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Bigtable's lack of transactions led to frequent user complaints, so Google made distributed transactions central to Spanner's design. Google decided to have application programmers address performance problems as bottlenecks arise, rather than coding around the lack of transactions.
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.
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- Shute et al. 2012.
- Shute et al. 2012, p. 19: ‘Summary: We've moved a large and critical application suite from MySQL to F1.’
- Corbett, James C; Dean, Jeffrey; Epstein, Michael; Fikes, Andrew; Frost, Christopher; Furman, JJ; Ghemawat, Sanjay; Gubarev, Andrey; Heiser, Christopher; Hochschild, Peter; Hsieh, Wilson; Kanthak, Sebastian; Kogan, Eugene; Li, Hongyi; Lloyd, Alexander; Melnik, Sergey; Mwaura, David; Nagle, David; Quinlan, Sean; Rao, Rajesh; Rolig, Lindsay; Saito, Yasushi; Szymaniak, Michal; Taylor, Christopher; Wang, Ruth; Woodford, Dale, "Spanner: Google's Globally-Distributed Database" (PDF), Proceedings of OSDI 2012, Google, retrieved 18 September 2012.
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