Google's Compute Engine now ready for business

Google's cloud engine gets ready to do battle with Amazon, promises to cut prices on its most popular instances by 10 percent

Google has announced the general availability of its Google Compute Engine which allows companies to run large-scale workloads on virtual machines hosted on Google's infrastructure.

The Compute Engine promises 24 by seven support and a 99.95 percent monthly SLA for "mission-critical" workloads, the company said, and offers "virtual machines that are performant, scalable, reliable, and offer industry-leading security features like encryption of data at rest."

While the Amazon Web Services cloud has been making the running so far, Microsoft, Rackspace and Google are also keen to persuade companies to move their processing into their clouds. Google also said it is lowering prices on its "most popular" standard Compute Engine instances by 10 percent in all regions.

During the preview of the Compute Engine, Google supported two  Linux distributions, Debian and Centos, customized with a Google-built kernel. Now users  can run any out-of-the-box Linux distribution, the company said, including SELinux and CoreOS as well as "any kernel or software you like, including Docker, FOG, xfs and aufs".  Support for SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (in Limited Preview) and FreeBSD was also announced.

Google is also making changes to its Persistent Disk service which offers consistent performance along with higher durability than local disks. The price of Persistent Disk is reduced by 60 percent per Gigabyte and the company is also dropping I/O charges, "so that customers get a predictable, low price for their block storage device", the company said.

I/O available to a volume scales linearly with size, and the largest Persistent Disk volumes have up to 700% higher peak I/O capability.

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