Google Cloud SQL Gains Support for Larger Databases, SLAs

The Google Cloud SQL service is also now being made available to all customers as part of a wider release.

The Google Cloud SQL service, which provides a database backbone for applications running on Google App Engine or Google Compute Engine, has gained key usability and security features, including automatic encryption and support for 500GB databases, and is now generally available to all customers as a managed SQL service on the Google Cloud Platform.

Also now available for the service is a 99.95 percent uptime service-level agreement (SLA) to protect users and their operations, wrote Joe Faith, a Google product manager, in a Feb. 11 post about the revised offering on the Google Cloud Platform Blog.

The new automatic data encryption for users of Google Cloud SQL is being delivered immediately, with encryption of data backups to come in the future, he wrote. In addition, all Cloud SQL traffic on Google's internal networks is encrypted to better protect user data.

External connections can be encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), while all hosts and Google App Engine applications connecting a user's application instance must be explicitly authorized, again to protect user data, according to Faith. User data is replicated multiple times in multiple locations and scheduled backups are automatically done by default.

The expanded storage available for each Cloud SQL instance, now up to 500GB each, gives customers more flexibility for their data, while the availability of SLAs means that customers can feel more protected knowing that their data will be there when they need it, wrote Faith. "Replicated storage means we can guarantee 99.95 percent availability of the service. And because even a reduced service is not acceptable for many applications, we have set a high bar for availability: for example, we regard a single minute of just 20 percent connection failure as a downtime."

Google is always working to expand the customer features of its Google Cloud Platform offerings.

Earlier in February, Google announced that it added support for HIPAA-mandated Business Associates Agreements (BAAs), which will help health care organizations comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act when using the Google Cloud Platform for their applications. The BAA support will allow organizations to build and deploy their health care applications on the Google Cloud Platform and comply with the HIPAA requirements. The federal law establishes standards around privacy, security and breach notification in the handling and storage of health care records for patients. The establishment of HIPAA regulations has meant that patient records are more secure and must be handled with more care by health care organizations.

In November 2013, Google began a program to show game developers how they could build scalable games using the platform so they could expand their games to more users as needed.

In late October 2013, Google replaced its old Google API Console with a new, expanded and redesigned Google Cloud Console to help developers organize and use the more than 60 APIs now offered by Google. The new Google Cloud Console makes managing the more than 60 Google APIs housed within easier than ever, according to Google. Soon, the new cloud console will be set as the default choice for the console by Google, though users will have the ability to revert back to the old version.