Google's Computers Now for Hire
By QUENTIN HARDY JUNE 28, 2012
Cloud computing just got a lot bigger.
On Thursday Google announced that it would offer computing as a service accessible over the Internet, much like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Rackspace and others. Google said its prices would be about 50 percent below those of current market rates.
Urs Hölzle, the Google senior vice president for technical infrastructure, said Google was drawing off its own long history of managing millions of servers around the world. "We've solved a lot of the problems, and are passing on the savings," he said. "It's a natural step for us."
As a demonstration of what the product, Google Compute Engine, could do, Mr. Hölzle announced a genetic mapping project that would use600,000 computing cores, which are the processing units on a semiconductor.
Mr. Hölzle was speaking at Google I/O, the company's annual conference for software developers, which this year drew 5,500 people. Google is hoping the developers will build applications on its public cloud, and help persuade corporations to move resources there.
Google's move is not surprising, given the success Amazon and others have had in persuading corporations to ditch much of their on-site data storage and computing resources in favor of a publicly shared "cloud" of computing.
If anything, Google is somewhat late to the game. Google pioneered many of the techniques in cloud computing, but for years kept its technology proprietary. Over the past few years Google has entered parts of the business like online storage, application deployment, and pattern-finding algorithms for rent.
On Thursday Google also announced that its Application Engine had over one million applications in use, and was serving applications to customers up to 7.5 billion times daily.
...***** Moderator's Note *****
Most computer technology races go to those who start first, not to those who have the best product. The information superhighway is littered with the skeletons of also-rans who tried to be the best, but not fast enough: Visicalc, Ashton-Tate, and on and on.
Google /can/ leapfrog its competitors, but only if it's able to offer API's that allow customers to leverage their investment in code and training.
Bill Horne Moderator