Google Cloud Platform continues to roll out features at a pace that was previously seen from Amazon Web Services -- the undisputed leader in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) space -- with which it is competing head on. The last two weeks have seen a series of announcements that includes Cloud SQL going to Generally Available (GA) status, developer workshops planned across the EMEA region, and a high-profile event in March to announce significant updates to the Platform.
First is Google Cloud SQL, a fully managed MySQL service hosted on Google Cloud Platform. The service has now reached GA status and comes with an SLA that guarantees 99.95% availability of the service. Each Cloud SQL instance can now store databases up to 500 GB, and you do not need to pay up front for the storage. Security is a key feature of the service, with all data and network connections within Google networks being encrypted.
In a clear indication that some big announcements are coming for Google Cloud Platform, Google has sent out invitations for an event on March 25 to be held in San Francisco. Urs Hölzle will be leading the way to announce a series of new products and features. This event should give a good glimpse into what Google has in store this year for its Cloud Platform. You will need to make your reservation quickly to get a spot at the event. As an alternative, you could try out the Google offices in New York and Seattle, or tune in via the Web.
In another series of events that target the developer, Google is organizing Google Cloud Coding Workshops in various cities in the EMEA region. This one-day event will get you started with using the Google Compute Engine and building an App Engine application.
Google Cloud Platform has seen a significant and constant stream of updates, making it a serious contender in the Cloud space, where Amazon was previously the undisputed leader. An article at Gigaom highlights the things that Google could do to put serious pressure on Amazon, which has been constantly innovating with features and price cuts during recent years. We should expect to see Amazon announce its own set of features that should make this year quite interesting.