Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Google Expands its Cloud Ambitions with Compute and Drive

by James E. Carroll

In day two of the Google I/O event in San Francisco, the company further outlined its cloud ambitions by introducing Google Compute infrastructure service while expanding its consumer-oriented Google Drive.

The new Google Compute Engine provides on-demand, virtual Linux machines at Google scale. The service lets you run large-scale computing workloads on the same infrastructure that runs Google Search, Gmail and Ads. "Ten thousand cores is really cool," said Urs Hölzle, Google's Sr. VP of Technical Infrastructure, and then demonstrating a genomics application being instantly scaled to a further 600,000 cores. Google is promising up to 50% more computer power per dollar compared to other cloud computing service providers. The price for one virtual core starts at $0.145 per hour. The service is live now and a Developers Guide with open APIs is available.

"Google Drive is all about making your life easy to live in the cloud," said Clay Bavor, Director of Product Management. This means making all of your files available on all of your devices. Google is introducing a Drive app for iOs and Chrome OS. Optical character recognition is now part of the Google Drive, enabling users to search their Google drive without having to input meta data for photos or scanned documents. The company is adding real time collaboration tools (keystroke by keystroke syncing ) to Google Documents using Google Drive. Google also introduced number of major new features and platforms to the Google Drive SDK, seeking to encourage developers to build Google Drive storage into their apps. Google Docs has also added offline capabilities.

Some other notes:

  • Chrome has nearly doubled since last year’s I/O—from 160 million to 310 million active users around the world.
  • Chrome is now available for iOS. It is already the top download in the iTunes store.
  • Gmail now has 425 million active users globally.