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YugabyteDB 2.4 brings new Spark to distributed SQL database

Distributed SQL database vendor issues new stable release of its platform, adding support for Apache Spark 3.0 and encryption for data at rest.

Open source distributed SQL database vendor Yugabyte released a new stable version of its namesake YugabyteDB, providing users with new security, scalability and extensibility capabilities.

Yugabyte's database is compatible with both the Apache Cassandra and postgreSQL open source database platforms and provides users with a distributed SQL platform.

The vendor, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., maintains two different release branches, with even-numbered updates denoting stable releases that are suitable for enterprise deployments, and odd-numbered releases considered to be development releases.

Somewhat confusingly, the last development release of YugabyteDB was version 2.5, which was released in November 2020. The new YugabyteDB 2.4 update out Feb. 10 is actually the newest stable release and benefits from additional testing and stability from development features that first appeared in the YugabyteDB 2.3 development update that was released in September 2020.

Among Yugabyte's users is Xignite, based in San Mateo, Calif., a provider of financial market data services.

Qin Yu, senior vice president of engineering and operations at Xignite, said the company uses YugabyteDB as a system of record database.

Xignite uses YugabyteDB because the database has the flexibility to support multiple workloads, including real-time data and fundamental data use cases across Xignite's product lines, Yu said. He noted that Xignite migrated more than 11 TB of data into four YugabyteDB clusters with 21 nodes in total, deployed in a multizone setup to meet its needs.

"YugabyteDB helped Xignite focus on growing our business instead of maintaining a complex caching and relational database architecture," Yu said. "The ability to scale and rebalance very large data sets without downtime or performance bottlenecks is critical to our customers and the business."

Screenshot of YugabyteDB 2.4 live queries dashboard
YugabyteDB 2.4 provides users with a live queries dashboard with visibility into database operations that can help to analyze and improve query execution.
YugabyteDB helped Xignite focus on growing our business instead of maintaining a complex caching and relational database architecture.
Qin YuSenior vice president of engineering and operations, Xignite

YugabyteDB 2.4 boosts distributed SQL capabilities

Yu said he sees a number of stable features in the YugabyteDB update as being useful for Xignite.

One of the key new features is enhanced encryption at rest capabilities, which provides data protection for stored data. Yu noted that Xignite also uses Amazon RDS with encryption at rest for that deployment.

"We'd like to do the same for data stored in Yugabyte," Yu said.

YugabyteDB 2.4 also integrates new capabilities for data query optimization, including providing execution statistics for SQL queries. Yu noted that having those statistics may help Xignite to identify and optimize inefficient queries.

Apache Spark 3.0 support in Yugabyte

Karthik Ranganathan, co-founder and CTO of Yugabyte, said YugabyteDB 2.4 is also noteworthy in that it provides full support for the Apache Spark 3.0 update.

Apache Spark 3.0 became generally available in June 2020, providing a large update to the popular open source SQL query engine. Among the new features in Spark 3.0 is an Adaptive Query Execution capability that can accelerate data queries for improved performance.

"Spark 3 is a massive improvement over Spark 2, so we had to do a lot of work in order to get Spark 3 to work well with Yugabyte," Ranganathan said.

Ranganathan said that among the next big milestones for Yugabyte will be the general availability of the Yugabyte Cloud managed service.

"We are in our early access program for the cloud and we're planning to roll out our production-grade Yugabyte Cloud," he said.

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