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Google Compute Engine Expands OS Support, Lowers Prices in General Availability

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Rentable virtual machine service Google Compute Engine has gone from a technology preview to general availability, along with the addition of greater operating system support, new maintenance features, and lower prices.

According to the announcement by Google vice president Ari Balogh, Compute Engine instances offer performance, scalability, reliability, and industry-leading security features like encryption of data at rest.

Virtual machines are available in Standard, High CPU, High Memory, and Shared Core varieties. The prices of the most popular category, Standard, have been cut by 10 percent in all regions. For instance, a standard instance with a single core and 3.75 GB of RAM is priced at $0.104 per hour.

Compute Engine has launched a Limited Preview of three new instance types with as many as 16 cores and 104 GB of RAM. These instances are expected to be used by developers for demanding applications ranging from silicon simulation to high-scale NoSQL databases,

Google is also lowering the price of its Persistent Disk by 60 percent per GB and dropping I/O charges to make prices more predictable.

Compute Engine was previously limited to customized versions of Linux distributions Debian and Centos. Now, Compute Engine has added support for any out-of-the-box Linux distribution, including SELinux and CoreOS, and FreeBSD, as well as SUSE Linux and Red Hat Enterprise Linux in limited preview. It can also now run tools such as Docker, FOG, xfs and aufs.

Google has introduced “transparent maintenance”, which uses live migration technology and other innovations to perform proactive maintenance and regular updates without having to reboot virtual machines. Google also automatically restarts VMs in the event of a failure to minimize downtime.

A 99.95 percent monthly SLA and 24/7 support are also now available.

With customers like Snapchat, Cooladata, Mendelics, Evite and Wix already building on the Compute Engine platform and many others joining the Cloud Platform Partner Program, many expect that Google will be stiff competition for the other major public cloud services: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft’s Azure and IBM’s Softlayer.

About the Author

David Hamilton is a Toronto-based technology journalist who has written for the National Post and other news outlets. He has covered the hosting industry internationally for the Web Host Industry Review with particular attention to innovative hosting solutions and the issues facing the industry. David is a graduate of Queen’s University and the Humber College School of Media Studies.

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