Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cloud Google Technology

Review: Google Compute Engine 60

Posted by samzenpus
from the silver-lining dept.
snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner takes an in-depth look at Google Compute Engine, the search giant's response to Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. 'If you want to build your own collection of Linux boxes, Google Compute Engine offers a nice, generic way to buy servers at what — depending on the size of compute instance you need — can be a great price. The most attractive feature will probably be the proximity to the other parts of the Google infrastructure,' Wayner writes, adding that Google Compute Engine is just one part of the Google APIs portal, a grand collection of 46 services. 'I suspect many developers will be most interested in using Google Compute Engine when they want to poll these Google databases fairly often. While I don't think you're guaranteed to be in the same zone as the service you want, you're still closer than when traveling across the generic Web.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Review: Google Compute Engine

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:16PM (#41104691)

    You know, for when they shut it down?

    • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:34PM (#41104789) Journal

      What we truly need is a comparison chart of some kind, to show us what Google's offering is different from the others

      • by Lennie (16154)

        Actually, this was on the first page of the article:

        [ Move over, Amazon -- IaaS providers are elbowing into the cloud. [0] See how they compare in InfoWorld's slideshow. | Get the no-nonsense explanations and advice you need to take real advantage of cloud computing in the InfoWorld editors' "Cloud computing in 2012" PDF special report. [1] | Stay up on the cloud with InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Report newsletter. [2] ]

        [0] http://infoworld.com/slideshow/57435/amazons-cloud-feels-the-heat-google-hp-microsoft [infoworld.com]

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      Isn't that entirely up to you?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      1) Google has always been early and very helpful at letting you get your data

      2) Do you seriously think they are going to shut this down?
      This is a full-on Google-wide product that has been in-dev for many many years now. This isn't a silly Labs project.
      This is a direct attack against other competitors services since they had absolutely nothing like it, besides a broken-window of services with varying storage caps and uses.

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        Google Wave, Google Health, Google Gears... I'm sure I'm missing plenty of other "big" projects. What is with the sudden wave of ACs here? Is there a mass migration from Reddit recently?

    • by olau (314197)

      Good point, but for once they're actually just offering VPSes it seems, so you can just rsync your stuff out. Of course, if you have some custom scripting set up for starting instances, you'll have to rewrite that since the APIs will be different. But that's probably only a small hassle.

    • It's basically a sort-of-VPS tailored a bit differently and sold with a new label. You still need to maintain and backup important stuff yourself.

    • by swillden (191260)

      You know, for when they shut it down?

      What paid service has Google ever shut down?

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @09:50PM (#41104887)

    ...speaking for myself, and I don't know how many others reading might feel the same way, but $175 per machine per month (or however it's calculated, I only skimmed TFA) seems a little steep.

    Right this very minute I can fire up eight cores with combined RAM of something like 14.5GB - notwithstanding the fact that we're talking six machines (four laptops (two dual core - one Atom, the other AMD E350, and two P4/2.0 and 1.6GHz), two desktops (one P4/2.66, the other an AMD Athlon64/2.4GHz), it's very scalable depending on what I'm doing and how fast I want it.

    OK the Pentiums are *old* but they're still functional in a practical sense. I have older machines tasked for different things (a Thinkpad 760C running as a print server, for example) but I tend not to count or include them in my total computing power - they would suck up more in overhead than they would produce. Long gone are the days when a Pentium 120 made any sort of significant show in one of my clusters!

    About my only limitation is the number of available power sockets. Cue the arguments for cloud utility with the cost of domestic electricity supply. The key word here is domestic - I have complete control on how much power is used. My AMD laptop at full draw drinks 3.5kWh per week if I leave it on crunching 24/7. That's equivalent to £1.78 per month - or around 1/100 the cost of a single core on a cloud node.

    • Re:I dunno... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by viperidaenz (2515578) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @10:06PM (#41104967)
      But if you had nothing sitting around gathering dust, how much would it cost you to buy an equivalent amount of hardware? Keeping in mind depreciation, power , network access and infrastructure, and physical space. You also pay per hour, so if you don't need it one week, shut it all down and pay nothing. If you need something done very quick, pay for 100 cores for 1 hour instead of 1 core for 100 hours.

      It's not comparable to old laptops sitting in your attic.
      • by c0lo (1497653)

        But if you had nothing sitting around gathering dust, how much would it cost you to buy an equivalent amount of hardware? Keeping in mind depreciation, power , network access and infrastructure, and physical space. You also pay per hour, so if you don't need it one week, shut it all down and pay nothing. If you need something done very quick, pay for 100 cores for 1 hour instead of 1 core for 100 hours.

        At the personal level (not speaking of businesses here): AMD x8 FX-8150 3.6/4.2 GHz, 32GB RAM, 1TB HDD - DYI from all-new parts, no monitor - approx $750. Let's make it a full $1750 to allow for power delivered by "gilded electrons", "diamond optical fiber" supported internet access and a bouquet of flowers once a month for the "better half" to make it for the physical storage space.
        $1750 vs $175/month...10 month worth of VPS in Google's "compute" cloud (with 1 core with 4GB RAM).

