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The spanner announcement mentioned offering direct access to the TrueTime api sometime in the not too distant future.

Edit: Quote from Brewer's post: "Next steps For a significantly deeper dive into the details, see the white paper also released today. It covers Spanner, consistency and availability in depth (including new data). It also looks at the role played by Google’s TrueTime system, which provides a globally synchronized clock. We intend to release TrueTime for direct use by Cloud customers in the future."




Bingo. I've been hoping Google (or, heck, any colo provider) would offer this for a few years. Semi-synchronous clocks enable significant performance optimizations!




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