Google unveils cloud computing services with Google Compute Engine

04 Dec 2013


Google has made its entry into cloud computing with the introduction of Google Compute Engine.

The service offers a bank of servers on which customers can run various Linux versions, paying for usage with assurances that the systems would be functional and delivering at least 99.95 per cent of the time.

Announcing Google Compute Engine's general availability on Monday night Ari Balogh, a Google vice president, said the company cut prices 10 per cent for ordinary server instances, cut them 60 per cent for storage fees, and waived them off altogether for storage input-output costs. He added Google was also exploring a 16-core server option for heavier-duty jobs.

With the launch of Google Compute Engine, the search giant hopes to challenge Amazon's early lead with the launch of its cloud computing arm, Amazon Web Services, that has made the online retailer's cloud business nearly synonymous with cloud compouting.

Google has had to play catch up to Amazon's EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) service and S3 (Simple Storage Service), the fundamental elements of Amazon Web Services. Researchers last month announced a computer simulation using 156,000 Amazon processor cores around the globe, for instance, which demonstrated the available capacity on the company's infrastructure.

Google yesterday said in a blog post that its own cloud service was now ready for prime time. It had also expanded a bit, with the internet search giant saying it was now ready to offer VMs running ''any out-of-the-box Linux distribution (including SELinux and CoreOS) as also any kernel or software customers liked, including Docker, FOG, xfs and aufs.''

Support for SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (albeit in limited preview) was another addition, which was an improvement from the CentOS and Debian previously available.

There was also the new 16-virtual-core instance with 30 GB of memory for those who needed it.

According to Google, it had 1,000 people working on the cloud service.

According to commentators, Google also appeared to have spent up on flash storage, promising that ''the largest Persistent Disk volumes have up to 700% higher peak I/O capability''.

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