Google’s globally distributed Cloud Spanner database service is now generally available

Google today announced that Cloud Spanner, its globally distributed relational database service, is now generally available after what was a relatively short four-month beta period.

When it launched, Google positioned the service as an alternative for businesses that were about to outgrow their existing relational databases. “If you are struggling with the scale of your transactional database — you will go to a sharded database, or NoSQL,” Google’s Deepti Srivastava said. “If you’re at that stage where you have to make those trade-offs, Spanner is the way to go. You are already doing work to use one of those systems. We try to make that trade-off as simple as possible.”

Now that it is generally available, Google promises its users a 99.999 percent availability and strong consistency. “As a combined software/hardware solution that includes atomic clocks and GPS receivers across Google’s global network, Cloud Spanner also offers additional accuracy, reliability and performance in the form of a fully-managed cloud database service,” Google claims in its blog post today.

The GA of Cloud Spanner comes less than a week after Microsoft announced its Cosmos DB service, which features many of the same advantages of Cloud Spanner but with the added benefits of a wider range of consistency models. While Cosmos DB only promises 99.99 percent uptime, Microsoft’s service also offers the same guarantee for throughput, latency and consistency.