Google Cloud Platform has been busy the last few weeks with several features reaching general availability (GA) status, a mobile app to manage cloud platform resources on the go and detailed guides to help understand the cost of running a large data warehouse on Google Cloud Platform.
First up is the announcement that Windows Server support on Google Cloud Platform has achieved GA status. The timing assumes significance in the light of Windows Server 2003 reaching end of life. GCP now supports Windows Server 2008 R2 and 2012 R2 on Compute Engine. This is backed by support for features that are key in using GCP for Windows Server workloads. These include popular software like SharePoint, SQL, Exchange Server and other Microsoft applications via the Microsoft License Mobility program; securely tying in on-premises infrastructure via VPN to GCP; and Compute Engine virtualization stack improvements to get maximum throughput from your instances.
Go language continues to gather steam. The language behind some of the most popular open source projects in recent times, namely Docker and Kubernetes, is steadily increasing its mindshare among developers. Talks at Gophercon in Denver earlier this month clearly demonstrated the success developers have had with the language. One of the earliest services available on GCP, App Engine, saw support for the Go runtime awhile back. Since then there have been significant announcements for Java and Python runtimes on App Engine, and it seemed that Go had slipped into the background. This is no longer the case with Go on App Engine reaching GA status. This means “significant investments in App Engine for Go, including an improved SDK and an upgrade to the Go 1.5 runtime. Our goal is to make App Engine the best deployment platform for Go programmers,” according to a Google blog post.
One of the challenges of running production systems in the cloud is being able to monitor and manage these resources on the go. This problem gets compounded when using a mobile device. To address this, the Google Cloud Console mobile app on Android has been released.
The mobile app allows you to manage your resources on Compute Engine and App Engine applications, respectively. You can start/stop your virtual machines, monitor key metrics and get notifications/alerts for those metrics. Not just that, you can even SSH into your VMs. The Cloud Console mobile application is available on the Play Store. A release for iOS is expected soon.
Cost is a key factor for any enterprise thinking of moving to the cloud. And with big data projects, the infrastructure requirements, which include cost, can be tricky to calculate. To help understand the cost of running data warehouses in the cloud, Google has released a couple of detailed blog posts that explain the price of running these workloads on its platform and other providers such as Amazon Web Services. The pricing examples show the cost of these workloads monthly, yearly and for three years using a variety of options.
With AWS and Azure still commanding a fair share of the market, Google Cloud Platform is focussed on developers with services that are built on its best-in-class infrastructure with performance and pricing factors that are attractive vis-à-vis their competitors.