Jump to Content

F1: A Distributed SQL Database That Scales

Bart Samwel
Ben Handy
Mircea Oancea
Kyle Littlefield
David Menestrina
Stephan Ellner
Ian Rae
Traian Stancescu
VLDB (2013)


F1 is a distributed relational database system built at Google to support the AdWords business. F1 is a hybrid database that combines high availability, the scalability of NoSQL systems like Bigtable, and the consistency and usability of traditional SQL databases. F1 is built on Spanner, which provides synchronous cross-datacenter replication and strong consistency. Synchronous replication implies higher commit latency, but we mitigate that latency by using a hierarchical schema model with structured data types and through smart application design. F1 also includes a fully functional distributed SQL query engine and automatic change tracking and publishing.