What is SPANNER Database by Google?

Discover what SPANNER Database by Google is and how it works, its benefits, pros and cons.

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What is SPANNER Database by Google? – Everything Revealed

In today’s digital age, databases have become an integral part of almost every successful business.

But as data continues to grow at an exponential rate, traditional database management systems struggle to keep pace. That’s where Spanner comes in as a game-changer that stands out from its competition.

In this blog post, we will discuss what is Spanner database and explore why it is considered to be the future of large-scale database systems.

What is SPANNER Database by Google?

What is SPANNER?

Spanner is a distributed relational database management system developed by Google.

It is a cloud-based system that can manage petabytes of data, spanning multiple geographic locations.

It is designed to offer the best of both worlds: the scalability of NoSQL databases and the strong consistency of traditional relational databases.

This unique combination of capabilities makes it the ideal platform for mission-critical applications across a wide range of industries.


How does SPANNER work?

Spanner is a horizontally scalable database system that uses Google’s TrueTime API to provide a globally consistent clock that helps coordinate data writes and reads across multiple data centres.

This ensures that the database provides strong consistency guarantees even at a massive scale.

Data is stored in a table format, just like any other relational database, but the underlying storage is different.

Spanner’s storage layer is based on a distributed block store, called Colossus, which provides atomic reads and writes across the entire system.


Benefits of SPANNER

Spanner offers many benefits over traditional database management systems.

  • Firstly, it is a fully-managed cloud service with features like automatic backups, replication and load balancer, which simplifies database administration and reduces management overheads.
  • Secondly, it provides high availability with a 99.999% service level agreement (SLA), thanks to its unique architecture that uses Paxos to manage state changes.
  • Thirdly, it offers scalability on demand, which means businesses can easily scale their databases up or down as per their requirements.



Spanner has already been successfully deployed by a number of high-profile companies, including Google (for AdWords, Play and more), Cisco, Marketo, and Evernote, among others.

It is best suited for distributed and mission-critical applications that require high consistency, scalability, and high availability.

For example, Spanner is ideal for financial and payment processing, inventory management, trading platforms, and gaming.


Pros and Cons of SPANNER Database

The Google Spanner database is a fully-managed, horizontally scalable, relational cloud database service that offers an unprecedented level of data security and reliability.

It’s often used as the backbone for mission-critical applications because it provides fault tolerance, global scalability, and strong transactional consistency.

However, this technology isn’t without its drawbacks, and it’s important to consider both the pros and cons before committing to a Spanner database.

Pros of SPANNER Database

  1. Scalability: Spanner offers an unprecedented level of scalability and has the ability to scale up or down depending on demand. This makes it ideal for businesses that experience sudden spikes in traffic or need to rapidly scale up without the need for manual configuration.
  2. Security: Spanner is built on Google’s own secure infrastructure and offers a range of encryption, authentication, and authorization features that ensure data is kept safe. This makes it ideal for storing sensitive data such as healthcare records.
  3. Reliability: Spanner databases offer extremely high levels of reliability and are designed to keep data available even in the event of failures. This makes it a great choice for mission-critical applications that cannot afford any downtime.

Cons of SPANNER Database

  1. Cost: Running a Spanner database can be expensive, especially for organizations that require large amounts of storage or compute capacity. Additionally, there are additional costs associated with managing a Spanner instance.
  2. Complexity: Setting up and maintaining a Spanner database can be quite complicated and it’s not suitable for organizations that have limited technical resources.
  3. Limited Features: While Spanner does offer many advanced features such as global scalability and fault tolerance, it lacks some of the features that other relational databases offer such as triggers and stored procedures.

Spanner is a powerful cloud database service that provides unparalleled scalability, security, and reliability.

However, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons before committing to a Spanner instance since it can be quite expensive and complex to manage.



Spanner is a revolutionary product that is poised to become the future of large-scale database systems.

It is a game-changer that provides high scalability, strong consistency, and high availability, making it ideal for mission-critical applications across a wide range of industries.

Its unique features have already made it a go-to choice for some of the biggest names in the business world.

If you are looking for a scalable, highly available, and fully-managed cloud-based database management system, Spanner is definitely worth considering.


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