Cloudant Labs: On Google Spanner | Cloudant: "This past weekend Google released the latest in their seminal research publications -- Spanner. First introduced quietly nearly three years ago, Spanner is fully described, from motivation, to execution through operational performance data. The Spanner paper is technically revolutionary for a few reasons (described below), but most importantly it is continued proof that Google is a clear leader in distributed big data systems. In contrast to the original canon (GFS, MapReduce, Bigtable) and more recent replacements (Collosus, Percolator, Pregel, Dremel), I don't predict a Spanner clone will land as an Apache incubator anytime soon. The primary reason is that Spanner's largest design innovation leverages special hardware. Specifically one must install a coordinate network of GPS and atomic clocks in each participating datacenter."