Why did you name it CockroachDB?

Just wondering if there’s any backstory to the name.


1 Like

The name was chosen in 2012, two years before the open source project was started. I had just gotten done with an exhausting and ultimately frustrating survey of OSS database products for the backend of a new private photo sharing service called Viewfinder. I’d tried and found wanting MySQL, Postgres, AWS SimpleDB, Hbase, Cassandra, and Riak.

I was annoyed. Why wasn’t there a scalable, survivable, consistent database with transactions? I was even willing to drop transactions as a requirement – a terrible sacrifice. The frustration led me to write a manifesto. What would the “right” database look like?

I imagined it would be composed of symmetric nodes, require no external dependencies, spread itself naturally across availability zones for survival. Each node would autonomously replicate and repair data. These were the capabilities that led me to the name “cockroach”, because they’ll colonize the available resources and are nearly impossible to kill.