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In case people don't do the math, you (seem to be) are suggesting that Spanner should be $9/month. I certainly argued for a "shared Spanner" mode, that wouldn't give you a dedicated setup. The benefit is that the minimum "install" would be super low, allowing you to start on a slice and move upwards (like many teams at Google!).

The reality is that $8k/year isn't that much for a company. You can all share it, get quite a bit out even the smallest deployment and so on. However, compared to the work to slim down the minimum deployment for Spanner, this was honestly a reasonable outcome (that is, I certainly wouldn't have wanted to see the team delay a year to build a shared multitenancy version).

Additionally, Spanner does things for you that MySQL et al. don't. Having an automagic Regional (and eventually Global if you'd like) database without dealing with sharding is worth $8k/year even to me. So even if it could fit on $10/month of hardware, I don't begrudge them for charging a service fee, rather than saying "This is how much cores, RAM, disk and flash this eats".

Disclosure: I work on Google Cloud and obviously have a vested interest in you paying us :).




I don't know where the $9/month number comes from but as someone else said, I edited my post (added a bunch of things) so maybe I edited out something that could be read that way.

Basically yes, I'd like a shared Spanner. If $648/mo gets you 10k read/2k write, then for ~$9/mo you should be able to get roughly 140 qps read and 9 qps write, so long as cost scales roughly linearly. Assuming you can spread this over the month (1000qps here, 0qps there), this would be super appealing to a lot of smaller projects I think.

I think the way it is, it's exclusively a business tool but it has potential to be so much more. Imagine if it was possible for anyone to set up a distributed, fault tolerant, scalable Wordpress instance using Cloud Spanner, Cloud Functions and Cloud CDN any pay per uncached pageload? You could even set it up with a single click in the Cloud Console. Running your own scalable cloud service would be no more difficult than setting up a Tumblr blog.


Ha! I calculated the monthly cost as $.9/hr x 730 hrs => $657. You said $648, so that left $9. Sorry for the confusion!

But yes, we already have the per-op model for Cloud Datastore (and it's part of what makes it so attractive!) so you can understand that we're naturally inclined to do just what you're saying. Making Spanner multitenant in a secure, performant manner is real work. But it's what Datastore, Big Query and our other shared services do. I hope you can appreciate that getting "Dedicated Spanner" out the door was the right first step though.


Ah, I just used 720h :)

And that's fair enough, I understand dedicated/shared are very different things, it's just that for me, right now, Spanner isn't viable. Change that and you'll be a whole lot more appealing!


This makes sense. But, for many (at least bootstrapping) startups, $1800/mo for the database is not in the realm of the possible. Is not having to deal with (future) sharding headaches "worth" that much? Sure. But that doesn't mean it's possible.

So by pricing us out of the entry level, you will forgo having startups build their platforms on it and get hooked (while it's still at 1-node mysql scale).

When the sharding headache hits and they're scrambling to scale, will they switch to Spanner? Maybe. Probably. They'll want to, anyway. But there is a big market that will be missed.


I think I agree with you. Most databases these days get adopted by being open source, or pretty inexpensive for hobby projects. That lets engineers experiment with them, get comfortable and then recommend them for a major project. I'm not even going to get started with spanner, so I'm not sure how I would build up the confidence to use it in a major deployment.


Really?? How much does a person cost per month? You could avoid lots of fiddling for many people just by using appropriate tools. Applies for everything, not just this.


But that person needs to know the appropriate tool to use, given their experience. They are going to gravitate towards services they're familiar with, and by pricing things on the high end, you'll reduce the number of people who get to play with it.


As I said, that makes sense, and I agree. That does not mean it's financially possible.


I think he edited his post so your $9/mo math no longer references anything he said.

But I think the issue is: making the commitment to use Spanner will take more than 2 weeks ($300 in credit) to determine if it's worth using.

Why not setup a "shared Spanner" with millions of pre-populated rows, and let free accounts have unlimited read-only access to it? That would let people fiddle with the technology before sweating bullets during the 2 week trial. (5 day trial if you run the recommended 3 node minimum)


They could also increase the credit for testing. For example if you are a verified company and want to try it they could give you 2-3 months free or really cheap.


I think the underlying problem here is that there's no "mock Spanner" (in the Minio-is-mock-S3 sense) for people to write code against on-and-off for a while, to decide whether they like what Spanner does for them in development workflow terms.

Two node-weeks of Spanner credit, used wisely, might be enough to tell you whether Spanner fits your operations requirements, but it won't be enough to tell you whether you want to commit to creating an application architected around the paradigm it represents.


It's understandable and not expensive considering the quality of the offering - however startups and even teams within large companies prefer and have gotten used to seamless easy scaling from small accounts so that they can test and like the product first before committing to it completely - especially one that is built into GCP and not portable.




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