Google Unveils Cloud Infrastructure-As-A-Service

Google on Thursday at its I/O developer conference in San Francisco unveiled Compute Engine, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service that places it in competition with Amazon Web Services and other service providers that help businesses migrate their IT resources to the cloud.

Compute Engine will take advantage of the company’s worldwide data centers and infrastructure, Urs Holzle, senior vice president for technical infrastructure at Google, said in a keynote at the event.

’You now have access to what we have internally at Google,’ he said. ’It’s up to you to figure out how to make the best use of this service.’

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Compute Engine, which will host virtual machines running Linux, follows and complements Google’s App Engine, its Platform-as-a-Service for building applications, Holzle said. Compute Engine will add up to 50 percent more value than other cloud providers, he said.

Google’s entrance into the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market will most likely shake up the cloud services market and stimulate more competition among cloud providers like Google, Amazon, Rackspace and others.

’This is a major move by Google and what you’re seeing is the emergence of these mega cloud providers that already have extensive infrastructure running at massive scale,’ said Bailey Caldwell, vice president of business development for RightScale, of Santa Barbara, Calif., which manages and delivers applications to cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Eucalyptus Systems and Microsoft and will now partner with Google as well.

’Google now can offer an amazing set of capabilities you can launch in Google Cloud and take advantage of Google App Engine, Google Drive, and for [the] enterprise, its SaaS products like Google Docs; and, it will allow a whole generation of startups to create new products,’ Caldwell said.

Google partners applauded the announcement, saying it can help their customers access Google products in the cloud.

’Google Compute Engine is a natural progression for Google Apps for Business and Google Apps Engine,’ said Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, a Westborough, Mass.-based cloud provider that sells Google Apps. ’It will enable organizations to leverage Google's infrastructure for private cloud, hybrid cloud and custom SaaS solutions.’

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One Google partner said he looks forward to moving away from Amazon Web Services.

’This is very exciting. For developers to be able to spin up IaaS on Google's own infrastructure is tremendous, and I know we will be utilizing this for ourselves and our customers,’ said Tony Safoian, president and CEO of solution provider SADA Systems, of North Hollywood, Calif. ’We would prefer to utilize Google's IaaS offerings over Amazon’s, and this is at least in part driven by the promise of much lower costs with Google.’

But Safoian added that he would like to see recurring revenue from working with Google Compute Engine, although that is not part of the current offering.

’Will channel be able to re-sell their IaaS?’ he asked. ’I've been making the argument about how important this is for a long time. For us to be motivated to build rich, consuming IaaS use cases and solutions for our clients, we need to be invested by being able to participate in this utilization revenue.’