Google Compute Engine What You Need to Know

In June 2012, Google announced that it was making a cloud computing service.  So how does it work and what can it do for you?

The Basics

The Compute Engine is Google’s answer to Amazon’s EC2 web service.  Essentially both are cloud infrastructure services.  What that means is that Google and Amazon are offering digital resources: disk space and computing power.  Instead of buying a dozen fancy servers, you can run your network off theirs.  These networks are all about centralization.  If you have offices all over the place, they don’t need to have their own major IT hardware, it’s all under Google’s purview.


Initial beta testing reviews show that Google has stepped up to the challenge.  According to Gigaom, GCE is about four times faster in booting virtual machines and about twice as fast at writing ephemeral disks.  Like all Google products, the pricing will range from free to premium.  The highest pricing tier will cost $150 a month.  Application hosting will be free for the first 28 instance hours (reset daily) for on-demand front-end instances and 8 cents an hour after that.

What is Hyper V?

So you’ve got all this business related data.  It’s important to your business and your customers that this data is safe, secure, and accessible even or especially in a crisis.  What to do, what to do?

Well you could set up Hyper V on your Windows Server.  The virtualization system that shipped with the Windows 2012 Servers is better than ever.

How it Works

In basic terms, Hyper V is used between two server units.  One, the primary site, is where you upload all your data.  The other, the replication site, receives the data.  First you need to setup an initial replication, which can be over a network or physically transferred, such as on a USB device and placed in the replication site.

After that, any changes made on the initial site are transferred to the replication site.  This will occur, essentially, continuously and full transfers will vary depending on how long they take to complete.  Generally speaking, transfer will occur every five to ten minutes.

Why This is Important

Hyper V allows for the replica site to take over the workload time.  For example, if there’s a flood and your primary site server is damaged, your replica site, which can be a thousand miles away, will be brought online with virtually no down time. If or when you get your primary site back up, you can set a reverse replication, sending the changes down to the replication site back to the primary site.

What About the Cloud?

Hyper V can be used a cloud hosting service.  The system can be set so there is one replication site to receive data from multiple primary sites.  Security can be maintained because certificate-based authentication can be implemented so that only certain users can access specific areas of the replication site.

The Advantage of Hyper V

Hyper V’s major advantage is that it’s simple to set up.  All you need are two Windows 2012 servers.  There is no additional software required.  Staff wise, only a few IT professionals can maintain this system.  For more information about IT staff augmentation click here.