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Google Compute Engine goes GA

by Lydia Leong  |  December 3, 2013  |  10 Comments

Google Compute Engine (GCE) — Google’s cloud IaaS offering — is now in general availability, an announcement accompanied by a 10% price drop, new persistent disk (which should now pretty much always be used instead of scratch disk), and expanded OS support (though no Microsoft Windows yet). The announcement also highlights two things I wrote about GCE recently, in posts about its infrastructure resilience features — live migration and fast VM restart.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the king of this space and is unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon, although Microsoft Windows Azure is clearly an up-and-coming competitor due to Microsoft’s deep established relationships with business customers. GCE is more likely to target the cloud-natives that are going to AWS right now — companies doing things that the cloud is uniquely well-suited to serve. But I think the barriers to Google moving into mainstream businesses are more of a matter of go-to-market execution, along with trust, track record, and an enterprise-friendly way of doing business — Google’s competitive issues are unlikely to be technology.

In fact, I think that Google is likely to push the market forward in terms of innovation in a way that Azure will not; AWS and Google will hopefully goad each other into one-upsmanship, creating a virtuous cycle of introducing things that customers discover they love, thus creating user demand that pushes the market forward. Google has a tremendous wealth of technological capabilities in-house that it likely can externalize over time. Most organizations can’t do things the way that Google does them, but Google can certainly start making the attempt to make it easier for other organizations to adopt the Google approach to the world, by exposing their tools in an easily-consumable way.

GCE still lags AWS tremendously in terms of breadth and depth of feature set, of course, but it also has aspects that are immediately more attractive for some workloads. However, it’s now at the point where it’s a viable alternative to AWS for organizations who are looking to do cloud-native applications, whether they’re start-ups or long-established companies. I think the GA of GCE is a demarcation of market eras — we’re now moving into a second phase of this market, and things only get more interesting from here onwards.

Category: infrastructure  

Tags: cloud  iaas  news  

Lydia Leong
Research VP
11 years at Gartner
19 years IT industry

Lydia Leong is a research vice president in the Technology and Service Providers group at Gartner. Her primary research focus is cloud computing, together with Internet infrastructure services, such as Web hosting, content delivery networks…Read Full Bio


Thoughts on Google Compute Engine goes GA


  1. […] Web Services in terms of breadth of capabilities and services. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong has written a post looking at the feature gap between the two platforms as they exist today and expresses an opinion that Google will ultimately […]

  2. […] in terms of breadth of capa­bil­i­ties and ser­vices. Gart­ner ana­lyst Lydia Leong has writ­ten a post look­ing at the fea­ture gap between the two plat­forms as they exist today and expresses an opin­ion that Google will […]

  3. […] Web Services in terms of breadth of capabilities and services. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong has written a post looking at the feature gap between the two platforms as they exist today and expresses an opinion that Google will ultimately […]

  4. […] Web Services in terms of breadth of capabilities and services. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong has written a post looking at the feature gap between the two platforms as they exist today and expresses an opinion that Google will ultimately […]

  5. […] AWS remains the king of this space and is unlikely to be dethroned anytime soon, although Microsoft Windows Azure is clearly an up-and-coming competitor due to Microsoft’s deep established relationships with business customers. … The barriers to Google moving into mainstream businesses are more of a matter of go-to-market execution…trust, track record, and an enterprise-friendly way of doing business — [not] technology.…AWS and Google will hopefully goad each other into one-upsmanship, creating a virtuous cycle of introducing things that customers discover they love. … Google has a tremendous wealth of technological capabilities in-house that it likely can externalize. … GCE still lags AWS tremendously in terms of breadth and depth of feature set…but it also has aspects that are immediately more attractive for some workloads.…We’re now moving into a second phase of this market, and things only get more interesting from here onwards.  MORE […]

  6. […] pre-unified branding), and this proven ability to innovate around internet-delivered services is an element Lydia Leong, research vice president at Gartner suggested could tilt things in its favour: “I think that Google is likely to push the market forward in terms of innovation in a way that […]

  7. […] Web Services in terms of breadth of capabilities and services. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong has written a post looking at the feature gap between the two platforms as they exist today and expresses an opinion that Google will ultimately […]

  8. […] analyst Lydia Leong reflected on a comparison between GCE and Amazon Web Services in a blog post and […]

  9. […] Web Services in terms of breadth of capabilities and services. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong has written a post looking at the feature gap between the two platforms as they exist today and expresses an opinion that Google will ultimately […]

  10. […] were cut by ten percent. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong has a good blog on Compute Engine (GCE). In it she notes, “Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the king of this space and is unlikely to be dethroned […]



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