Google has announced the public beta for Cloud Spanner, a globally distributed relational database service to handle the explosion of data. The solution will be of value for companies whose customers are primarily retailers, manufacturers and wholesale distributors as it brings consistency and scalability to the data collected.
When building cloud applications, database administrators and developers are compelled to choose between traditional databases that guarantee transactional consistency, or NoSQL databases that offer simple, horizontal scaling and data distribution.
“For decades, developers have relied on traditional databases with a relational data model and SQL semantics to build applications that meet business needs. Meanwhile, NoSQL solutions emerged that were great for scale and fast, efficient data-processing, but they didn’t meet the need for strong consistency,” explained Deepti Srivastava, Product Manager, Cloud Spanner, in a blogpost.
Given the paucity of choices, in 2007, a team of systems researchers and engineers at Google set out to develop a globally-distributed database that could bridge this gap. In 2012, Google published the Spanner research paper that described many of these innovations.
Commenting on the utility of Spanner, Srivastava notes that over the years, Spanner has been tested internally with hundreds of different applications and petabytes of data across data centers around the world. At Google, Spanner supports tens of millions of queries per second and runs some critical services, including AdWords and Google Play.
As a managed service, Cloud Spanner provides the following key benefits to DBAs:
- Focus on application logic instead of spending valuable time managing hardware and software
- Scale out RDBMS solutions without complex sharding or clustering
- Gain horizontal scaling without migration from relational to NoSQL databases
- Maintain high availability and protect against disaster without needing to engineer a complex replication and failover infrastructure
- Gain integrated security with data-layer encryption, identity and access management and audit logging
What’s interesting is that Scanner can also help you cut down costs as you’ll only pay for what you use, depending on whether your database scales up and down. The pricing model will include charges for compute node-hours, actual storage consumption and external network access.