[By Sudarshana Banerjee]

Day two at the Google IO in San Francisco. During the Google IO keynote, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of Infrastructure at Google, introduced the Google Compute Engine, an infrastructure-as-a-service product that lets you run Linux Virtual Machines (VMs) on the same infrastructure that powers Google.

With Google Compute Engine, you can have access to a computing infrastructure similar to Google’s, without any upfront technology investments.  Google is giving you access via a ‘virtual machine’, a software emulation that walks, talks, quacks, and for all practical purposes, behaves like a real computer. You can access the infrastructure via the cloud, and pay as you go for the computing power you are using.

The capabilities of Google Compute Engine include Launch Linux VMs on-demand. 1, 2, 4 and 8 virtual core VMs are available with 3.75GB RAM per virtual core. Using Google’s data centers, Google Compute Engine reduces the time to scale up for tasks that require large amounts of computing power. You can launch enormous compute clusters – tens of thousands of cores or more.

By getting into the IaaS business, Google is locking horns against contenders such as Amazon and Rackspace. But Google says you will get 50 per cent more compute for your money than with other leading cloud providers. You can see pricing details here.

Google has worked with a number of partners, such as RightScalePuppet LabsOpsCode,NumerateCliqr and MapR, to integrate their products with the Google Compute Engine. The company is also opening the Google Compute API for developers to jump right in.

[Image Courtesy: Google]