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Switch Four migrated from MariaDB to CockroachDB for zero downtime, automatic sharding, and excellent customer support
Nathan Aaron, a former Oracle DBA of 15 years and co-founder of Switch Four, felt that the easiest way to build a proof-of-concept for their application “WorkTrip” was to spin up an instance of MariaDB within AWS. But he knew that this was not a viable long-term solution because of the physical limitations of MariaDB (and MySQL) as well as the operational overhead on account of manual sharding.
Resilience, low operational complexity, and excellent customer support were the three top priorities for Switch Four in their search for the right relational database. CockroachDB is architected to survive disk, machine, rack and data center failures while keeping services running, so there’s no impact to data availability or correctness. CockroachDB’s resilience is achieved by automatic data replication and distribution to multiple nodes (and consistency between these replicas is guaranteed by use of the Raft consensus algorithm, a variation of the better-known Paxos algorithm). As the replication, rebalancing, and recovery are all automated, there is no additional operational overhead for developers. The strength of CockroachDB’s resilience satisfied Aaron’s requirement for WorkTrip.
Additionally, CockroachDB meets the needs of SwitchFour by sharding automatically at the database layer and by providing excellent customer support. After working with CockroachDB to migrate off of MariaDB and to get WorkTrip into production Aaron said,
"I've worked with many vendors in my career, some of them feel like an extension of your team and that's how it feels with Cockroach; we might as well be sitting in the office and hanging out, that's the level of service we're getting in every interaction we've had with Cockroach”.
Switch Four moving to CockroachCloud - the fully managed version of CockroachDB
As Switch Four turns their attention towards growing their user base and enhancing their product capabilities they are choosing to move from the self managed CockroachDB to the fully managed CockroachCloud. This move will allow the developer team more efficient by removing the need to maintain a database in addition to their application development focus. Aaron explains his decision to move to CockroachCloud,
“I started adding up what we pay for the instances, the load balancer and the storage. We’re basically a small startup. We want to be careful with money and we don’t want a big headcount. I weighed those costs and added in the maintenance of staying on the newest version of the database and other admin responsibilities and it was just a no-brainer”.