Google Beefs Up Compute Engine


Google rolled out two new zones and simplified access to a major security protocol this week in an effort to improve the experience of developers using its public cloud platform Compute Engine.

Since late June, when Google held its developers' conference Google I/O, the company has been touting a range of features and tools, including new SSD memory instances, for making the process of building and deploying applications easier on Compute Engine.

Among this week's upgrades, Secure Shell (SSH) can now be used to access Google's cloud through a web browser. Developers like to access virtual machines via the secure protocol, but in the past it could be a headache.

[Related: Google Unveils New Cloud Development Tools at Google I/O]

"When you’re configuring or managing your application, doing so can take you out of the context of what you’re currently working on. Worse yet, a problem might occur when you don’t have your normal computer handy and you have to try to access the VM from a different device without your developer tools installed," wrote Product Manager Cody Bratt on Google's blog.

Google took a step to simplify that process last month when it introduced the ability to SSH into a VM using a command in its SDK. Now they've extended that functionality to the browser.

"As a partner, it's fantastic to watch the progress being made with regard to new features in Compute Engine," Tony Safoian, CEO of Los Angeles-based Google partner SADA Systems, told CRN. "With the addition of web-based SSH, we're able to fully design, test, deploy and manage projects via Chromebook or another OS, mobile or otherwise, without the need for a native terminal."

Lane Campbell, CEO at Chicago-based Google reseller Syntress SCDT, also said he was pleased to see the new SSH features included in the Google stack. But Campbell observed "other platforms have had that feature for years."

The latest additions to Compute Engine "seem to be bringing them more in line with what others have been offering. It makes me think that Google is taking their cloud offerings much more seriously than they had till now," Campbell said.

Google revealed two new Compute Engine zones Tuesday. There's one for the U.S. and another for Asia. The new zones, the third for each region, make it easier to run systems like MongoDB that use a quorum-based architecture for high availability, Google explained.

Google, in its announcement on the new zones, also discussed for the first time on its blog June's general availability launch of its SSD Persistent Disks for high-IOPS workloads and how the company has now made it easier for developers to create custom images directly from their root persistent disks.

Safoian of SADA systems said, "the introduction of SSDs has been a game changer for applications which rely on high disk IO as in the past this may have been the single limiting factor. All in all it's encouraging to see the work going into adding features and functionality across all of Cloud Platform and we anticipate breaking down even more barriers in the future."

"As Google's Cloud Platform continues to establish itself as the developer's tool of choice for quickly building enterprise class, web-scale applications, we are seeing the pace of new features launches accelerate," David Hoff, SVP at Atlanta-based Google partner Cloud Sherpas, told CRN.

"While other cloud providers are struggling to compete from a cost perspective, Google's established infrastructure allows them to focus on delivering the tools that developers need to build next-generation big data applications," he said.

PUBLISHED AUG. 7, 2014

See the latest cloud technologies, learn best practices, and interact with your peers at the channel’s first all-inclusive cloud event: NexGen Cloud Conference & Expo, December 4-5, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center. Register now at  www.NexGenCloudCon.com