BigQuery is a data warehouse that leverages the massive scale of the Google Cloud architecture to distribute data across thousands of nodes, utilizing as many nodes as are needed to run any query performantly. Unlike other database dialects, where you buy or rent individual machines or space on machines, there is only one instance of BigQuery, comprised of thousands of nodes, shared by all users of the instance.

The enormous scale enables BigQuery to run even enormous, complex queries in a relatively short time. As a result, even as your datasets grow from gigabytes to petabytes, BigQuery will remain responsive.