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Summary:

Amazon has been the king of cloud services for nearly six years but now the company has new deep pocketed competitors – Microsoft and Google. And while Microsoft announced its plans earlier this month, Google is likely to launch its new, improved platform at Google I/O.

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Google is very likely to launch a cloud services platform at its annual developer conference, Google I/O next week in San Francisco. It was one of the topics of discussion in the hallways of our Structure 2012 conference. We have since confirmed with multiple sources who are familiar with Google’s plans which include a more comprehensive offering that its current app engine and storage offerings. The Mountain View, Calif-based Internet giant declined to comment.

In early May, my colleague Derrick Harris broke the news that both Google and Microsoft were launching their competitors to Amazon later this year.

Google is hard at work on a cloud computing offering that will compete directly with the popular Amazon EC2 cloud, according to a source familiar with Google’s plans. Not to be outdone, other sources have confirmed Microsoft is also building an Infrastructure as a Service platform, and that the Redmond cloud will be ready — or at least announced — before Google’s. According to my sources, Google should roll out its service for renting virtual server instances by the end of the year, while Microsoft is slating its big announcement for a June 7 event in San Francisco.

Although Google declined to comment on whether the offering is indeed on the way, an IaaS cloud would make a lot of sense for the company. It already has a popular platform-as-a-service offering in App Engine that is essentially a cloud-based application runtime, but renting virtual servers in an IaaS model is still where the money is in cloud-based computing. Google also has an API-accessible storage offering — the aptly named Google Cloud Storage — that would make for a nice complement to an IaaS cloud, like Amazon’s ridiculously popular S3 storage service is for EC2.

While Amazon seems to be a target for all cloud service providers, my sources say that the real target for Google seems to be Microsoft and its developer community. While Amazon has achieved amazing traction with startups and new cloud companies, experts believe that there is a wider opportunity to tap into the corporate markets. Amazon too is trying to move into the enterprise market. The enterprise developer community is also one of Microsoft’s biggest strengths, and Google wants to go after them.

In order to lure these enterprise developers, the company has focused heavily on making it easier to write, deploy and manage applications on its platform. It is doing so by partnering with third parties. Two companies I have heard who are in cahoots with Google are Rightscale and Opscode.

  1. Lucas Rockwell Friday, June 22, 2012

    “…Microsoft is slating its big announcement for a June 7 event in San Francisco.”

    Do you mean, July 7?

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    1. Robert MacEwan Friday, June 22, 2012

      No. Their new laptop enables time-travel. It’s their secret weapon.

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  2. Robert Scoble Friday, June 22, 2012

    Rackspace welcomes more entrants into the cloud war (funny, we have a bigger footprint in Cloud Computing than Microsoft does and were the father of the open standard, OpenStack, which is supported by AT&T, HP, Dell, Cisco, and many others. So my question is: will it be built on top of open standards like OpenStack? Will it have real, comprehensive, and awesome support?

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    1. It’s Google, so the answer to openness in any way shape or form is automatically no.

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      1. Uhhh, I don’t understand this comment. Not saying that Google is a role model, but it does a lot more for open source than most other companies (though Facebook, LinkedIn, and others probably do better.)

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      2. That’s not necessarily true, especially if Vint Cerf has anything to say about it and schools little boy blue Larry Page.

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      3. You have to be joking. Right? If there was ever a tech corporate that supported openness, it’s Google.

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    2. you make a really good point with Support. If there’s something google will never convince anyone at, is at interacting with people, I doubt they’ll have great support, but who knows, they should be smart enough to know competitors would be quick to point that out.

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    3. That’s simply not correct that Rackspace has a bigger cloud footprint that Microsoft.

      What’s more, OpenStack is yet to be deemed a success. There have been some significant companies pull their support and a couple of other major players will go in a different direction (though this isn’t public knowledge as yet). This is due to OpenStack’s struggles to build a robust and commercially viable platform. It offers nothing over existing platforms like CloudStack.

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      1. akismet-1719127747f65b82d73637f9006590de Monday, June 25, 2012

        Cloudstack adopters trying so hard to fight their impending irrelevance. It’s fun to watch.

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  3. Wait, I’m confused. What about Google App Engine (GAE)?

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    1. Bob Bigellow Friday, June 22, 2012

      Maybe we could have GAE with a built-in web-based IDE? That would be sweet.

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    2. guess you didn’t read the article, just the title.

      They’ll be renting out instances too. GAE is more like Elastic Beans and they’ve had it for a long time.

      It’d be nice also if they opened up BigTable and Google Drive, to sort of compete against DynamoDB and S3.

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      1. As for BigTable the already did … check for example https://developers.google.com/appengine/docs/java/datastore/

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  4. It’s worth pointing out that Amazon is “king” of a fairly small castle WRT the overall IT market. Cloud is super and fun, hooray, but it’s a fraction of the enterprise dollar and a very, very small part of the overall IT market. Just…pointing that out.

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    1. Excellent point worth making (especially if you read Gigaom the past few years you’d think that Jeff Bezos is some sort of landlord oligarch who has been proclaimed champion second to none).

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  5. What about interoperability with multiple platforms ?, In my point of view , Microsoft has a good ecosystem to deal with a wide community of developers , If Google is going to rival Microsoft with their new announcement , i guess it’ll be a very interesting offering to look at

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  6. TinyVox: Tape&Tweet Sunday, June 24, 2012

    “The clouds prepare for battle, in the dark and brooding silence. Bruised and sullen stormclouds have the light obscured. Looming low and ominous, in twilight premature; thunderheads are rumbling in a distant overture.” – rush, “jacob’s ladder”

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  7. scott herson Sunday, June 24, 2012

    Are we talking PaaS or IaaS? Or both?

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  8. Write & Draw (Notes Taker and Sketchbook for iPhone and iPad)

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  9. Another Giant jumps into take utility infrastructure business. How are these consumer centric companies(Google and Amazon) relate to Enterprise requirements? Also, what will be their strategy to address hybrid clouds that Enterprises are seeking? What will be their beachhead target segment and use case?

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