Google is taking on Amazon, Microsoft, and the rest with a web hosting solution aimed at individuals and businesses. Although previously available to a select few, Google's Compute Engine server platform is now available for everyone. Compute Engine forms part of the Google Cloud Platform, which now offers computing, storage, and application services that can underpin website and apps. In addition to announcing availability, Google also lowered the prices of Compute Engine and its storage solutions for general release.
Many well-known developers already use Google's App Engine, which allows companies to build out services without having to manage servers. Popular apps like Snapchat and games from Angry Birds developer Rovio are managed in this way. Google has been testing its "Compute Engine," which offers flexible servers or "instances" much in the same way as Amazon's EC2 service, for some time now after announcing it last year, but it's only today that anyone can try it out.
Google launched its Drive cloud storage service around 18 months ago, but has never had a robust all-in solution for website owners. Simply titled "Cloud Storage," Google's professional solution charges by space used and data transferred, much in the same way as its hosting competitors. It also offers other solutions for managing databases, which when tied into Compute Engine will mean that most website owners can get the entire package from Google.
Google is taking on established names like AWS and Azure
Google's Cloud Platform is aimed squarely at Microsoft's Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace, GoDaddy, and others that underpin a large portion of the web. All three offer scalable solutions that can host anything from your blog to huge services like Netflix (hosted by AWS) or Apple's iCloud (hosted by Azure).
Speaking with the New York Times, Google's director of public cloud services, Greg DeMichillie, notes that the company is "giving people the same services we rely on to run Google." The search giant is very late to the game with its hosting solution, but will be hoping its brand cachet and competitive pricing can make a dent in its competitors' marketshare.