What is the Google Compute Engine?
The Google Cloud Platform is a suite of product offerings designed to bring the robust flexibility of their cloud architecture to their customers. It is similar in nature and function to Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure. Google entered the cloud computing marketplace later than its competitors. The late entry may have been an initial stumbling block, but that is no longer the case. Google has reached feature parity with its competitors. Google’s virtual machine offering, called the Google Compute Engine, is every bit as robust as an Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure instance.
Google Compute Engine is Google’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) virtual machine offering. An IAAS platform replaces, or supplements, traditionally onsite network infrastructure assets, like servers and routers, with cloud-based products that perform the same functions. The Compute Engine allows customers to use powerful virtual machines in the cloud as server resources instead of acquiring and managing server hardware.
Customers can configure and run a wide variety of virtual machine configurations. Google provides Linux and Windows as operating systems for their machines, although a custom machine option means being able to run any OS on any image you maintain. The virtual, and in some cases physical, hardware added to the machine helps to dictate its purpose. For example, a web application server might need lots of RAM and CPUs (Central Processing Units), but it does not need GPUs (Graphics Processing Units). Alternatively, a server working on modeling components or streaming media can use configured GPUs. A simple website server might not need any of this, instead opting for a medium amount of RAM and CPU power.
The Google Compute Engine feature set can meet the virtualization requirements of any enterprise. This card serves as an introduction to the Compute Engine and explores its main features. The card also acts as an easy portal to many of the documentation pages you may need when setting up a VM instance.