Google Compute API - Affordable Computing at Google Scale

Ajay Ohri
Jan. 17 2013, 12:08PM EST

The Google Compute Engine API is one of the latest from a very pedigreed stable of APIs - Google APIs.The Google Compute Engine API operations map directly to REST HTTP verbs and returns data in JSON format. The specific formats for Google Compute Engine API URIs are:

https://www.googleapis.com/compute/v1beta12/resourcePath?parameters

The full set of URIs used for each supported operation in the API is summarized in the Google Compute Engine API Reference document.

However some of the basic nuts and bolts of the interface need to be fixed , for example making the ports and access types in the firewall section needs to be a drop down instead of free text, and better and easier documentation would be appreciated particularly on creating persistent disks and snapshots. May we suggest to the documentation ninjas to use a bit more screenshots to help explain the Google APIs a bit more lucidly. Is the Amazon API documentation easier to use? Yes. Is the Azure Console Interface shinier in design? Yes.  However while using the GC Util , I really like the ease of connection  to a new and or existing API and the hassle free security offered by the Google Compute Engine. Maybe if the Google API team hired more creatives in designing interfaces and easier documentation, they could finally blow the competition away by ensuring a hassle free approach to computing by APIs and Cloud.

I really liked the REST part of the console of the Google Compute Engine- it details how the REST request is crafted and is exactly the way a console should be- helping make REST requests easier.

Client Libraries

Client library Documentation All client library samples
Google APIs Client Library for .NET (beta) google-api-dotnet-client/ .NET samples
Google APIs Client Library for Dart (alpha) google-api-dart-client/ Dart samples
Google APIs Client Library for Go (alpha) google-api-go-client/ Go samples
Google API Libraries for Google Web Toolkit (alpha) gwt-google-apis/ GWT samples
Google APIs Client Library for Java (beta) google-api-java-client/ Java samples
Google APIs Client Library for JavaScript (beta) google-api-javascript-client/ JavaScript samples
Google APIs Client Library for Objective-C google-api-objectivec-client/ Objective-C samples
Google APIs Client Library for PHP (beta) google-api-php-client/ PHP samples
Google APIs Client Library for Python Google APIs Client Library for Python Python samples
Google APIs Client Library for Ruby (alpha) google-api-ruby-client/ Ruby samples

Google Compute Engine offers two Python client libraries, gcelib and the google-api-python-client library. The google-api-python-client library is a more general purpose library that talks to a variety of Google APIs, including Google Compute Engine. gcelib is a Google Compute Engine library that offers a variety of additional features but can only be used with Google Compute Engine.

Google Compute promises up to 50% more compute for money than other leading cloud providers.

the compute power is measured in GCEUs. Based onbenchmarks, one GCEU is at least as powerful as the CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron. The hourly rate for each GCEU is $.053.

But we found that it is a bit demanding to look at the Azure Calculator and Amazon calculator to compute exactly how much money we are going to saving, given the bundle of on-demand, bid pricing, and free offers rolled in Cloud API pricing. Perhaps someone can build a one by four website that calculates the pricing for computing across Oracle Java Cloud, Amazon Ec2 , Google Compute and Windows Azure.

One heartening sign of its acceptance- Cloudscaling has opened up the Google Compute Engine (GCE) APIs to OpenStack, allowing customers that use the open, federated cloud to access Google’s vast infrastructure. I believe pricing, interfaces, reliability in uptime  and open source credibility can help determine the winner in the cloud computing APi market.

Computing at Google scale- Just another API call away!

(Note- you'll need join the limited preview service by filling out the signup form. Once you have been invited (which can be very very long or very short), visit the Overview page to start learning about Google Compute Engine.)
Ajay Ohri is the author of R for Business Analytics and likes to write on Enterprise ,Cloud and Statistical APIs with an emphasis on interviews. Follow Ajay on Google+ and connect on LinkedIn

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