        • Re:I dunno... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by jsdcnet (724314) on Thursday August 23, 2012 @11:58PM (#41105685)

          But if you had nothing sitting around gathering dust, how much would it cost you to buy an equivalent amount of hardware? Keeping in mind depreciation, power , network access and infrastructure, and physical space. You also pay per hour, so if you don't need it one week, shut it all down and pay nothing. If you need something done very quick, pay for 100 cores for 1 hour instead of 1 core for 100 hours.

          At the personal level (not speaking of businesses here): AMD x8 FX-8150 3.6/4.2 GHz, 32GB RAM, 1TB HDD - DYI from all-new parts, no monitor - approx $750. Let's make it a full $1750 to allow for power delivered by "gilded electrons", "diamond optical fiber" supported internet access and a bouquet of flowers once a month for the "better half" to make it for the physical storage space. $1750 vs $175/month...10 month worth of VPS in Google's "compute" cloud (with 1 core with 4GB RAM).

          What about bandwidth? What about support? What about being able to be up and running on a new box in a few minutes when the old one takes a dump? You are totally missing the point of cloud services like this. It's not supposed to compete with your desktop machine.

          • by c0lo (1497653)

            But if you had nothing sitting around gathering dust, how much would it cost you to buy an equivalent amount of hardware? Keeping in mind depreciation, power , network access and infrastructure, and physical space. You also pay per hour, so if you don't need it one week, shut it all down and pay nothing. If you need something done very quick, pay for 100 cores for 1 hour instead of 1 core for 100 hours.

            At the personal level (not speaking of businesses here): AMD x8 FX-8150 3.6/4.2 GHz, 32GB RAM, 1TB HDD - DYI from all-new parts, no monitor - approx $750. Let's make it a full $1750 to allow for power delivered by "gilded electrons", "diamond optical fiber" supported internet access and a bouquet of flowers once a month for the "better half" to make it for the physical storage space. $1750 vs $175/month...10 month worth of VPS in Google's "compute" cloud (with 1 core with 4GB RAM).

            What about bandwidth? What about support? What about being able to be up and running on a new box in a few minutes when the old one takes a dump? You are totally missing the point of cloud services like this.

            Read again the thread above. Start with the "I dunno" message on top.

            It's not supposed to compete with your desktop machine.

            Ah, that is the quux of the matter. Except that, as I suggested, your reply is better directed to the OP.

        • At the personal level (not speaking of businesses here): AMD x8 FX-8150 3.6/4.2 GHz, 32GB RAM, 1TB HDD - DYI from all-new parts, no monitor - approx $750. Let's make it a full $1750 to allow for power delivered by "gilded electrons", "diamond optical fiber" supported internet access and a bouquet of flowers once a month for the "better half" to make it for the physical storage space.
          $1750 vs $175/month...10 month worth of VPS in Google's "compute" cloud (with 1 core with 4GB RAM).

          If you are paying the premi

      • IBM's Sequoia supercomputer has recently been declared the world's fastest supercomputer. It also seems to be energy efficient. The article stated it does 2 giga flops per watt. I would think that is better that any home or business computer. IBM is the main backer of World Community Grid and its computers are generating over 50,000 results a day. I would think that the cost of electricity for those results would be much greater than the cost if the results were generated on the Sequoia supercomputer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If your business needs move slow enough that pulling a physical box out of a cabinet somewhere, hooking it up, including peripherals, because you know you're going to need to at least configure it by hand far enough to get at least an automated installer kicked off, setting up remote access, is worth your time, six times, whenever you want to rebuild your utterly non-uniform cluster, then these services are not for you.

      For my time, I'd rather pay the TEN CENTS it costs to have Amazon do it for me.

    • by olau (314197)

      Steep if you need it 24/7. These kind of offerings are mostly a good deal if you either use them for temporary computations, so you spin up a bunch of machines, do your thing and then close them down again (so you may end up paying for 50 machines for 5 hours which is definitely cheap), or if you are in a web startup that has venture funding with lots of cash to burn and potential day-to-day scaling problems.

      Otherwise there are better options, for instance Hetzner [hetzner.de] that'll offer better hardware for ~50 USD/m

      • by rev0lt (1950662)
        Been a client of them for >2 years (2 machines), and can only say good stuff. Good support, very attractive hardware packages, plenty of bandwidth, and for a little extra, you get "enterprise features" such as IP failover.
    • Right this very minute I can fire up eight cores with combined RAM of something like 14.5GB - notwithstanding the fact that we're talking six machines (four laptops (two dual core - one Atom, the other AMD E350, and two P4/2.0 and 1.6GHz), two desktops (one P4/2.66, the other an AMD Athlon64/2.4GHz), it's very scalable depending on what I'm doing and how fast I want it.

