A closer look at Google’s new cloud offering, Compute Engine (IaaS)


Google’s unveiling of the Compute Engine service is certain to provide Amazon’s EC2 with some stiff competition. Just what is Compute Engine, you ask? Google’s new IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offering is a platform for running massive computing workloads. Among other things, this new product is able to provide a more inclusive destination for other cloud services to reside in. Specifically, the Compute Engine is facilitated by the Google API’s console which basically creates an account which you can fully customize and add services to. cloud offering Compute Engine IaaS

What individuals and businesses end up doing with Google’s Compute Engine is yet to be seen. Given that this latest offering is so similar in features and capabilities as Amazon’s EC2, we’re likely to see more of the same (which certainly isn’t a bad thing). However, since we are talking about highly functional independent cloud computing “instances” here, it will be interesting to see how certain types of businesses end up approaching and utilizing this new technology.

One of the most inviting aspects of the Compute Engine service is pricing. How affordable could it possibly be, you ask? Well, how does around $0.145 for 1 core, 3.75GB RAM virtual machine, sound to you? It’s really easy to see why so many companies are eager to jump on board the Google’s mothership; they’re basically rewriting the rules when it comes to affordable cloud computing with this latest service.

What kinds of things can you do with the Compute Engine service?
As previously stated, Compute Engine looks and behaves a lot like EC2; in other words, anything you can do with one, you can do with the other (as far as we know right now, that is, they could of course change some things prior to official release). Naturally, high performance computing applications are a given – which allow individuals and organizations to access supercomputer-like power and process multitudes of parallel processes simultaneously. Moreover, demand for high performance computing is increasing as more and more businesses become increasingly reliant on IT and web technology.

Clients who run media delivery, storage and social networking sites will also be able to take advantage of Compute Engine’s ability to perform lightning-fast batch processing. Research groups, universities, search engine companies and other businesses who routinely analyze large volumes of data will also be able to reap the rewards of Google’s Compute Engine.

Side note* – A little preparation never hurt anyone
All of this talk of exciting new Google-based cloud computing services highlights an important point which many businesses might have been avoiding up to this point, which is – how well prepared is your organization for utilizing cloud computing. You could argue that simply “utilizing” cloud computing might not be enough, to take full advantage of the technology (and cash in ahead of one’s competitors) you really need knowledgeable and qualified personnel online or on-site who can help you achieve this.

Simply being able to employ the services is not going to give you an edge; you need professionals in your organization who are able to see the “big picture” in every scenario. The easiest way to achieve a more cohesive and intuitive IT / cloud computing operation is to seek out affordable and accommodating cloud computing certification and training.  Learn more about that here.

What effect will Google’s Compute Engine have on Cloud Computing as a whole?
Google and Amazon are not the only ones with massive cloud computing operations / services on the table. A number of other major companies are pushing (or have already pushed) similar technologies to the market. However, none of these other organizations are making the kind of waves that Google and Amazon are making, so it’s probably not important that we focus on them too much for right now.

The major players in the cloud computing game seem to be Microsoft, Google and Amazon, with a great number of pundits and experts arriving at the conclusion that Google will pull ahead of the pack. Why Google’s Compute Engine, what makes it so special?  First of all, Google already has a dizzying number of individual apps and services which will likely be directly integrated into its cloud computing services at some point in the near future. Think about it, Google basically has an app for anything and everything.

Secondly, Google seems to be a very inclusive organization; when they see something they like, they either quickly incorporate it or copy it. This assimilation tendency is part of the reason for Google’s overwhelming success, wouldn’t you agree?

Thirdly, Google is better positioned within the world or the internet and internet-based research than virtually any other organization out there. While other groups might have been focused solely on hardware or software, Google has been developing products and services based on research gathered directly from billions of users and the demand they generate. In other words, it could be argued that Google knows (better than anyone) what people want and need in terms of cloud computing services.

Lastly, Compute Engine is slated to deliver comparable or better results than all competitors and its price tag (right now) is much cheaper than what is being offered via the competition. In fact, Google has publicly stated that they anticipate Compute Engine to cost around half of what the competitors are charging.

Add all of the above factors together and it seems pretty clear that Google may in fact have a huge lead and edge on the cloud computing provider market.

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