Cloud Spanner amps up SLA, adds CSV support, and sharpens monitoring details

Providing reliable data services that you can trust to serve your data is the most important goal for our database team here at Google Cloud Platform (GCP). That’s why we put money on the table in the form of availability service-level agreements (SLAs).

We’re pleased to announce that all Cloud Spanner instances (not just those of three nodes or more) are now covered under the SLA. Cloud Spanner now supports 99.99% monthly uptime percentage for all regional instances and 99.999% monthly uptime percentage for all multi-region instances under the Cloud Spanner SLA, regardless of instance size.

How is this achieved? Each regional Cloud Spanner node is backed by three replicas (each in a different availability zone), and each multi-region Cloud Spanner node has five or more replicas behind it. Cloud Spanner replication allows the service to deliver high availability for each node, and Cloud Spanner’s industry-leading architecture allows all of these replicas to stay in sync and provide up-to-date data. Cloud Spanner provides “scale insurance”—you can start in production with a small instance and not have to re-architect as your application grows. All of this is backed by the SLA.

What else is new with Cloud Spanner

Additionally, Cloud Spanner continues to launch multiple features to improve your experience developing applications on GCP, wherever you are in the world. Other recent highlights include:

Open source JDBC driver.Written and supported by Google and available under the Apache-based EULA, our JDBC driver implements best practices to aid Java developers using Cloud Spanner. Get started here.

Import and export data in CSV format. To help you move data in and out of Cloud Spanner using open and popular formats, the service now supports importing CSV (comma-separated values) files into Cloud Spanner, as well as exporting data from Cloud Spanner to CSV files, in addition to the already supported Apache Avro format. Using Cloud Dataflow, customers can import data into Cloud Spanner from a Cloud Storage bucket that contains a JSON manifest file and a set of CSV files, or export data from Cloud Spanner to a Cloud Storage bucket. To learn more, check out the documentation.

Sao Paulo region. Cloud Spanner is now available in Sao Paulo, Brazil, benefiting those of you who need regional instances in South America.

Introspection. One of the major differences of using a managed database service like Cloud Spanner instead of running your own database is the ability to peek under the hood when something doesn’t go as expected. To help you better understand how your Cloud Spanner instance is behaving, we have introduced improvements to the fidelity of monitoring data you can get from the system.

  • Latency graphs. If you’re using Cloud Spanner, you can use latency metrics to understand the overall health of your instance and diagnose latency-related issues. The Cloud Spanner console now has graphs for 50th percentile and 99th percentile latency at the database and instance level, including breakdowns for read and write latency. These graphs are also available in Stackdriver.
  • Finer-grained CPU utilization graphs. These enable you to see how Cloud Spanner CPU resources are used and get better insight into system operations vs. user-initiated work. CPU utilization graphs help customers diagnose CPU-related issues and allocate nodes more effectively. Cloud Spanner console now has graphs for rolling average and high-priority CPU utilization, as well as including the database and user/system breakdowns in the total CPU utilization graph.

We hope these updates make developing on Cloud Spanner an even more reliable and productive experience. We can’t wait to hear about what you build. Check out our Cloud Spanner YouTube playlist to learn more.