Google’s I/O conference in San Francisco didn’t just offer new products and services for consumers: the company used the event to unveil upgraded software for developers and those who deal with IT infrastructure.
For example, Google Compute Engine (which the company first announced last year) is now available to everyone in preview, with a bevvy of just-announced features. The Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering gives developers access to Google’s enormous computing power, the better to crunch data and build applications.
According to Google’s Cloud Platform Blog, new Google Compute Engine features include sub-hour billing (“charges for instances in one-minute increments with a ten-minute minimum,” the blog posting explained, “so you don’t pay for compute minutes you don’t use”), shared-core instances for low-intensity workloads, advanced routing for those IT pros with a need to create gateways and VPN servers, and large persistent disks that support up to 10 terabytes per volume.
In addition, Google announced that Google Compute Engine, Google App Engine and Google Cloud Storage all meet the ISO 27001:2005 international security certification.
Google has also built some improvements into Google App Engine, such as a Limited Preview of PHP runtime. “We’re bringing one of the most popular web programming languages to App Engine so that you can run open source apps like WordPress,” the posting added. “It also offers deep integration with other parts of Cloud Platform including Google Cloud SQL and Cloud Storage.” On top of that, Google App Engine features the ability to partition apps into components with individual settings.
In the realm of new products, Google has unveiled the standalone Google Cloud Datastore for non-relational data, with features such as ACID transactions and SQL-like queries. The platform is accessible via HTTP using a JSON or Protocol Buffers API running atop the Google APIs infrastructure, according to the Datastore Website, and Protocol Buffer client libraries for Java and Python (not to mention Google APIs client libraries).
All of these new and upgraded tools, of course, are meant to help Google compete more fiercely with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which remains a popular option among IaaS users. Amazon launched AWS years ahead of many of its rivals, and adds new capabilities and pricing schemes on a regular basis—making it difficult for any rival, even one with Google’s enormous resources, to easily catch up.