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the ramblings of a devops engineer and polymath

Google Compute Engine - Google announces Amazon EC2 competitor

Google today announced Google Compute Engine, an IaaS platform for Linux VMs on Google's extensive infrastructure, and a direct competitor to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud.

One of the most interesting notes from the announcement is that Google have been working behind the scenes with both Chef and Puppet to provide integration with GCE from the outset:

At launch, we have worked with a number of partners - such as RightScale, Puppet Labs, , Numerate, Cliqr and MapR - to integrate their products with Google Compute Engine. These partners offer management services that make it easy for you to move your applications to the cloud and between different cloud environments.

Google have also released extensive documentation for the GCE platform and APIs and gcutil - a command line tool for managing GCE. The firewall documentation in particular is interesting, as Amazon EC2's security groups have always left something to be desired.

A brief comparison on pricing of Google's and Amazon's cloud offerings shows some striking similarity between AWS and Google's offerings:

  Google Computing Engine Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
Instance n1-standard-1-d m1.small
VCPU Cores 1 1
Memory 3.75 GB 1.7 GB
Storage 420 GB 160 GB
USD/hour $0.145 $0.0244* to $0.080
Networking (in USD/GB)
Inbound $0.00 $0.00
Intra-Zone $0.00 $0.00
Intra-Region, Google / AWS Services $0.00 $0.00
Intra-Region, Other $0.01 $0.01
To Public Internet Starting at $0.12 Starting at $0.12
Storage (in USD/GB/Month)
Provisioned Storage $0.10 $0.10
Snapshot Storage $0.125 $0.125
IO Operations $0.10 per 106 $0.10 per 106

* Heavy Utilization Reserved Small instance on a 3 year term; hourly rate includes the the $300 down payment spread over 3 * 365.25 * 24 = 26298 hours.

Between the API, integration with higher-level cloud providers from the outset and directly comparable pricing and offerings, It's not unreasonable to infer that Google are intending Compute Engine to compete directly with AWS EC2 — and they've got a strong offering. As long as GCE can be as reliable as other Google offerings, I think this is a good time to be a cloud provider customer.

Other discussions on Google's Compute Engine announcement:

Reed Kraft-Murphy

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