Partners See Opportunity With Google Compute Engine

Google partners say the company’s Compute Engine cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service can be an effective platform to deliver Google products and services, and it can evolve to support enterprise-level workloads.

Google Compute Engine public cloud service, announced Thursday at the company's I/O developer conference in San Francisco, takes advantage of massively scalable computing resources, low prices and Linux-based virtual machines, similar in scope to Amazon Web Services, which Google said it is targeting.

David Hoff, co-founder and senior vice president of operations and technology of Cloud Sherpas, an Atlanta, Ga.-based solution provider and Google partner, said Google has been evolving its cloud-based model of delivering its products and services for more than a year and will continue on that path.

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A key part of the cloud-based model is Google App Engine, a Platform-as-a-Service to develop and host Web applications, which came out of preview in September 2011. Google Compute Engine is an extension of App Engine, he said.

’We see [Google Compute Engine] as a natural evolution,’ Hoff said. ’We've been early supporters and adopters of Google App Engine, Google's SaaS offering. Just as Chromebooks have started to round out the desktop end of the Google stack, Google Compute Engine brings the bare-metal services capacity to our set of offerings.’

Google partners have been using other public cloud providers such as Amazon and Rackspace. But Shashank Agrawal, a partner with Pasadena, Calif.-based Acumor, which offers Google and Microsoft products, said he will begin to shift some workloads to Google Compute Engine.

’We are already using Google App Engine for ourselves and for our customers,’ Agrawal said. ’We’ll start using [Compute Engine] for some of our work.’

Allen Falcon, CEO of Cumulus Global, a Westborough, Mass.-based cloud provider that sells Google Apps, added that Compute Engine is a "natural progression for Google Apps for Business and Google Apps Engine.’

NEXT: Cloud Compute Mirrors Amazon Web Services

Right now, Google Compute Engine mirrors Amazon Web Services, said Gary Chen, IDC research manager for cloud and virtualization system software.

’Google is going after an Amazon-type of public cloud where there are only a few that compete,’ Chen said. ’That type offers services at low cost with a minimum of service-level agreements and ability to scale.’

Google Compute Engine will have to develop the services to accommodate enterprise workloads, the type of hosting that is often carried out in private clouds, he said.

’They will have to mature the infrastructure, offering enterprise features that people expect, like security, management tools and customer support,’ he said.

And Google partners may benefit with platform development for Google sellers, he said. ’There may be integration with Google Apps as developers create custom APIs to the Google Compute Engine,’ said Chen.

There are also indications that Google will evolve Compute Engine to support more sophisticated enterprise workloads.

Urs Holzle, senior vice president for technical infrastructure at Google, told the several thousand developers attending his keynote Thursday at the I/O conference that Compute Engine is open to modification. ’It’s up to you to figure out how to make the best use of this service,’ he said.