Google unveils new cloud service to compete with Amazon

Steven Loeb · June 28, 2012 · Short URL:

New service claims to give 50% more than other providers, such as Amazon's Web Service

Google took a big step today at its I/O developers conference in San Francisco on Thursday, making a move that seems to be a direct challenge to one of its rivals.

Google announced a new cloud-computing service called Compute Engine, and it being called a challenger to Amazon’s Web Services, specifically its Elastic Compute Cloud.

“You can launch virtual machines on-demand, manage network connectivity using a simple but flexible networking solution, and access a variety of data storage alternatives from your virtual machines,” Google says.

The service allows three different ways for users to store data:

  • An ephemeral disk, where the data will be encrypted, but will be lost once the virtual machine is stopped.
  • A persistent disk, where data is once again encrypted, but the disk will be copied to multiple other disks in Google’s data center. Multiple machines can be made to read from a single device.
  • Google Cloud Storage, which gives easy access from inside a virtual machine without having to manage keys inside of them.

There are also three ways of networking: isolation, which protects from unauthorized access; external IP addresses, which connects the virtual machine with IP addresses that are temporary or static; and configurable firewall, which allows users to control who they talk to.

Google Compute Engine is able to launch Linux machines on-demand in one, two, four, or eight virtual cores, which are available with 3.75GB RAM per core.

One of Google’s major claims that it will “give you 50% more compute for your money than with other leading cloud providers.”

Under the Google’s current price plan, one core and 3.75GB of memory will cost $0.145. The highest price is eight cores and 30 GB of memory for $1.16.

In comparison, Amazon allows 750 hours on Linux and Windows for free.

After that, their pricing looks like this:

Google seems to be more specific about the amount of memory users will be getting, but Amazon also breaks their prices down between Linux and Windows. Either way, its difficult to really compare the two price structures.

This is not Google’s first cloud service. It also has Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, and Google BigQuery.

This time, though, Google is “going a step further,” Google Compute Engine Product Manager Craig McLuckie said in a blog post on Thursday.

“This goes beyond just giving you greater flexibility and control; access to computing resources at this scale can fundamentally change the way you think about tackling a problem.”

Google Compute Engine is currently available in preview and can be purchased here.

Google was unavailable for comment.

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