In 2005 when Google was a $ 6.1 billion business, the database that underpinned the company’s primary cash cow – it’s AdWords online advertising platform that accounted for more than 95% of its revenue – was not keeping up with the growth of the company.
Typically when a traditional database needs to scale, a process called sharding is used. It breaks data into multiple smaller databases to distribute load. More than a decade ago, the database powering AdWords was getting so large that one reshard took multiple years. A new database was needed. So Google built one.
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