In a world that is currently dominated by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google has taken the next steps to announce itself as a solid alternative to AWS. The Google Compute Engine (GCE), an Infrastructure-as-a-Service product that allows running Virtual Linux Servers at Google scale was announced in June of last year and was available by invite only. The gates have been thrown open a little bit with Google announcing its expanded availability, price cuts and newer features.
Google announced at the App Engine blog that GCE is now available immediately for all customers who sign up for Gold Support and a price cut of 4% across the compute platform. Gold support starts at a fee of $400 per month. The initial feedback from customers has been positive for Google and the gradual rollout of the service and features shows that Google is being careful of getting the service rich with features and tested well before rolling it out to general availability.
It is not just price cuts that have been announced but also a set of Administrative features that allow a unified view of all the Google Compute Services that you use, five new instance type families and 2 additional zones in Europe for European customers.
Google Engineers are also highlighting World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment, developed by the Chrome team in Japan. This is a showcase for the various back-end services that are part of Google Compute Engine. The site converts any website of your choice into a three-dimensional maze that you can navigate via your smartphone. The Game state and synchronization data is handled by Virtual Servers running Node.js while the UI is hosted on AppEngine.
With Google I/O 2013 around the corner, we should definitely expect more news on the Google Compute Engine platform.