Author Picture By Marc Cohen, Google Cloud Platform team

Cross-posted with the Google App Engine blog

Starting today, Google Compute Engine is available to all customers who sign up for our Gold Support package. We’re also happy to announce a 4% reduction on all Compute Engine pricing.

In the nine months since announcing Compute Engine, customers have been using Google’s Infrastructure as a Service product and giving us valuable feedback. Sebastian Stadil of Scalr wrote, in a recent review:

“Google Compute Engine is not just fast. It’s Google fast. In fact, it’s a class of fast that enables new service architectures entirely.”

We’re happy to hear that, because one of our main goals in building Compute Engine is to enable a new generation of applications with direct access to the capabilities of Google’s vast computing infrastructure.

Based on user feedback, we’ve added a number of major features including:

  • The option to boot from persistent disks mounted as the root file system, persistent disk snapshots, the ability to checkpoint and restore the contents of network resident persistent disks on demand, and the ability to attach and detach persistent disks from running instances.
  • An improved administration console, the Google Cloud Console (preview), which allows you to administer all your Google Cloud Platform services via a unified interface. Here’s a screenshot of the new Cloud Console in action:
    Screenshot of Cloud Console
  • Five new instance type families (diskless versions of our standard instance types, plus diskful and diskless versions of high-memory and high-cpu configurations), with 16 new instance types.
  • Two new supported zones in Europe, which provide lower latency and higher performance for our European customers. We’ve also made it easy to migrate virtual machine instances from one zone to another via an enhancement to our gcutil command line tool.
  • An enhanced metadata server, with the ability to support recursive queries, blocking gets and selectable response formats, along with support for updating virtual machine tags and metadata on running instances (which enables dynamic reconfiguration scenarios).

While we've been hard at work developing new features, we've also had the opportunity to play. Check out the amazing World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment, developed by the Chrome team in Japan. This game converts any web site of your choice into an interactive, three dimensional maze, navigated remotely via your smartphone. Compute Engine virtual machines run Node.js to manage the game state and synchronization with the mobile device, while Google App Engine hosts the game’s web UI. This application provides an excellent example of the new kinds of rich, high performance back end services enabled by Google Cloud Platform.

With today’s announcement, we look forward to welcoming many new customers, and bringing exciting new applications to Google Cloud Platform!



Marc Cohen is a Developer Programs Engineer focusing on helping developers get the most out of Google’s advanced cloud computing technologies. He has over 25 years of experience designing and building reliable, distributed systems in the telecommunications industry. A Seattle resident, Marc enjoys programming, indie pop/rock music, blogging and teaching.

Posted by Ashleigh Rentz, Editor Emerita