Google, which is known for keeping its products in beta for years, has opened its managed cloud-based database service Cloud SQL to the public, adding a service-level agreement that will provide the assurance necessary to run many production applications.
According to Google, Cloud SQL is a MySQL database that lives in Google’s cloud and has nearly all the capabilities and functionality of MySQL. User-defined functions, for instance, are not supported.
By being hosted in the cloud, these databases are replicated in multiple locations in the US and Europe for better availability and durability.
Cloud SQL also offers Java and Python compatibility and support for MySQL wire protocol and MySQL connectors. And databases can be imported or exported using mysqldump.
There’s also a high degree of data security. Cloud SQL customer data is encrypted when on Google’s internal networks and when stored in database tables and temporary files – and encryption of backups is coming soon. And Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections are supported.
Users can choose a package ranging in price from $0.36 to $46.84 per day, or they can pay based on periods of use rounded up to the hour.
According to the SLA, users can get between 10 and 50 percent of their money back if uptime drops below 99.95 percent averaged over the course of a month. For the purposes of the SLA, periods of downtime are those in which the server-side error rate exceeds 20 percent.
Some have noted that it’s an interesting choice that Google is putting forward this database service on using MySQL rather than MariaDB or another MySQL variant, but MySQL remains more widely used and known.
Cloud SQL will be competing with Amazon Web Services , whose Amazon Relational Database Service became available to the public in June 2013, offering database support for MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and others.
Late last year, Google also made a major cloud database move when it added support for native MySQL connections for developers, allowing external applications to connect to a Google Cloud SQL instance using the MySQL Wire Protocol (or MWP). This provided developers greater flexibility and control over managing and deploying databases in the cloud.