When to Use REGIONAL vs. GLOBAL Tables

A table locality indicates how CockroachDB optimizes access to a table's data in a multi-region cluster. CockroachDB uses the table locality setting to determine how to optimize access to the table's data from that locality.


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The following table localities are available:


Use a REGIONAL table locality if:

  • Your application requires low-latency reads and writes from a single region (either at the row level or the table level).
  • Access to the table's data can be slower (higher latency) from other regions.

Use a GLOBAL table locality if:

  • Your application has a "read-mostly" table of reference data that is rarely updated, and that needs to be available to all regions.
  • You can accept that writes to the table will incur higher latencies from any given region, since writes use a novel non-blocking transaction protocol that uses a timestamp "in the future". Note that the observed write latency is dependent on the --max-offset setting.

For new clusters using the multi-region SQL abstractions, Cockroach Labs recommends lowering the --max-offset setting to 250ms. This setting is especially helpful for lowering the write latency of global tables. Nodes can run with different values for --max-offset, but only for the purpose of updating the setting across the cluster using a rolling upgrade.

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