UPDATED 16:22 EST / APRIL 28 2009

Google’s Angle on Cloud Computing

image Google enterprise team is actively pushing out their "Angle" on what they mean by Cloud Computing. Very informative.

Editors Note: SiliconAngle Labs has been actively playing with Google’s open APIs and AppEngine and think Google is doing some good work. We have also been doing some work around evaluating this "operating at scale" verses building your own. I recently commented that new search apps will be both "mashups" like leveraged existing scaled infrastructure and "homegrown" like what SearchMe is doing. I am of the big belief that both are not mutually exclusive.

Here is the big message from Google’s Rajen Sheth, Senior Product Manager, Google Apps. Below is my recap for full Google post go here.

As companies weigh private data centers vs. scalable clouds, they should ask a simple question: can I find the same economics, ease of maintenance, and pace of innovation that is inherent in the cloud?

There’s quite a bit of talk these days about corporations building a "private cloud" with concepts like virtualization, and there can be significant benefits to this approach. But those advantages are amplified greatly when customers use applications in the scalable datacenters provided by companies like Google, Amazon, Salesforce.com and soon, Microsoft. In this model, customers can leverage hardware infrastructure, distributed software infrastructure, and applications that are built for the cloud, and let us run it for them. This offers them much lower cost applications, and removes the IT maintenance burden that can cripple many organizations today. It also allows customers to deliver innovation to their end users much more rapidly.

Hardware:

In the virtualization approach of private data centers, a company takes a server and subdivides it into many servers to increase efficiency. We do the opposite by taking a large set of low cost commodity systems and tying them together into one large supercomputer. We strip down our servers to the bare essentials, so that we’re not paying for components that we don’t need. For example, we produce servers without video graphics chips that aren’t needed in this environment.

Software:

While most discussions of cloud computing and data center design take place at the hardware level, we offer a set of scalable services that customers would otherwise have to maintain themselves in a virtualization model. For example, if a company wanted to implement a typical three tier system in the cloud using virtualization, they would have to build, install, and maintain software to run the database, app server, and web server. This would require them to spend time and money to acquire the licenses, maintain system uptime, and implement patches.

In contrast, with a service like Google App Engine, customers get access to the same scalable application server and database that Google uses for its own applications. This means customers don’t have to worry about purchasing, installing, maintaining, and scaling their own databases and app servers. All a customer has to do is deploy code, and we take care of the rest. You only pay for what you need, and, with App Engine’s free quota, you often don’t pay anything at all.

Applications:

While the cost advantages of cloud computing can be great, there’s another advantage that in many ways is more important: the rapid pace of innovation. IT systems are typically slow to evolve. In the virtualization model, businesses still need to run packaged software and endure the associated burden. They only receive major feature enhancements every 2-3 years, and in the meantime they have to endure the monthly patch cycle and painful system-wide upgrades. In our model, we can deliver innovation quickly without IT admins needing to manage upgrades themselves. For example, with Google Apps, we delivered more than 60 new features over the last year with only optional admin intervention.


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