Sizzling SQL databases

First look: Google Cloud SQL takes on Amazon Aurora

Google’s second-generation SQL database as a service exits beta with dramatic improvements in performance and storage capacity

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At a Glance

Google’s first attempt at MySQL as a service, Cloud SQL, launched in 2011, was somewhat of a disappointment from the standpoint of performance and scalability. Cloud SQL Second Generation, which was released on Aug. 16 of this year, has no such problems. 

In essence, Cloud SQL Second Generation is an implementation of MySQL 5.7 on top of Google’s Compute Engine and Persistent Disk. According to Google, Cloud SQL Second Generation runs seven times faster and has 20 times more storage capacity than its predecessor -- with lower costs, higher scalability, automated backups that can restore your database from any point in time, and 99.95 percent availability, anywhere in the world.

Cloud SQL features

Cloud SQL Second Generation is a fully managed database service, taking the knob-twiddling out of MySQL configuration. As you can see in the figure below, when you configure Cloud SQL you set the storage type, the initial storage capacity, and whether you want a fail-over replica, automated backups, binary logging, and automatic storage capacity expansion.

google cloud sql create instance

Creating a Google Cloud SQL instance involves making only the necessary decisions: the storage type, the initial storage capacity, and whether you want a fail-over replica, automated backups, and binary logging. Further down on this form, there is a check box to enable automatic storage capacity expansion.

You don’t see multiple pages of settings: The database has already been optimized for performance. By contrast, Amazon Aurora does show you all of the MySQL 5.6 settings and allows you to change them, but also has well-tuned defaults.

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