Introducing Cloud Spanner – The Latest Tool In The Google Cloud Box

13 March 2017
Xander Munro

During Google’s keynote at Next’17, newly launched Cloud Spanner stood out to have huge potential for distributed workloads requiring a relational database service. At Next London you can see Google Cloud tools like this in action, click here to register.

Cloud Spanner is a fully managed, horizontally scalable, relational database service offering high availability and transparent synchronous replication. The service offers all of the benefits of a relational database system, with none of the pitfalls.

The service horizontally scales across multiple zones (data centres) and will offer multi region scalability in the future. Cloud Spanner offers consistent versioned snapshots, full ACID transactions and strong consistency, while maintaining the capability to scale horizontally across GCP regions. Adding capacity is as simple as defining the new number of total nodes in your cluster, Cloud Spanner takes care of the rest, adding the nodes across a diverse set of GCP zones and regions. This capacity allows for up to five nines of availability, that’s 99.999%.

This gives organisations the ability to run a globally distributed database service providing low latency application access to users wherever they are in the world. All of this with strong consistency and zero downtime schema changes. Once a change is committed you see it across the cluster. Cloud Spanner achieves this using highly accurate time stamps which are provided by atomic clocks in each GCP zone.

Cloud Spanner’s horizontal scalability is the perfect fit if you are an organisation already stretching your existing databases’ capacity. With Cloud Spanner, your data can continue to grow. Organisations no longer need to worry about sharding data or the associated overheads and complexity that come when scaling a traditional relational database. All of this with full SQL (ANSI 2011) compliance and the fact that Cloud Spanner learns an organisation’s query patterns and automatically optimises its own performance characteristics continuously.

This impressive technology has been developed over many years with Google utilising the service for global applications, like AdWords, to this day. The public launch of Cloud Spanner will see a variety of businesses, from both SME to Enterprise, integrating it within their GCP infrastructure. Not only does the service dramatically simplify database management, it also breaks down the traditional barriers associated with a relational database system.

Cloud Spanner is completely serverless, which is also known as a Function as a Service. This means that Google will take care of the infrastructure for you, so you don’t need to worry about managing it yourself. You are left to focus on areas of your business that give you a competitive edge over your competition.

What does this mean for your business?

All of this leads to faster application response times for end users, single source of truth for your data, and global distributors are able to track resources in a single system.

Your global applications can become local for every single end user, whether they are a customer or an employee.

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