Author PhotoBy Ari Balogh, Vice President, Cloud Platform

Cross-posted from the Google Cloud Platform Blog

Google Cloud Platform gives developers the flexibility to architect applications with both managed and unmanaged services that run on Google’s infrastructure. We’ve been working to improve the developer experience across our services to meet the standards our own engineers would expect here at Google.

Today, Google Compute Engine is Generally Available (GA), offering virtual machines that are performant, scalable, reliable, and offer industry-leading security features like encryption of data at rest. Compute Engine is available with 24/7 support and a 99.95% monthly SLA for your mission-critical workloads. We are also introducing several new features and lower prices for persistent disks and popular compute instances.

Expanded operating system support
During Preview, Compute Engine supported two of the most popular Linux distributions, Debian and Centos, customized with a Google-built kernel. This gave developers a familiar environment to build on, but some software that required specific kernels or loadable modules (e.g. some file systems) were not supported. Now you can run any out-of-the-box Linux distribution (including SELinux and CoreOS) as well as any kernel or software you like, including Docker, FOG, xfs and aufs. We’re also announcing support for SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (in Limited Preview) and FreeBSD.

Transparent maintenance with live migration and automatic restart
At Google, we have found that regular maintenance of hardware and software infrastructure is critical to operating with a high level of reliability, security and performance. We’re introducing transparent maintenance that combines software and data center innovations with live migration technology to perform proactive maintenance while your virtual machines keep running. You now get all the benefits of regular updates and proactive maintenance without the downtime and reboots typically required. Furthermore, in the event of a failure, we automatically restart your VMs and get them back online in minutes. We’ve already rolled out this feature to our US zones, with others to follow in the coming months.

New 16-core instances
Developers have asked for instances with even greater computational power and memory for applications that range from silicon simulation to running high-scale NoSQL databases. To serve their needs, we’re launching three new instance types in Limited Preview with up to 16 cores and 104 gigabytes of RAM. They are available in the familiar standard, high-memory and high-CPU shapes.

Faster, cheaper Persistent Disks
Building highly scalable and reliable applications starts with using the right storage. Our Persistent Disk service offers you strong, consistent performance along with much higher durability than local disks. Today we’re lowering the price of Persistent Disk by 60% per Gigabyte and dropping I/O charges so that you get a predictable, low price for your block storage device. I/O available to a volume scales linearly with size, and the largest Persistent Disk volumes have up to 700% higher peak I/O capability. You can read more about the improvements to Persistent Disk in our previous blog post.

10% Lower Prices for Standard Instances
We’re also lowering prices on our most popular standard Compute Engine instances by 10% in all regions.

Customers and partners using Compute Engine
In the past few months, customers like Snapchat, Cooladata, Mendelics, Evite and Wix have built complex systems on Compute Engine and partners like SaltStack, Wowza, Rightscale, Qubole, Red Hat, SUSE, and Scalr have joined our Cloud Platform Partner Program, with new integrations with Compute Engine.
“We find that Compute Engine scales quickly, allowing us to easily meet the flow of new sequencing requests… Compute Engine has helped us scale with our demands and has been a key component to helping our physicians diagnose and cure genetic diseases in Brazil and around the world.”
- David Schlesinger, CEO of Mendelics
"Google Cloud Platform provides the most consistent performance we’ve ever seen. Every VM, every disk, performs exactly as we expect it to and gave us the ability to build fast, low-latency applications."
- Sebastian Stadil, CEO of Scalr
We’re looking forward to this next step for Google Cloud Platform as we continue to help developers and businesses everywhere benefit from Google’s technical and operational expertise.


Ari Balogh is the Vice President, Cloud Platform at Google and manages the teams responsible for building Google Cloud Platform and other parts of Google’s internal infrastructure.

Posted by Scott Knaster, Editor