      Can you scale up to 1,000 cores to meet a spike in demand and then back to 1 core when the demand drops, and how much does it cost -- not ju

      • by rev0lt (1950662)

        Can you scale up to 1,000 cores to meet a spike in demand and then back to 1 core when the demand drops

        If you need realtime input data, you're screwed either way. Most applications don't scale well to 2 cores, let alone 1000. If I have a pretty popular website, I'd probably saturate my available network pipes long before the cpu power is a problem. Even good, fast and reliable storage is cheap, when compared to network connectivity.

        any need to do significant demand-based scaling,

        Let's say you are an somewhat obscure blog. You upload a video to your server that goes viral. How will Amazon solution scale so much better than the competition, if suddenly went

        • Most applications don't scale well to 2 cores, let alone 1000.

          Most applications are not ideal for Compute Engine and similar services which charge a premium for enabling dynamic server provisioning where you can rapidly change the number of servers available and are charged by the hour.

          If I have a pretty popular website, I'd probably saturate my available network pipes long before the cpu power is a problem.

          I'd be surprised if that's true on either Amazon EC2 or Google Compute Engine, which don't have fix

    • by jon3k (691256)
      Scalability, availability, management, power, cooling, etc. I don't disagree that $175 seems steep, but you're comparing apples and oranges.
    • Actually, $175 is for the equivalent instance on rackspace. the smallest google compute instance is $104.40 per month (30 days). That seems more in the ballpark, and google appears to be planning smaller options that would presumably be even less expensive.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Corporate speak and technobabble buzzphrases pass as 'in depth' on Slashdot now? Wow.

  • by elabs (2539572)
    I can't belive Azure wasn't even mentioned. By some estimates it now holds more objects than Amazon (since iCloud and iTunes are hosted there).
    • by nzac (1822298)

      Is anyone else using it? Apple are currently not getting along well with Amazon or Google and as far as I know have yet to officially acknowledge the existence of Linux. Saying the "Android kernel" is the best software for hosting their services is probably worse than using Azure.

      Out of curiosity what do you mean by objects?

  • Comparisons to Amazon EC2: 9
    Comparisons to MS Azure: 0

    • Because nobody gives two cents about Azure. Amazon dominate the cloud market and hence any new service will be compared against it.
  • If you actually try to find some info by googling, chances are you're shown only pages of spam sites like fixya, livestrong, about, and other bullshit-seo sites.

    Time is ripe for somebody else to step up in search business.

  • May work? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tanveer1979 (530624) on Friday August 24, 2012 @12:45AM (#41105921) Homepage Journal

    This one may work.
    I was checking out the storage pricing, for example. Its 0.12/GB instead of 0.125 of amazon. If google does not do the "API fiasco", it will work. But as we all know, google and API is like chalk and cheese. Amazon is the king when it comes to accessibility.
    But I am glad, because this means more competition. So finally I can start using cloud storage, in conjunction with cloud server for hosting my blog etc., Heck, I can set up a machine in US, and get US specific content using VPN. No more looking for ssh services

  • no way (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Blymie (231220) on Friday August 24, 2012 @12:48AM (#41105931)

    Google will fail utterly and completely at this.

    Why?

    Customer service. They have a horrible, HORRIBLE customer service record. They just simply are unable to do customer service.... and this product needs it.

    • Re:no way (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kotoku (1531373) on Friday August 24, 2012 @03:57AM (#41106703) Journal
      You may have a point. Amazon is hard to top on that front. I had a billing question on EC2 at 2 a.m. and got an immediate response from a Seattle based employee and a service credit while I was doing adjustments to get my instances right. If their load balancers had a few more features I'd call it perfect.
    • by swillden (191260)

      They have a horrible, HORRIBLE customer service record.

      In the past, yes, certainly. Actually, I'd characterize it differently: for much of Google's history, their customer service has simply been nonexistent, except for their big advertising customers (where it's been fairly good). Google's perspective has been that their target market was simply so huge that personal service was impossible. Recently, however, Google has been getting into areas of business that require customer service. It has taken them a while to figure out how to do it and to ramp up. B

  • Rackspace uses local hard drives on each machine - while Google use NAS network attached storage. So Rackspace your hard-drive accesses (database accesses) are going through a SATA controller or such - and with Google your accesses are going through a network controller which is much slower. Makes a big difference especially for database driven apps such as all websites are these days. Are Google's hard drives accessed locally over a SATA interface or over a Network NAS interface? I would think that local s
    • Rackspace uses local hard drives on each machine - while Google use NAS network attached storage.

      I'm pretty sure that the "local disk" (lifespan scoped to the instance) for each machine level on Compute Engine is, indeed, local disk; the optional "persistent disk" is probably NAS.

  • InfoWorld's Peter Wayner takes an in-depth look at Google Compute Engine, the search giant's response to Amazon Web Services and Rackspace

    Google Compute Engine isn't a "response to AWS and Rackspace".

    Google Compute Engine is a the IaaS offering in Google's cloud services, which is a direct competitor (and arguably "response") to Amazon's EC2 (not AWS as a whole) and RackSpace's Cloud Servers offerings.

    The closest Google has to an competitor to AWS as a whole (which is the umbrella under which Amazon offers

What the world *really* needs is a good Automatic Bicycle Sharpener.

Working...