Google's Business Cloud Service Moves From Beta To Live
December 3, 2013

Google’s Business Cloud Service Moves From Beta To Live

Enid Burns for - Your Universe Online

Google just took the "Beta" designation from its Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering Google Computer Engine (GCE). The cloud service for enterprise is now in general availability. Google also lowered the rates on the GCE service by 10 percent in all regions, according to a report by Forbes.

"GCE has only been in beta for a little over 12 months, such a short time to GA indicates the seriousness with which Google approaches this market, and the fear it has of arch rival (at least in this space) Amazon Web Services (AWS)," Ben Kepes, a contributor at Forbes, writes.

While the move to general availability for its enterprise cloud service is significant, the company already has a robust offering for cloud services.

"Google has deep experience running cloud computing for Google Apps, Gmail and a host of other applications. They have been "dog-fooding" their technology for years now, working out many of the kinks with redundancy, scalability, and availability. Now, Google is planning to rent its cloud-based infrastructure to other businesses," Josh Crandall, principal analyst at Netpop Research, told RedOrbit.

Google Computer Engine addresses enterprise, along with services for individual users. "The search giant has for years been evasive about its plans for a so-called public cloud of computers and data storage that is rented to individuals and businesses," the New York Times reports. "On Tuesday, however, it will announce pricing, features and performance guarantees aimed at companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals."

In addition to a price drop of 10 percent, Google made its GCE service broader by opening it up to full Linux support. While the beta release supported Debian and CentOS, the general availability version now includes any standard Linux distribution such as SELinux and CoreOS. It also supports SUSE, FreeBSD and Red Hat Enterprise Linux, according to Forbes.

While Amazon competes strongly in the space, the service competes with numerous other companies including Microsoft, IBM and others developing cloud computing solutions.

"The brand halo Google enjoys is appealing to many developers. The guarantees of stability and uptime are additional features that make developers feel secure with Google managing their computing platforms. Google is clearly in the game to win new business in an expanding marketplace," Crandall said.

Google's price adjustments will also make the Google Computer Engine service more competitive with its competition. Companies adding cloud service, or those who wish to move from existing cloud services, will be able to make the move.

"The costs to transfer businesses from one cloud computing platform to another are high, so winning existing business from Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure is another story. The difference of 99.95 and 98 percent uptime really isn't the issue now, it's when the failures happen and how quickly the services are restored that count," Crandall warned.

It will be up to Google, as well as its competition, to keep service disruptions to a minimum, and quickly address those disruptions. While services always experience outages, Google has a reputation for consistent service across its offering, which may help the company win enterprise customers to the Google Computing Engine service.