Google makes its Compute Engine generally available -- and cheaper

Most businesses by now will have heard of the Google Cloud Platform which lets developers run applications on Google's servers. The company today announces general availability of its Google Compute Engine offering scalable, secure virtual machines running Linux.

In its preview phase Compute Engine supported only Debian and Centos running with a customized Google kernel. It now supports any out of the box Linux distro so that developers can work with a familiar environment but also support software that needs a specific kernel or file system.

At the same time Google has announced a transparent maintenance regime that upgrades and maintains systems whilst allowing the virtual machines to keep running. In the event of failure VMs are automatically restarted to get them back online fast.

Writing on the Google Cloud Platform Blog Vice President Ari Balogh says, "At Google, we have found that regular maintenance of hardware and software infrastructure is critical to operating with a high level of reliability, security and performance. We're introducing transparent maintenance that combines software and data center innovations with live migration technology to perform proactive maintenance while your virtual machines keep running. You now get all the benefits of regular updates and proactive maintenance without the downtime and reboots typically required".

For those needing more computing power there are new instance types available with up to 16 cores and 104GB of RAM. Google has also cut the price of its Persistent Disk storage by 60 percent per gigabyte and is dropping I/O charges in order to offer more predictable pricing. The price of the most popular Compute Engine instances is also cut by 10 percent.

You can find out more about Compute Engine, view real-life case studies and sign up for a trial at

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