Google has announced the public launch of a high performance NoSQL database, Google Bigtable.

The search giant has been using this in-house for the last ten years as the database that currently drives major applications such as Google Analytics and Gmail.

Going big

Google Cloud Bigtable is intended to be a fully managed, high-performance, extremely scalable NoSQL database service available in beta at the moment. It is also accessible via the open-source Apache HBase API.

“Google Cloud Bigtable excels at large ingestion, analytics, and data-heavy serving workloads,”   Google product manager Cory O’Connor wrote in a blog announcing the news.

“It’s ideal for enterprises and data-driven organisations that need to handle huge volumes of data, including businesses in the financial services, AdTech, energy, biomedical, and telecommunications industries.”

Essentially then, Bigtable is a database designed to tackle high volumes of data. It promises single-digit millisecond latency and over 2X the performance per dollar of unmanaged NoSQL alternatives, although has not provided actual data to back up these claims.

And because Cloud Bigtable can be accessed through the HBase API, Google says it can be natively integrated with existing big data and Hadoop ecosystems. It also supports Google’s big data products, and data can easily imported via “bulk ingestion tools” (backing storage capacity scales automatically as data is imported).

And it is also cheap apparently, because as Google Cloud Bigtable is a fully managed service, the search engine giant boldly claims that its total cost of ownership is less than half the cost of its direct competition.

All the data is encrypted, and database admins will have an easier task as a Cloud Bigtable cluster can be reconfigured or created via a simple user interface. Google says tasks like that can typically be completed in less than 10 seconds.

Public Cloud

Google Cloud Bigtable is also currently available (in beta) from third parties such as SunGard, Pythian, CCRi and Telit Wireless Solutions.

There are free trials for users who want to sign up, but pricing depend on a number of factors, such as the amount of storage used, network usage etc.

However this is not the first database from the search engine giant. For years now Google has offered Cloud Datastore, its fully managed solution designed to store non-relational data.

Google’s launch is also interesting, as it adds another player that will battle rival services for position in the public cloud sector.

The sector gorilla at the moment is of course Amazon Web Services, but other players also involved included Microsoft Azure, Oracle, IBM, Rackspace etc.

Think you know all about the database market? Try our quiz!

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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