Google's adjustable cloud infrastructure services leave beta

Custom Machine Types allow developers to design their own compute instances

Google has announced the general availability of Custom Machine Types for its Compute Engine infrastructure-as-a-service offering, giving developers a chance to design their own compute instances to meet particular performance requirements. 

The move is designed to let businesses save money by only paying for the compute capacity they need, rather than having to choose from instance types with fixed amounts of virtual CPU, memory and storage.

With Custom Machine Types, developers can can build an instance with between 1 and 32 vCPUs, incremented by even numbers of processors. To that, they can add up to 6.5 "gibabytes" of memory per vCPU in an instance (1 gibabyte, or GiB, is equivalent to 1.074 gigabytes.) 

That means a developer who really only needs compute instances with 12 vCPUs and 45GiB of memory can get it, even though that configuration isn't available through Google's existing set of instances. 

The feature was good news for web development platform provider Wix, which saw an 18 percent savings on compute bills powering its Media platform. 

Google first released a beta version of the feature in November, but announced its generally available on Wednesday. In addition to leaving open beta, Custom Machine Types now works with Red Hat Linux and Windows operating systems, on top of the already-supported CentOS, CoreOS, Debian, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu flavors of Linux.

Developers can also bring their own Linux variant to Google Compute Engine and still take advantage of the new feature.

It's a money-saving move for developers and companies that's aligned with other pushes Google has made in the cloud market, including its adoption of per-minute pricing for VMs, and sustained use discounts that provide savings for developers who run instances for a significant part of the billing month. 

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Blair Hanley Frank

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