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By Craig McLuckie, Product Manager, Google Compute Engine

Over the years, Google has built some of the most high performing, scalable and efficient data centers in the world by constantly refining our hardware and software. Since 2008, we've been working to open up our infrastructure to outside developers and businesses so they can take advantage of our cloud as they build applications and websites and store and analyze data. So far this includes products like Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, and Google BigQuery.

Today, in response to many requests from developers and businesses, we're going a step further. We're introducing Google Compute Engine, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service product that lets you run Linux Virtual Machines (VMs) on the same infrastructure that powers Google. 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 offers:
  • Scale. At Google we tackle huge computing tasks all the time, like indexing the web, or handling billions of search queries a day. Using Google's data centers, Google Compute Engine reduces the time to scale up for tasks that require large amounts of computing power. You can launch enormous compute clusters - tens of thousands of cores or more.
  • Performance. Many of you have learned to live with erratic performance in the cloud. We have built our systems to offer strong and consistent performance even at massive scale. For example, we have sophisticated network connections that ensure consistency. Even in a shared cloud you don’t see interruptions; you can tune your app and rely on it not degrading.
  • Value. Computing in the cloud is getting even more appealing from a cost perspective. The economy of scale and efficiency of our data centers allows Google Compute Engine to give you 50% more compute for your money than with other leading cloud providers. You can see pricing details here.
The capabilities of Google Compute Engine include:
  • Compute. Launch Linux VMs on-demand. 1, 2, 4 and 8 virtual core VMs are available with 3.75GB RAM per virtual core.
  • Storage. Store data on local disk, on our new persistent block device, or on our Internet-scale object store, Google Cloud Storage.
  • Network. Connect your VMs together using our high-performance network technology to form powerful compute clusters and manage connectivity to the Internet with configurable firewalls.
  • Tooling. Configure and control your VMs via a scriptable command line tool or web UI. Or you can create your own dynamic management system using our API.
At launch, we have worked with a number of partners - such as RightScale, Puppet Labs, OpsCode, 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.

You can learn more about Google Compute Engine here. We’re going to pace ourselves and start with Google Compute Engine in limited preview (sign up here), but our goal is to give you all the pieces you need to build anything you want in the cloud. Whether you need a platform like Google App Engine, or virtual machines like Google Compute Engine, these days, you define your limits. We’re just at the start of what the cloud can do.


Craig McLuckie is the Product Management Lead for Google Compute Engine. He spends his days working with an amazing engineering team to open Google’s infrastructure to the world.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor