Reply to post: Throw a spanner in

Get tooled up before grappling with Google's Spanner database

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Throw a spanner in

Spanner is an interesting data store. It works great where you have billions of things and each of those things has some small varying number of other things related to it - this is the nested tables trick. Parent and nested child tables are stored together so there's no I/O seek penalty for getting them all together. For other cases it's not relational even though a flimsy SQL interpreter makes it look like it is. Updates are transactional with a compare & set type of operation, which can be done in MySQL too.

The real question is if you trust Google. My experience is that recoverable glitches happen several times a day, momentary failures happen almost every day, and there's some significant screw-up outage at least once a month. Google believes they're perfect so Spanner comes with absolutely no monitoring dashboard.

In my test between Google's hosted Spanner and Google's hosted MySQL 2, Spanner won by an enormous margin. Their MySQL 2 instances always seems to be abnormally slow so it's a biased test. I'd never host data on Google unless there was a real need for it.

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