Google Expands Availability and Lowers Prices on Compute Engine Cloud Services

Google does everything, including offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) with its cloud Google Compute Engine. The service is just nine months old, and Google is already rapidly adding new features, increasing availability, and cutting prices.

The Google Compute Engine is now available to anyone who signs up for a Gold support package (which costs $400 a month), and the service now includes two new zones in Europe. Google also reduced the cost for using the service by 4%.

The company now offers a Google Cloud Console to let users manage all of their Google Platform services from a single interface; that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of new features, though.

Google Cloud Console
Google Cloud Console

Google added the ability to boot from persistent disks whether mounted as a file system or as a snapshot, persistent disk checkpoint and restore capabilities, and the ability to attach and detach persistent disks from an instance that is currently running.

There are also five new types of instance families, easier migration for virtual machines between zones, and an enhanced metadata server.

Because Google is Google, they also threw in a treat called the World Wide Maze Chrome Experiment. Google describes it thusly: “This game converts any web site of your choice into an interactive, three dimensional maze, navigated remotely via your smartphone. Compute Engine virtual machines run Node.js to manage the game state and synchronization with the mobile device, while Google App Engine hosts the game’s web UI.”

Basically, it’s a goofy toy that shows off the kind of back end services that Google’s Cloud Platform can offer--but it’s also enchanting, clever, and funny.