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Google database services get an upgrade

The last of the Google database services still in testing are now generally available, as the cloud provider looks to flesh out its big data tools and meet enterprise demands.

Google's cloud customers frequently tout the platform's big data services as a differentiator from what the rest of the market offers. Now, Google is trying to send that same message to enterprises.

The last Google database services still in beta moved into general availability this week, as the cloud provider made a handful of other upgrades to Google Compute Engine. The enhancements are part of a continued push to make headway with enterprise customers by signaling that Google's platform is production-ready.

The Google database services now fully available include the latest version of Cloud SQL, which targets MySQL databases and supplants the generation that was rolled out five years ago. It's Google's equivalent to Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Relational Database; and the newest iteration, which is built on persistent disk, represents an improvement of seven times in speed and 20 times more storage than its predecessor, according to Google.

Cloud Bigtable is now fully available for NoSQL databases. The fully managed service is intended for next-generation applications that require low latency or high throughput at petabyte scale.

Lytics, a personalized marketing and customer data platform provider based in Portland, Ore., moved from AWS to Google Cloud Platform a year ago. And six weeks ago, it moved from Apache Cassandra to Bigtable. The company went from 60 nodes to a six-node Bigtable cluster, and the service is costing about one-third of what they were paying before, said Aaron Raddon, CTO and co-founder.

With Bigtable, there's zero maintenance; you just plug it in and get the same, amazing, fast performance.
Aaron RaddonCTO and co-founder of Lytics

"Cassandra, we loved, but you had to be really careful to design the keys really well, or you'd get hot spots on the server, which is not a good situation," Raddon said. "With Bigtable, there's zero maintenance; you just plug it in and get the same, amazing, fast performance."

Cloud Datastore, another fully managed NoSQL database service that Google says handles over 15 trillion queries per month, is now available via an API. This extends the existing service beyond App Engine. All of these Google database services now fall under the provider's cloud service-level agreement, offering a certain level of uptime assurances for customers that demand high availability.

Handwritten invite for enterprises

For the time, we are seeing Diane Greene's handwriting.
Holger Muellerprincipal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research

Google is seen as a distant third in the public cloud behind Microsoft Azure and market leader Amazon Web Services, and its relationship with enterprise clients has been particularly lacking. VMware founder and former CEO Diane Greene was brought in to head Google's cloud division last November to "teach the enterprise to Google," and we're starting to see her effect on the strategy for the platform, said Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research Inc., based in Cupertino, Calif.

"For the time, we are seeing Diane Greene's handwriting," he said.

Google is smart to push its big data chops, which is an of strength for the company, Mueller said. It uses premium hardware compared to many of its competitors, which can translate to better performance for next-generation applications.

Other upgrades to the platform include the beta release of the ability to run Microsoft SQL Server on Compute Engine with existing application licenses; an increase in read and write IOPS for solid-state drive-backed persistent disk volumes, from 15,000 to 25,000; and faster retrieval times from Google Nearline cold storage.

Trevor Jones is a news writer with TechTarget's Data Center and Virtualization media group. Contact him at [email protected].

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