In June 2012 Google revealed its IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offering, called Google Compute Engine (GCE), with the beginning of this December the service is finally Generally Available (GA), available with 24/7 support and 99.95% monthly SLA.
The announcement is enriched with a set of new features and a price drop of 10% for the Standard Instances intended to catch that kind of customers that are evaluating Amazon AWS.
The new features introduced can be resumed as follows:
- Expanded operating system support: GCE now support any out-of-the-box Linux distribution (the service started only with Debian and Centos support customized with a Google-built kernel).
- Transparent maintenance with live migration and automatic restart: in order to grant the right level of resiliency Google introduced a new live migration technology and an automatically restart feature.
- New 16-core instances: three new instance type with up to 16 cores and 104GB of RAM are available, in Limited Preview, to support more demanding applications.
- Faster, cheaper Persistend Disks: a new persistent disks offering, lowered in price of 60% per Gigabyte and with up to 700% higher peak I/O capability.
Unlike Windows Azure, that is leveraging Microsoft’s business user base to gain its market slice, Google Compute Engine will be competing directly with AWS and, when the functionalities and the overall offering will actually be comparable, the competition between these two giants can only be positive.