Used internally to run several large services, Google is making its Spanner globally-distributed database solution available for third-party developers. Cloud Spanner is launching in public beta today with the promise of bringing both consistency and scaling to mission-critical applications…

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At the moment, developers building cloud applications have to make some conscious trade-offs. Traditional SQL databases are known for their stability, while NoSQL solutions scale better and are more efficient at data-processing but at the expense of consistency.

Facing the same problems, Google set out in 2007 to build a database that combined the best aspects of both without the downsides. Since publishing a paper in 2012 , Spanner has been used to run several large Google services, like the Play Store and AdWords.

With Cloud Spanner, Google hopes to offer both consistency and scalability in a single, fully managed service to third-parties. Primary advantages over existing solutions include:

  • Focus on your application logic instead of spending valuable time managing hardware and software
  • Scale out your 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

Offered alongside existing Google Cloud Platform services, Cloud Spanner scales based on usage with a simple “pay for what you use” pricing model.

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It’s definitely going to be a bit of developer-ese for those unfamiliar, but here’s Google’s video for Cloud Spanner: