Google is the latest large player that has announced an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model this month (Microsoft Azure announced their virtual machine IaaS model earlier this month). Google’s IaaS solution is called Google Compute Engine. Compute Engine is being released as part of Google’s limited preview with no timeline mentioned for public availability.
Google’s first claim to fame in the Cloud Computing space for developers was Google App Engine and datastore. Their PaaS (Platform as a Service) model looked like they had simply skipped the IaaS model to build out a solid scalable system built on Google’s powerful network. In just a few short years Google has released Google App Engine, Google Cloud Storage, Google Drive, Cloud SQL and Google Cloud Messaging (formally C2DM).
Pricing and availability has not been announced at this time but you can go to Google’s Cloud Computing site and signup for a possible early access account. The VMs being offered are CentOS and Ubuntu with beefy looking offerings ranging from 1 to 8 cores. Also, it appears that Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine play nicely with each other so accounts via oAuth allow for seamless integration. To be clear, Google App Engine is not built on Google Compute Engine according to Google.
Does Google’s and Microsoft’s announcements this month mean that Amazon will soon be left in the dust? Not by a long shot! Amazon has a very solid following and many great IaaS features such as load balancing, DNS and much more. Microsoft Azure has some of the same features as Amazon plus a solid PaaS model but doesn’t seem to have as large of a following at this time, but I’m sure that will change. On the other hand, Google App Engine (PaaS) has a great following but their initial IaaS offering only supports Linux VMs, persistent storage and a few other features, but no load balancing or large core offerings.
These are exciting times to be in the Cloud Computing space. No matter what front end you use (mobile or web), a good app (assuming it does something useful) is going to need a solid backend infrastructure to support it. This month has turned out to be a great month for Cloud and Mobile announcements by the largest players in the industry and it’s only in the early stages.