Bigtable Data Boost overview

Data Boost is a serverless compute service designed to run high-throughput read jobs on your Bigtable data without impacting the performance of the clusters that handle your application traffic. It lets you send large read jobs and queries using serverless compute while your core application continues using cluster nodes for compute. Serverless compute SKUs and billing rates are separate from the SKUs and rates for provisioned nodes. You can't send write or delete requests with Data Boost.

This document describes Data Boost and when and how to use it. Before you read this page, you should understand Instances, clusters, and nodes.

What it's good for

Data Boost is ideal for data analysis and data processing workloads. Isolating your analytics and processing traffic with Data Boost ensures that you don't need to adjust a cluster's capacity or node count to accommodate analytics workloads. You can run your high-throughput analytics jobs on a single cluster with Data Boost while your ongoing application traffic is routed through cluster nodes.

The following are ideal use cases for Data Boost:

  • Scheduled or triggered export or ETL pipeline jobs from Bigtable to Cloud Storage for data enrichment, analysis, archiving, offline ML model training, or ingestion by your customers' third-party partners
  • ETL using a tool such as Dataflow for short scan or batch read processes that support in-place aggregations, rule-based transformations for MDM, or ML jobs

What it's not good for

Point reads - Data Boost is not the best option for point read operations, which are read requests sent for single rows. This includes batched point reads. Because of the billing structure, many single-row point reads are considerably more expensive than one long scan.

Reading data immediately after it's written - When you read data with Data Boost, you might not read all data that was written in the most recent half hour. This is especially true if your instance uses replication and you are reading data that was written to a cluster in a different region than you are reading from. For more information, see Consistency.

Latency-sensitive workloads - Data Boost is optimized for throughput, so read latency is slower when you use Data Boost than when you read using clusters and nodes. For this reason, Data Boost is not suitable for application serving workloads.

For more information on workloads, configurations, and features that are not compatible with Data Boost, see Limitations.

Data Boost app profiles

To use Data Boost, you send your read requests using a Data Boost app profile instead of a standard app profile.

Standard app profiles let you specify the routing policy and priority level for requests that use the app profile, as well as whether single-row transactions are permitted. Traffic sent using a standard app profile is routed to a cluster, and that cluster's nodes route the traffic to disk. For more information, see Standard app profiles overview.

With a Data Boost app profile, on the other hand, you configure a single-cluster routing policy to one of your instance's clusters, and traffic using that app profile uses serverless compute instead of the cluster's nodes.

You can create a new Data Boost app profile, or you can convert a standard app profile to use Data Boost instead. We recommend using a separate app profile for each workload or application.

Consistency tokens

Data that was written or replicated to your target cluster more than 35 minutes before your read request is readable by Data Boost.

You can make sure that the data from a specific write job or time period is readable by Data Boost, before you initiate a Data Boost workload, by creating and using a consistency token. A sample workflow is as follows:

  1. Write some data to a table.
  2. Create a consistency token.
  3. Send the token in DataBoostReadLocalWrites mode to determine when the writes are readable by Data Boost on your target cluster.

You can optionally check replication consistency before you check Data Boost consistency by first sending a consistency token in StandardReadRemoteWrites mode.

For more information, see the API reference for CheckConsistencyRequest.

Quota and billing

Data Boost uses serverless processing units (SPUs) – independent, on-demand compute resources – to measure the compute power that is used to read data with Data Boost. Unlike with nodes, you are charged for SPUs only when you use them. Each request is billed for a minimum of 60 SPU-seconds, and you are charged at least 10 SPUs per second. For more information on Data Boost pricing, see Bigtable pricing.

You are allocated quota and billed for SPUs separately from the quota and charges for nodes.

Eligibility metrics

Data Boost is designed for high-throughput scans, and workloads must be compatible to be able to use Data Boost. Before you convert a standard app profile to use Data Boost or create a Data Boost app profile for an existing workload, view Data Boost eligibility metrics to make sure your configuration and usage meet the required criteria. You should also review the limitations.


To monitor your Data Boost traffic, you can check the metrics for your Data Boost app profile on the Bigtable Monitoring page in the Google Cloud console. For a list of metrics available by app profile, see Monitoring charts for Bigtable resources.

You can monitor your usage of serverless processing units (SPUs), by checking the SPU usage count (data_boost/spu_usage_count) metric in Metrics Explorer.

You can also continue to monitor the eligibility metrics for the app profile after you've started using Data Boost.


The following workload properties and resource configurations are not supported for Data Boost.

  • Writes and deletes
  • Traffic that is mostly point reads (single-row reads)
  • More than 1,000 reads per second per cluster
  • Reverse scans
  • Change streams
  • Request priorities
  • Multi-cluster routing
  • Single-row transactions
  • Regional endpoints
  • HDD instances
  • Instances that use CMEK encryption
  • Incompatible client libraries. You must use the Bigtable client for Java version 2.31.0 or later.
    • For Dataflow jobs using BigtableIO to read Bigtable data, you must use Apache Beam version 2.54.0 or later.
    • For Dataflow jobs using CloudBigtableIO to read Bigtable data, you must use bigtable-hbase-beam version 2.14.1 or later.

The following are not supported for the Preview.

  • Data Boost app profile creation and configuration in the Google Cloud console
  • Reading Bigtable data from BigQuery or Spark

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