Google took it’s first significant step to enter Infrastructure-as-a-Service market by providing Compute Engine to allow customers run on-demand virtual machines on their global network of data centers.For a while, it had good presence in Platform Cloud with GAE, Cloud Storage, BigQuery, Prediction and Translation APIs but their primary focus to make it easier for developers to build new applications. With Compute Engine, it can now target developers to port their existing applications to Google Cloud.
Here are the top 10 things that you should know about Google Compute Engine :
1. Pricing is cheaper than Amazon EC2 or other public cloud platforms compute services. This might not be a significant advantage as Amazon is known to bring down costs almost every quarter.
2. Guest OS Support – Currently it supports only CentOS or Ubuntu and by default starts your instances with Ubuntu 12.04 TLS server image.
3. Google Compute Engine persistent disk can be attached to more than one instance in read-only mode. This would help use-cases where you need to share certain docbase/config across instances without having to use rsync or nfs approaches.
4. Predictable Performance – Strong claims of reliable and highly predictable performance from instances in Google Cloud unlike variable performance issues with most of the public cloud platforms (mostly due to shared nature of underlying physical resources) for large scale workloads or heavy consumption by another tenant. Some of the early customers are raving about reliable performance from Google Compute Engine instances.
5. Data Security – Another significant advantage where Google Compute Engine encrypts the data stored on the disks (both persistent and ephemeral) taking care of data-at-rest and also it encrypts data on the host before transmitting it to the network storage in case of persistent disk taking care of data-in-transit security issues. This would ease the data compliance and security constraints for enterprise applications.
6. Networking – Very high level of control to end users interms of creating and managing their instances network and firewalls. One interesting aspect is, you can have a private network and connect all your instances across different Google Cloud regions through it without having to go over public internet but using Google high performance global network.
7. HPC Focus – Google is currently focussing on bigdata, batch processing and hpc workloads for their compute engine which can offer very large scale computing resources. Given the predictable performance, high memory for core in any instance type, scalable cloud storage and data security it would be enticing for most large scale computations or workloads.
8. Maintenance Windows – During their limited preview for developers, they would have pre-defined and notified maintenance windows in their data centers. It would cause your instances to be terminated and also your persistent disks won’t be available for use during maintenance period. They encourage distributed deployments to avoid any issues.
9. No IPV6 Support – It doesn’t support IPV6 but should be added in near future. Also if you need static ip address for your instances then need to request via email, I guess it would be fixed asap.
10. Limited Preview – Google Compute Engine is in limited preview and you can place your request here for access.
With Amazon, Google, Microsoft having strong focus on public cloud market and each of them trying to out innovate their offerings will be a good sign for most developers, startups and enterprises to leverage the real advantages of on-demand computing. It’s more than pricing/platform war with accelerated innovation!
[Guest article contributed by Vijay Rayapati, CTO @Kuliza. Reproduced from Vijay’s blog.]