cloud datacenters, and they took advantage of the Enterprise geo-partitioned replicas feature to achieve high read and write performance. After migrating its identity and access management system, the firm plans to migrate more apps from Oracle to CockroachDB.

Oracle Migration Challenge & Requirements

A large financial and customer data firm headquartered in the United States was facing the tasks of consolidating its legacy databases and migrating to public cloud infrastructure. Over the years, the firm had grown in size through numerous acquisitions. It had accumulated a multitude of Oracle databases and application platforms spread around the globe, in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Europe. The team decided they needed to simplify and modernize their application architecture. They planned to migrate many of their systems to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), while keeping some systems in traditional data centers. Their first priority was to modernize their identity and access management system, followed by a user service that tracks application authorization. After that, there were various additional applications they needed to modernize. The team ruled out direct lift-and-shift migration of their legacy database systems, since their Oracle databases were inordinately expensive and poorly suited for multi-datacenter cloud deployments. They decided to explore new solutions.

Database Requirements

The team had several requirements for their replacement database. First and foremost, they wanted a single solution that could span their nine physical and cloud regions around the globe. Since they planned to keep some data on-prem and migrate other data to GCP, their new database must achieve a hybrid cloud deployment. However, within this global setting, the team needed low latency reads and writes.

Solution: A Hybrid, Multi-Region CockroachDB Deployment

The financial data firm evaluated multiple options, including Google Spanner, but they found that Spanner couldn’t bridge both cloud and on-prem servers. They ultimately chose CockroachDB because it offered them the flexibility and high performance they required.

CockroachDB’s architecture allows developers to deploy the same software across on-prem servers and cloud regions, creating a single logical cluster that can address all data around the globe and can be accessed from any node. With this characteristic, the financial data firm could create the hybrid cloud deployment they needed.

CockroachDB also allowed the team to attain the high read and write performance they required. The first application the firm migrated, their identity access management microservice, was a compelling fit for CockroachDB’s geo-partitioning features because the entities being authenticated are strongly tied to specific geographic regions. The team initially deployed CockroachDB across four GCP regions and two on-prem datacenters. Within each region, there are three different availability zones that each house one CockroachDB node. CockroachDB’s Enterprise geo-partitioned replicas feature then allowed the team to pin replicas of data to locations to minimize latency. By default, CockroachDB replicates data and distributes the replicas in a way that maximizes geographic diversity. This replication and distribution allows the database to remain available in the event of an outage. With the geo-partitioned replicas feature, all replicas are constrained to the region closest to the end user, in order to reduce read and write latency. The replicas are then pinned to different datacenters within that region so the data can survive availability zone failures. This pattern provides high availability without sacrificing performance. 

This image depicts a CockroachDB cluster similar to the financial data firm’s. The cluster uses CockroachDB’s geo-partitioned replicas feature, where all replicas for a set of data are constrained to a region, and each replica is pinned to a separate data center.

Results and What’s Next

With CockroachDB, the financial data firm has found a solution for its new cloud-first database strategy. As time goes on, the firm plans to continue consolidating their data center footprint and move more services to the cloud. CockroachDB will support them in this process by enabling them to scale and migrate their databases across physical data centers and cloud regions, without causing any downtime or requiring application changes.

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