Google Cloud Spanner: Features & Pricing

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Bottom Line:

Google Cloud Spanner has a good reputation for managing large volumes of data, dealing with repetitive queries, and ease of deployment. Cloud Spanner is good for traditional transactions and and analytics, as well as geographically diverse databases. 

Cloud Spanner is one of several DBaaS offerings from Google, so potential customers can rest assured: Google understands the needs of the database market.

Existing Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customers will be drawn to this product, as well as those already using tools from close partners like Cisco, NetApp, Salesforce and SAP. These partnerships afford it a great many integration and implementation advantages. But those already committed to Oracle, Amazon and Microsoft are unlikely to be swayed.


Google Cloud Spanner is an enterprise-grade, globally distributed database service built for the cloud that combines the benefits of relational database structure with non-relational horizontal scale. It offers 99.999% availability, no planned downtime, and enterprise security. It is said to make development more efficient. The newest version has enhanced query introspection, adds new regions, and includes multi-region configurations.

Cloud Spanner scales horizontally and serves data with low latency. It can scale to large database sizes to avoid rewrites and migrations. It is used inside Google for its own mission-critical applications and services. Implementation is relatively simple. Select or create a GCP project with billing enabled, create an instance and then create a DB and a schema.


Relational database.

Performance Statistics:  

Each Cloud Spanner node can provide up to 10,000 queries per second (QPS) of reads or 2,000 QPS of writes (writing single rows at 1 KB of data per row).


Horizontally scalable across rows, regions, and continents, from one to thousands of nodes.

“Implementation was simple, it was easy to use, has a good pay-as­-you-go payment plan, and it is fast,” said a Network Manager at a telecommunications firm.

Additional Features:

Google-grade security includes encryption by default in transit and at rest, granular identity & access management, comprehensive audit logging, custom-manufactured hardware, hardware tracking and disposal.

Core Markets:

  • Gaming
  • Healthcare
  • Mobility
  • Finance
  • Social
  • Martech
  • Retail
  • Bioscience
  • Telco & media
  • Relational only

“From the get go we were very happy with Google’s abilities and ease of use,” said a Systems Engineer in education.


Around 90 cents per node per hour.

Google Cloud Spanner
Type Relational
Performance up to 10k QPS
Features Encryption, access management, auditing, hardware tracking
Core Markets Gaming
Telco & media
Pricing ~90 cents per node per hour
Key Differentiator Strong for Google Cloud users
Drew Robb
Drew Robb
Drew Robb is a contributing writer for Datamation, Enterprise Storage Forum, eSecurity Planet, Channel Insider, and eWeek. He has been reporting on all areas of IT for more than 25 years. He has a degree from the University of Strathclyde UK (USUK), and lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida.
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