Google Compute Engine alternatives

Google Compute Engine
Run your large-scale computing workloads on Linux virtual machines hosted on Google's infrastructure. Use world class data centers that provide unparalleled performance for your computing needs. Easily scale to tens of thousands of cores on infrastructure designed for large-scale computing.
Here are the latest news about Google Compute Engine:

2015 Google Compute Engine adds Windows Server

Google made Windows Server support on its Compute Engine platform available for all. Cloud Engine users are now covered by Google’s Compute Engine SLA when they run their applications on Windows Server 2012 R2 and the older Windows Server 2008 R2. This also means developers can now use Google’s platform to run their Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange and ASP.NET servers. Google offers Microsoft License Mobility for its platform, so Microsoft customers can move their existing software licenses from their on-premise deployments to Google’s cloud without having to pay any additional licensing fees.

2014 Don't like cloud pricing? Wait a minute

According to the latest news, you need to wait just around 5 days before prices of cloud computing services will substantially drop. On March 26 Google announced price cut for Google Compute Engine (by 32%)  and Google App Engine (by 30%). And the cost of Google's cloud storage was reduced by as much as 68% (up to $0,026 per month per 1 GB). In 24 hours, Amazon responded - reduced the price of EC2 virtual machines by 30-40%, and the cost of S3 data storage - by 60% (down to $0,024 per gigabyte). Microsoft was very busy in recent days, so it reacted only after 5 days. Microsoft cut Windows Azure prices so that they were either identical or slightly lower than Amazon's. These three providers (Amazon, Microsoft and Google) reduce the cloud pricing so often that other players (IBM, Oracle, Rackspace, HP) simply can't take part in this cloud arms race, and the open cloud platform OpenStack also can't get the considerable market share.

2013 Google Compute Engine is available for all

Google launched its cloud IaaS platform Google Compute Engine a year ago, and then we called it the very strong competitor for Amazon Web Services. But the problem was that during this year the platform was available only for selected users (who paid $400/month for Google's Gold-support). Yesterday Google Compute Engine has become available to everyone, so let's get ready to rumble. With the public launch Google has added several new features. In particular, advanced routing - to create gateways and VPN servers, and enable you to build applications that span your local network and Google’s cloud, support for PHP in Google App Engine. Unlike AWS, Google introduced per-minute billing for the virtual servers (instead of per-hour). The pricing starts at $0.02/hour for a shared-core server. The video shows how you can create linux-server with the required parameters in 30 seconds on Google Compute Engine.

2012 Google and Amazon reduce cloud storage prices. Launch new cloud services

Competition - is good for customers. On Monday, Google reduced prices for its Google Cloud Storage by over 20%, and today, in response, Amazon has reduced prices for its S3 storage by 25%. Obviously, in the near future, Microsoft will also reduce prices for Windows Azure, to bring them to the competitive level - about $0.09/month per GB. The same story occured in March when Amazon lowered prices, and then Microsoft and Google aligned their pricing with Amazon. Because on the cloud platforms market the price is no longer a competitive advantage, but your pricing is higher than the competition - is't a big disadvantage. Some experts already doubt that Amazon and the contenders are earning something on selling gigabytes and gigahertzs. Like in case with the mobile market, the main task of cloud vendors - is to hook up large companies and SaaS-providers to their platforms, even if they should sell computing resources at a loss.

All the talks about open cloud platforms, open cloud standards and free migration between clouds - most likely will remain just talks. OpenStack is trying to build the communism in the Cloud, but with its communist-like business organization, it will hardly succeed. Meanwhile, Amazon, Google, Microsoft are build cloud platforms with their own standards, with unique features, and can afford to reduce prices for computer resources. They can afford because customers will remain and pay for additional features. Migrating to another platform will be very difficult.

In addition to new pricing, Google and Amazon introduced the new cloud services. Google launched the clone of Amazon's Glacier - Durable Reduced Availability Storage (cheap storage for very large amounts of data with slow data access). And Amazon played its muscles. It's new service Redshift allow to host databases the size of which is measured in petabytes. It's difficult to say about the demand for such a service, but it should definitely make a positive impact on Amazon's reputation. If they can play with petabyte-databases, than your little project will work on Amazon without a hitch.

2012 Google Compute Engine - the new threat to Amazon

This week, Google decided to seriously spoil the Amazon's life. First, they released the clone of Kindle Fire, which makes Amazon's tablet irrelevant, and now they are launching a clone of Amazon's cloud platform Amazon Web Services, significantly reducing the pricing for computer resources. Google's new IaaS-platform is called Google Compute Engine and (like AWS) allows to rent virtual servers and scale cloud-applications so that they could work at any load. In theory, the overall power and reliability of Google's cloud infrastructure can beat Amazon. During the Compute Engine  presentation Google engineers demonstrated a genome-analysis application running at 600,000 cores.

And the cost of Google Compute Engine instance will start at $0.055/hour. For comparison - Amazon's same small instance costs $0,08/hour. Storage and bandwidth pricing is almost the same. Thus in terms of cost and reliability, Google's platform is more attractive.

However, Amazon still has some advantages. The first - is Windows-instance support (Google Compute Engine currently supports only Linux). The second - is a variety of middle-ware tools. Though Google has already partnered with RightScale and some other cloud management providers, still for now AWS provides much more tools for developers and IT administrators.

And the third advantage - is time. For now Google Compute Engine will be available only to the small number of selected customers, and it's unknown when it opens to the public. During this time, Amazon can lower the prices and invent new features that Google hasn't cloned yet.