Google goes after Amazon with cloud upgrades

The extensive upgrades to Google's infrastructure-as-a-service cloud computing technology heighten competition with market leader Amazon Web Services.
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

Google has added 36 new types of server to its rentable cloud infrastructure. 

The additions to Google Compute Engine, the company's infrastructure-as-a-service technology, were announced by Google on Monday.

"At launch we offered four basic [instance types]," Barak Regev, head of Google's Cloud Platform in EMEA, told ZDNet. "If you aggregate [the 36 new instances] into brackets, you'll see they are touching the high-memory and high-CPU instances [but] the one that is most notable is the diskless file configuration."

The diskless configuration's instances let developers rent lower-cost instances for applications that do not need a dedicated disk attached to their server - an 'ephemeral' disk - but can handle a separate 'persistent' disk. Ephemeral disks are faster but do not retain data across instances. 

Google is also cutting the prices of its main four instances by around five percent.

Alongside the compute upgrades Google is also preparing to launch a technology named 'durable reduced availability' storage as a limited preview. This product reduces the cost of storing data but with lower availability. It is roughly analogous to Amazon Web Services' existing S3 Reduced Redundancy Storage. Google did not disclose by how much cost would be reduced.

"What we are doing in Google is continuing the momentum of [our] cloud platform" — Barak Regev, Google

Furthermore, Google is adding 'persistent disk snapshotting' so that administrators can create a backup of their persistent stored data and then move it to other Google datacentres around the world to help create multi-continent applications.

Asked when Google expected to have technology parity with Amazon Web Services, Regev noted that Google has some tech - like BigQuery - that Amazon lacks, however he hinted that Google is due to make several announcements that will close the gap in other areas.

"Obviously people are looking at the more popular offerings like Amazon or other companies; what we are doing in Google is continuing the momentum of [our] cloud platform," he says. "I think that today's announcement together with some upcoming announcements will change that perception we might have [as lagging]."

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