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Spanner is a distributed SQL database developed by Google. Spanner is a globally distributed database service and storage solution. It provides features such as global transactions, strongly consistent reads, and automatic multi-site replication and failover.
Spanner stores large amounts of mutable structured data. Spanner allows users to perform arbitrary queries using SQL with relational data while maintaining strong consistency and high availability for that data with synchronous replication.
Key features of Spanner:
- Transactions can be applied across rows, columns, tables, and databases within a Spanner universe.
- Clients can control the replication and placement of data using automatic multi-site replication and failover.
- Replication is synchronous and strongly consistent.
- Reads are strongly consistent and data is versioned to allow for stale reads: clients can read previous versions of data, subject to garbage collection windows.
- Supports a native SQL interface for reading and writing data.
Spanner uses the Paxos algorithm as part of its operation to shard (partition) data across hundreds of servers. It makes heavy use of hardware-assisted clock synchronization using GPS clocks and atomic clocks to ensure global consistency. TrueTime is the brand name for Google's distributed cloud infrastructure, which provides Spanner with the ability to generate monotonically increasing timestamps in datacenters around the world.
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