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IaaS Field Widens with Google Compute Engine Release

Google announced its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering nearly a year ago, and at the time I asked: Will it sink or swim? Soon enough, it'll be apparent whether Google Compute Engine gives Amazon Web Services EC2, Microsoft's Windows Azure and Rackspace Cloud Servers a run for their money.

The company announced the general availability of Google Compute Engine at its annual Google I/O developer conference earlier this month. Google Compute Engine is a component of the Google Cloud Platform, which includes the Google App Engine Platform as a Service (PaaS), Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL and BigQuery. Overall, Google said 300,000 unique developers use the Google Cloud platform with 3 million apps. With Google Compute Engine, now it can let customers spin up servers on demand.

"Google Compute Engine provides a fast, consistently high-performance environment for running virtual machines," wrote Urs Holzle, a Google senior vice president, in a blog post. Of course, that's what every IaaS provider says, and many analysts believe Google Compute Engine will be a major contender.

In addition to the above-mentioned providers, Google will compete for enterprise mindshare from other key providers, including AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, the Terremark division of Verizon, and VMware's forthcoming vCloud Hybrid Cloud Service, an IaaS the company made available to testers last week.

With the commercial release of Google Compute Engine, the company has added new features such as sub-hour billing for instances used in one-minute increments. A 10-minute minimum applies. Also new is shared-core instances for small workloads consisting of smaller instances, advanced routing to create gateways and VPN servers to extend on-premise systems to the Google cloud. At the other extreme, Google Compute Engine also supports large persistent disks up to 10 terabytes per volume. The company also said Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud SQL, Google Cloud Storage and Google App Engine have achieved ISO 27001-2005 international security certification.

Google also said it is bringing PHP to Google App Engine with the 1.8.0, which it released to testers. "We're bringing one of the most popular Web programming languages to App Engine so that you can run open source apps like Wordpress," Holzle noted. "It also offers deep integration with other parts of Cloud Platform including Google Cloud SQL and Cloud Storage."

Holzle added Google is also letting developers build more modular apps on App Engine by letting them partition the applications into components, enabling separate scaling, deployments, version control and performance settings.

The company also introduced the new Google Cloud Datastore, targeted at storing non-relational data. It's built on the Google App Engine High replication Datastore but is a separate service that automatically scales and offers high availability while also supporting ACID transactions and relational queries.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 05/30/2013 at 12:49 PM


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