Google Compute Engine Open for Business


The search giant jumps into the IT cloud with a new service designed to compete with Amazon's AWS.

Google has announced that the Google Compute Engine cloud service is now open to the general public. The Google Computer Engine, which was first unveiled at the Google I/O conference in 2012, is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud that will compete with similar services available through Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure.
According to Google VP Ari Balogh, who posted the announcement in his blog, "Compute Engine is available with 24/7 support and a 99.95% monthly service level for your mission-critical workloads. We are also introducing several new features and lower prices for persistent disks and popular compute instances." The new features, based on feedback received through the preview phase, include the ability to run any out-of-the-box Linux distro (the preview was limited to Debian or CentOS with a Google-modified kernel), as well as transparent maintenance and new 16-core instances.
Standard pricing ranges from US$0.104 per hour ($.114 in Europe) for a 1-core system with 3.75GB RAM to US$1.659 ($1.825 in Europe) for 16 cores with G0GB RAM. Alternative pricing is available for high high memory, high CPU, and shared core systems.
It is hard to imagine that the arrival and the huge and powerful Google won't have some lasting effect on this market, but of course, Amazon, Microsoft, and other emerging cloud vendors like Oracle and HP are also huge and powerful, and many of these alternatives have years more experience in the IT server space. To truly succeed, Google will need to expand its brand beyond the end user space where it is now most associated. But even if Google doesn't take over the cloud like it took over search, its presence can only lead to increased competition, which could lead to lower prices and more services for cloud consumers.


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