CockroachDB with Ben Darnell


“Eventual consistency is really kind of a marketing term from some of these NoSQL systems – it’s not really consistent in any strong sense of the term.”

Google has published papers on distributed systems such as BigTable, Chubby, and the Google File System. During this episode, we focus on a product that takes inspiration from Google’s Spanner project, a database that is built on a distributed monolithic sorted map.

CockroachDB is a scalable, survivable, consistent SQL database. Today’s guest Ben Darnell is the CTO of Cockroach Labs, and he joins us today to discuss SQL and NoSQL distributed databases. Ben explores the tradeoffs between these database types, and explains how CockroachDB provides many of the best features of both a SQL and a NoSQL distributed database.


  • Why has consistency and scalability traditionally been a tradeoff?
  • Why is it difficult to scale a relational database?
  • What is a sorted monolithic map?
  • How does the key-value store layer interface with the SQL layer?
  • How similar is CockroachDB to the spanner technology developed by Google?
  • What is external consistency?
  • What’s in the future for CockroachDB?


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