Cranking batteries are specifically designed to provide short bursts of large currents for engine starting. Unlike their deep cycle or standby counter parts, a cranking battery is not designed for deep cycle applications. Starting batteries will typically use 1% of their rated capacity to start an engine.
Starting batteries main rating is the cold cranking amps (ccA). ccA is a measure of amps that a fully charged battery can deliver at 18 degrees celsius for 30 seconds while maintaining a voltage of 1.2v per cell or more. The larger the engine being started, the higher ccA required. Colder climates typically require a higher ccA rated battery.