Bigtable vs Bigquery – A Quick Overview

Bigtable and Bigquery differ in a significant number of ways.

Bigtable and Bigquery differ in a number of important ways. Despite the fact that these two services have a lot in common, they enable quite diverse use cases in the big data ecosystem. Let’s examine the distinctions between Bigtable and Bigquery in this article.

What exactly is Bigtable?

Bigtable, often known as a “NoSQL Database as a Service,” is a petabyte-scale, fully managed NoSQL database service. Bigtable can index, query, and analyse enormous volumes of data and supports weak consistency. It, in particular, is well-suited to storing large amounts of single-keyed data with low latency and can handle high read and write throughput. As a result, it’s an ideal data source for MapReduce. Bigtable has been used by Google products such as Analytics, Finance, Personalized Search, Earth, and Writely (a forerunner to Google Docs) for their day-to-day operations, serving millions of Google users.

BigQuery – What is it?

BigQuery is a robust business intelligence platform that works as a “Big Data as a Service” solution. BigQuery is a fully managed, serverless SQL data warehouse that allows for speedy SQL queries and interactive analysis of large datasets (on the order of terabytes or petabytes). Other data warehouse solutions from major public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services’ Redshift or Microsoft’s Azure SQL Data Warehouse, are comparable to BigQuery.


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Generic Features

Bigtable is a wide-column NoSQL database at its most basic level. It’s designed for low latency, high throughput, and scalability. IoT, AdTech, FinTech, and other Bigtable use cases have a specific scale or throughput demand with strict latency requirements. If you don’t need high throughput or low latency at scale, a NoSQL database like Firestore would be a better option. BigQuery, on the other hand, is a relational structured data warehouse for massive volumes of data. It is best suited for acquiring organisational insights because it is optimised for large-scale, ad-hoc SQL-based analysis and reporting. BigQuery can also be used to examine data from Cloud Bigtable.

Online Transaction Processing systemOnline Analytical Processing system 
NoSQL wide-column DBRelational Structured data
For high-volume read/write operationsFor analysis and reporting

Aspects that stand out

Bigtable is a NoSQL database built to handle large, scalable applications. When creating an application that requires many reads and writes per second, Bigtable is the way to go. The throughput of a Bigtable can be tweaked by adding or removing nodes; each node can handle up to 10,000 queries per second (read and write). Bigtable can be used as the storage engine for large-scale, low-latency applications and data processing and analytics with high throughput. For zonal instances, it provides high availability with a 99.5 per cent SLA. It is highly consistent within a single cluster; replication adds eventual consistency across two clusters and raises the SLA to 99.99 per cent.

Similarly, large-scale database BigQuery allows users to easily ingest, store, and analyse data. You’ll typically need to collect significant amounts of data from your databases and other third-party systems to answer specific inquiries. Alternatively, you can stream the data directly into BigQuery to gain real-time insights. BigQuery supports a regular SQL dialect, so if you’re already familiar with the language, you’re good to go. The chances of you serving an application that utilises Bigtable as the database are high, but you’re unlikely to be serving applications that use BigQuery.

Typical Qualities

BigQuery and Bigtable are both cloud-native and have industry-leading service level agreements. You don’t have to worry about maintenance periods or planning downtime for any service because updates and upgrades happen transparently behind the scenes. They also provide infinite scalability, automatic sharding, and automatic failure recovery (with replication). Both BigQuery and Bigtable divide processing and storage for faster transactions and querying, which helps increase throughput. 

To summarise, the primary differences between Bigtable and BigQuery are as follows: Bigtable is a mutable data NoSQL database service that is best suited for OLTP use cases. On the other hand, BigQuery is an immutable SQL data warehouse suitable for OLAP applications like business intelligence and analytics.

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Dr. Nivash Jeevanandam
Nivash holds a doctorate in information technology and has been a research associate at a university and a development engineer in the IT industry. Data science and machine learning excite him.

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