Why Google is freaking out Amazon

With the release of Google Compute Engine, Google is becoming a real threat to Amazon Web Services

As announced at Google I/O last week in San Francisco, Google Compute Engine is now available to everyone. This means you, not just the customers who pay $400 per month for Google Gold support.

This is Google's answer to IaaS compute services -- Amazon Web Services in particular.

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As revealed by Google, the features include:

  • Subhour billing charges for instances in one-minute increments with a 10-minute minimum, so you don't pay for compute minutes that you don't use.
  • Shared-core instances provide smaller instance shapes for low-intensity workloads.
  • Advanced routing features to help create gateways and VPN servers that let you build applications that span your local network and Google's cloud.
  • Large persistent disks that support as many as 10 terabytes per volume, which translates to 10 times the industry standard.

Google also announced PHP support for Google App Engine (GAE), the Google PaaS offering that has been available for half a decade.

Is Google scaring the likes of multi-billion-dollar IaaS cloud provider Amazon Web Services? Or Microsoft, Rackspace, IBM, or Hewlett-Packard? Yes, even if they say it doesn't. For example, an ex-Amazon Web Services engineer recently participated in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, where he stated was just how much of a threat Google's cloud computing service is to Amazon.

His reason is that Google's cloud is faster than Amazon's offering. Of course, you need to consider the fact that this guy is no longer an AWS employee, so his information may be dated. Still, Google has done a good job of building out its cloud services.

Like Microsoft, Google initially focused too much on its PaaS offering. Now it is moving to a more complete IaaS offering as well. This is surely in response to Amazon's meteoric rise in the IaaS cloud space.

The difference with Google and the other IaaS players looking to knock Amazon Web Services down a notch is that Google has a huge amount of resources. Also, Google understands Internet-based systems, perhaps more than all of the others AWS wannabes.

Taking innovative risks, such as building a cloud without the use of traditional virtualization, for example, means Google needs fewer resources and offers better performance. It can provide cloud services as a loss leader without killing the core business, and Google has a trusted brand. These all make Google the most serious AWS competitor.

In a few years, Google could very well have an IaaS cloud offering that finally gives Amazon a run for its money. Given the maturation of this sector and the variability in buying patterns, Google could easily become the provider that finally does real battle with Amazon.

This article, "Why Google is freaking out Amazon," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computing at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, followInfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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