February 15, 2017

Google Cloud Adds Apps Database

George Leopold

(robuart/Shutterstock)

Google continues to add features to its public cloud platform as a way of differentiating its services, this time announcing the public beta release of a cloud-based relational database for use in developing key enterprise applications.

The search giant and public cloud vendor (NASDAQ: GOOGL) unveiled its database service called Cloud Spanner this week, stressing that it offers SQL semantics along with “transactional consistency” without sacrificing scale or availability.

The company already uses the database service internally to deliver services to what it says are billions of users. It notes that the Cloud Spanner can scale up to millions of virtual machines at hundreds of datacenters.

In a blog post, Deepti Srivastava, Google’s product manager for cloud database services, asserted that Cloud Spanner eliminates the need to choose between consistent transactions and scale. “When building cloud applications, database administrators and developers have been forced to choose between traditional databases that guarantee transactional consistency, or NoSQL databases that offer simple, horizontal scaling and data distribution,” Srivastava noted.

Google is positioning Cloud Spanner as a managed service running on Google Cloud Platform designed to make life easier for database administrators and application developers. Among the advertised benefits are managing hardware and software so developers can focus on applications logic along with the ability to scale out relational database management systems without steps like clustering.

The cloud service also is billed as providing horizontal scaling across datacenters without migration from relational to NoSQL databases. Data-layer encryption, identity and access management along with audit logging are included.

As Google hustles to compete with public cloud market leaders Amazon Web Services (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Microsoft Azure (NASDAQ: MSFT), it is positioning Cloud Spanner as suited to operational workloads supported by relational databases. Target applications include financial transactions and control systems along with inventory management platforms that are said to be outgrowing traditional approaches.

Also supported are distributed transactions, schemas and data definition language statements along with SQL queries. The cloud service additionally offers client libraries for Go, Java, Python and Node.js, the company said.

The pay-as-you-go pricing model is here. Google said it would charge for “compute node-hours” along with actual storage used and external network access.

The cloud-based relational database is the latest addition to the Google’s public cloud as the company expands its managed services portfolio. Earlier this month, it took aim at a cloud rival Microsoft Azure with an announcement it would support Microsoft’s database management server and other Windows services on Google Cloud Platform.

The move expands Google’s earlier support of Windows-based workloads that included deploying Windows Server 2016 onto Google Compute Engine to include Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise and Windows Server Core. The broadened support includes pre-configured images on Google virtual machines. Support for those images extends back to the 2012 edition of the SQL server.

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