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Google expands Cloud Spanner database with PostgreSQL

A year after it was first introduced, Google's BigQuery Omni multi-cloud data platform is now generally available as Google continues to push its data agenda in the cloud.

With the general release of Big Query Omni and a new PostgreSQL interface for Google Cloud Spanner, Google is expanding the databases and data service capabilities on its cloud platform with a series of introductions at the tech giant's Google Next '21 virtual event Tuesday.

Google first released BigQuery Omni in preview a year ago. The BigQuery Omni service provides a multi-cloud capability for Google's BigQuery data analytics platform.

Also at the virtual conference, Google unveiled a preview of a managed Spark service on Google Cloud that will provide users with a serverless capability to rapidly query data.

The open source PostgreSQL interface for the Cloud Spanner database platform is in preview.

Google keeps pushing the data agenda, and it is multi-cloud. With that, it acknowledges that data for enterprises is fragmented across public clouds.
Holger MuellerAnalyst, Constellation Research

"Google keeps pushing the data agenda, and it is multi-cloud," said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research. "With that, it acknowledges that data for enterprises is fragmented across public clouds."

Bringing PostgreSQL to Google Cloud Spanner

Mueller noted that in addition to recognizing that data is a multi-cloud reality, Google wants to meet developers where there are, which is why it added a PostgreSQL interface to Cloud Spanner.

In a breakout session at Google Next, Andi Gutmans explained that Cloud Spanner is a fully managed relational database that offers the familiarity and developer experience of a relational database, and the scalability of a NoSQL database. Gutmans is general manager and vice president of databases at Google Cloud.

"As wonderful and unique as Spanner is, it wasn't the most accessible database for developers," Gutmans said.

He noted that with the new PostgreSQL interface for Cloud Spanner, developers can use their existing PostgreSQL skills and tools with Cloud Spanner.

"Starting today, you can create Cloud Spanner databases that use PostgreSQL dialect and connect with its open wire protocol," Gutmans said.

Google Cloud general manager and vice president of databases Andi Gutmans
Andi Gutmans, General manager and vice president of databases at Google Cloud

Multiple options now for PostgreSQL databases

Cloud Spanner is not the first Google Cloud database to support PostgreSQL. Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL was launched in 2018 as a managed service.

Gutmans explained that Google now offers two fully managed services for maximum compatibility with PostgreSQL.

"For the easiest lift-and-shift migrations, you have Cloud SQL for PostgreSQL," Gutmans said. "For your most demanding workloads, where you need unlimited scale and five nines of availability, we offer Cloud Spanner with its new PostgreSQL interface that allows you to leverage your skills and investments in the PostgreSQL system."

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