Google launches IaaS Compute Engine

The Google Compute Engine will offer Linux virtual machines

Expanding its portfolio of cloud computing services, Google is launching an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) package, called Google Compute Engine (GCE).

"We've heard from many of our customers that not having an IaaS was a barrier to adopting many of our other cloud services," said Urs Hölzle, Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure.

The service will be available as a limited preview, with access available only through Google's salesforce. The company did not offer an estimate of when the service would be generally available.

Google will demonstrate the new service during the Google I/O developers conference this week in San Francisco. In a keynote talk Thursday, Hölzle plans to show the service running a single application across 600,000 processor cores. "This will showcase we have the scalability to run very large applications at very high performance," Hölzle said.

By entering the IaaS market, Google is following Microsoft, which also recently added Linux IaaS services to its Windows Azure PaaS (platform as a service).

The service will offer the ability to run Linux virtual machines (VMs) based on either the Ubuntu 12.04 or the CentOS 6.2 Linux distributions. The distributions run over the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) hypervisor. The service also comes with storage and networking capabilities. To offer additional management functionality with the service, Google has also partnered with a number of software vendors, including Puppet Labs, RightScale and Opscode.

The company will initially market the service to those who will need 100 or more VMs. The ideal workload would be more compute-intensive rather than I/O-intensive. Administrators can add more cores to an application while it is still running.

Google has made it easy to combine GCE with other Google cloud services, notably Google App Engine (GAE). "You will be able to combine GAE, BigQuery and GCE to form larger applications, and we expect many users to do that," Hölzle said.

VMs will be available with either one, two, four or eight cores, with each core allotted 3.75GB of memory. Running a standard single core will cost US$0.145 per hour, with additional costs for networking and storage.

The company has achieved pretty good adoption of its Google App Engine PaaS offering thus far. Launched in 2008, the service currently hosts 1 million active applications. Collectively the services get about 7.5 billion Web requests per day. The Cloud SQL executes 50 million queries per day and the datastore conducts 2 trillion operations per month.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?