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Explainer

What is Cloud Spanner and Is It the Right Database for You?

You’ve probably heard about Cloud Spanner, but what exactly does it do that is so different from other databases out there?

How do you know if it’s worth spending your valuable time trying out?

Cloud Spanner is the first enterprise-grade, globally distributed, and strongly consistent database service built for the cloud specifically to combine the benefits of relational database structure with non-relational database scale.

Phew! That was a mouthful.

So, what really differentiates it? It’s unique in the marketplace in that it combines transactions, SQL query, and relational structure with the scalability you typically associate with non-relational or NoSQL databases.

Databases are part of every application. So it’s very important to pick the right database for your application.

With Cloud Spanner, you enjoy all the traditional benefits of a SQL database; transactions, high availability, schema changes without downtime, and SQL queries. But unlike many relational databases, Cloud Spanner scales horizontally from one to thousands of servers, an arbitrarily large number.

With fully automatic data replication and server redundancy, Cloud Spanner delivers up to five nines of availability in multi-region instances and four nines of availability in regional instances.

In fact, Google’s internal Spanner instance has been handling millions of queries per second from many Google services for years.

In this video, you’ll find out what Cloud Spanner is, what it’s useful for, why it’s unique, and the challenges it solves.

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