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Google Cloud Spanner

  • A fully managed relational database service that scales horizontally with strong consistency.

Features

  • SLA availability up to 99.999% for multi-regional instances with 10x less downtime than four nines.
  • Provides transparent, synchronous replication across region and multi-region configurations.
  • Optimizes performance by automatically sharding the data based on request load and size of data so you can spend less time thinking about scaling your database and more time scaling your business.
  • You can run instances on a regional scope or multi-regional where your database is able to survive regional failure.
  • All tables must have a declared primary key (PK), which can be composed of multiple table columns.
  • Can make schema changes like adding a column or adding an index while serving live traffic with zero downtime.
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Pricing

  • Pricing for Cloud Spanner is simple and predictable. You are only charged for:
    • number of nodes in your instance
    • amount of storage that your tables and secondary indexes use (not pre-provisioned)
    • amount of network bandwidth (egress) used
  • Note that there is no additional charge for replication.

Validate Your Knowledge

Question 1

A company has an application that uses Cloud Spanner as its backend database. After a few months of monitoring your Cloud Spanner resource, you noticed that the incoming traffic of the application has a predictable pattern. You need to set up automatic scaling that will scale up or scale down your Spanner nodes based on the incoming traffic.

What should you do?

  1. Build a cron job that executes based on a schedule to review Cloud Monitoring metrics, and then resize the Spanner resources appropriately.
  2. Set up an alerting policy on Cloud Monitoring that sends an email alert to on-call Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) when the Cloud Spanner CPU metric exceeds the desired threshold. The SREs shall scale the resources up or down appropriately.
  3. Set up an alerting policy on Cloud Monitoring that sends an alert to a webhook when the Cloud Spanner CPU metric is over or under your desired threshold. Create a Cloud Function that listens to this HTTP webhook and resizes Spanner resources appropriately.
  4. Set up an alerting policy on Cloud Monitoring that sends an email alert to Google Cloud Support email when the Cloud Spanner CPU metric exceeds the desired threshold. The Google Support team shall scale the resources up or down appropriately.

Correct Answer: 3

When you create a Cloud Spanner instance, you choose the number of nodes that provide compute resources for the instance. As the instance’s workload changes, Cloud Spanner does not automatically adjust the number of nodes in the instance. As a result, you need to set up several alerts to ensure that the instance stays within the recommended maximums for CPU utilization and the recommended limit for storage per node.

You can invoke Cloud Functions with an HTTP request using the POST, PUT, GET, DELETE, and OPTIONS HTTP methods. To create an HTTP endpoint for your function, specify –trigger-http as the trigger type when deploying your function. From the caller’s perspective, HTTP invocations are synchronous, meaning the result of the function execution will be returned in the response to the HTTP request.

It is stated in the scenario that you have to find a method where you can automatically scale your Cloud Spanner resources based on a traffic pattern. Since Cloud Spanner does not scale automatically, you have to check for CPU usage of your Spanner instances and find a way to trigger your Cloud Spanner database to scale its resources accordingly. Moreover, you have to ensure that all of these steps are done automatically.

Hence the correct answer is: Set up an alerting policy on Cloud Monitoring that sends an alert to a webhook when the Cloud Spanner CPU metric is over or under your desired threshold. Create a Cloud Function that listens to this HTTP webhook and resizes Spanner resources appropriately.

The option that says: Build a cron job that executes based on a schedule to review Cloud Monitoring metrics, and then resize the Spanner nodes appropriately is incorrect because you don’t need to scale based on a schedule as this process is based on the specific time that you have set instead of the incoming traffic. You need to scale the Cloud Spanner nodes based on the metrics provided by Cloud Monitoring.

The option that says: Set up an alerting policy on Cloud Monitoring that sends an email alert to on-call Site Reliability Engineers (SRE) when the Cloud Spanner CPU metric exceeds the desired threshold. The SREs shall scale the resources up or down appropriately is incorrect because this method requires an on-call SRE every time there is an alert which means that the scaling will be done manually, rather than automatically.

The option that says: Set up an alerting policy on Cloud Monitoring that sends an email alert to Google Cloud Support email when the Cloud Spanner CPU metric exceeds the desired threshold. The Google Support team shall scale the resources up or down appropriately is incorrect because this does not satisfy the requirement to scale the Cloud Spanner resources automatically. In this method, you will delegate the task of scaling the Spanner resources to a Technical Account Manager every time there is an alert triggered.

References:
https://cloud.google.com/spanner/docs/monitoring-cloud
https://cloud.google.com/functions/docs/writing/http

Note: This question was extracted from our Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Practice Exams.

For more Google Cloud practice exam questions with detailed explanations, check out the Tutorials Dojo Portal:

Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Practice Exams

Reference:
https://cloud.google.com/spanner

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