Google Compute Engine has a provision to get a limited free preview after filling a survey like form. Let us look at the form as well as the technical backend. It is noteworthy to mention that, Google Compute Engine is Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS which was announced by Google on Mid 2012. Google Compute Engine uses KVM as the hypervisor and has normal Unixoides like CentOS. Unlike other IaaS services, which includes Rackspace and Amazon; there are some specialty of Google Compute Engine.
Google Compute Engine : The Process of Signing Up
Google uses very very old model of business. They announce a product and service, specially for their Cloud related product and runs month after months the preview phase. The limited preview phase, however runs for 4-6 months. They create a pseudo crisis and demand of the product which still has not been launched. We have seen this trick with Google’s other Cloud related product, all has kind of Vendor Lock-in and practically a complete failure after the real launch.
When you will sign up for Google Compute Engine, from this link :
You will get this kind of form :
The form asks less information about your own knowledge, rather it asks What you use – that is practically – are you using Rackspace, Amazon or Azure. The form is quite boring to fill up. You can fill and have a false hope to get a Preview of Google Compute Engine. We clearly wrote that, there is absolutely no chance to use Google Compute Engine instead of Rackspace, our need is for creation of Guides and Tutorials. We guess we will never get a Preview of Google Compute Engine – because we mentioned the must have point as – need of a real knowledgeable human for support as paid service.
Google Compute Engine : Technical Point
Google possibly was better to run business which are related to Advertisements. That is really their best of the line services. A normal user will expect a normal CLI user interface for an IaaS, like Rackspace or Amazon. Amazon does have complex RAM allocation process, but actually that is hidden to the user. In other words, Amazon CLI user needs not to care about knowing special instructions. Rackspace is practically the standard, obviously we can use the standard UNIX commands.
They have a Graphical UI named Google Compute Engine Console and CLI login can be done via standard SSH/Telnet client. It does takes normal UNIX commands too :
Basically, unless you love to know new things over and above your normal knowledge of UNIX, there is practically no appeal of Google Compute Engine. Specially Rackspace and Amazon can sleep snoring, Google Compute Engine is an impractical way to deliver IaaS, we do not need so much complexity of API even for a Hybrid Cloud Setup. Unless Google attracts Enterprise users with special offers like giveaway of AdWords voucher or serious resources for free of cost, it is quite unlikely that most of the general users will ever think of shifting to Google Compute Engine. The complex pricing and model, lack of better support (most leveraging point for Rackspace) practically makes Google Compute Engine a scale model of IaaS.
If we get a Preview of Google Compute Engine, definitely we will spice up a step by step video guide for LAMP stack. Otherwise we need to wait for when Google Compute Engine will be fully public.
You can see the pricing here :
To be honest, after publishing few hundreds of hands on Step by Step guide on Cloud Computing from various providers, it appears to us, Google Compute Engine is worse than Red Hat OpenShift PaaS or Heroku Cloud PaaS or App Fog PaaS.