The new service, Google Compute Engine, will compete directly with Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. Developers can use the company’s Linux-based virtual machines to run whatever operations they want. So far the product is only in beta testing, but the company’s big name, combined with its promise of lower costs than competitors, seems likely to make it a major player fairly quickly once it goes live for everyone.
Already, Google is a big part of cloud computing. It’s well known for its free, user-friendly applications like Google Docs. It also offers Google App Engine, which lets developers build applications, and Google BigQuery, a service for analyzing large volumes of data. And it has an enormous amount of storage and processing capability. The company doesn’t disclose how much, exactly, but one estimate suggests it’s approaching 2 million.
Yet the market for cloud computing is less in platforms and services built on remove servers than in the servers themselves. Most institutional users are looking for infrastructure as a service—something they can use just like a real server to build whatever they need. That’s what Google Compute Engine is promising to deliver.
This is the third in a series of blog posts on major cloud computing players.
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