Author Picture By Greg DeMichillie, Google Cloud Platform team

Cross-posted from the Google Cloud Platform blog

Today’s updates to Google Cloud Platform bring lots of new enhancements complementing features we first shared at I/O. Check out the latest additions: Load balancing now available on Google Compute Engine
We’ve now added layer 3 load balancing to Compute Engine, which delivers Google-scale throughput and fault tolerance to manage Internet applications. Load balancing is critical in any highly scalable system, allowing you to automatically and intelligently route traffic across a collection of servers.

With the load balancing service, you can:
  • Load-balance ingress network TCP/UDP traffic over a specific set of Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs) within the same region
  • Ensure that only healthy VMs are used to serve Internet requests through the use of HTTP-based health checks
  • Easily handle spikes in load without pre-warming
  • Configure the load balancer via command line interface (CLI) and a programmatic RESTful API
This initial release provides Layer 3 support and we’ll continue to expand its capabilities on a regular basis. We’re pleased to offer the load balancing feature at no cost through the end of 2013, after which we’ll charge the rates outlined on our pricing page.

Improved developer experience for Google Cloud Datastore
Cloud development tools should enhance developer productivity, and that’s what we focused on with the latest update to Cloud Datastore.

Google Query Language (GQL) Support
Being able to search for data lies at the heart of all data-driven applications, and we’ve made that easier by adding GQL support — a SQL-like language for retrieving entities or keys from Cloud Datastore.

Metadata queries
You can now access Metadata Queries that allow you to retrieve statistics on their underlying data. This is useful when building your internal administration consoles, performing custom analysis or simply debugging an application.

Local SDK improvements
Part of providing great developer experiences is allowing developers to make changes in a fast, efficient and cost-effective way. That’s why we’ve made numerous enhancements to the command line tool. Separately, we’ve also included support for those of you who use Microsoft Windows.

Getting started with Ruby
If there is one thing that developers are passionate about (us included) it’s languages. The initial release of Cloud Datastore included code snippets and samples for getting up and running with Java, Python and Node. With the latest release, we’ve included the same Cloud Datastore support for Ruby developers — allowing you to easily spin up Ruby applications that rely on a managed NoSQL datastore.

Updates to the PHP runtime in Google App Engine 1.8.3
We’ve been listening to feedback from early developers using the PHP runtime, so our latest App Engine release is dedicated to PHP. But there are still a few new goodies for those of you not using PHP, which you can find in the release notes.

Our integration with Google Cloud Storage for reading and writing files has proven to be popular, so we expanded this in 1.8.3. Our latest update includes:
  • improved support for working with directories in Google Cloud Storage — allowing you to call functions such as opendir() or writedir() directly on Cloud Storage buckets
  • support for functions related to stat()-ing files, such as is_readable() and is_file()
  • the ability to write metadata to Cloud Storage files
  • substantial performance improvements through memcache-backed optimistic read caching — this improves the performance of applications that need to read frequently from the same Cloud Storage file
  • numerous bug fixes
We’ve also improved support for task queues, including the ability to set headers on push tasks and to add tasks to queues efficiently in bulk using the new PushTask:addTasks() method.

We hope you enjoy the new Cloud Platform features!

Greg DeMichillie has spent his entire career working on developer platforms for web, mobile, and the cloud. He started as a software engineer before making the jump to Product Management. When not coding, he's an avid photographer and gadget geek.

Posted by Ashleigh Rentz, Editor Emerita