Google has launched additional availability zones in the U.S. and Asia for its Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud Compute Engine. Each region now has three zones, which helps customers increase infrastructure redundancy to improve application availability.
Google Compute Engine is competing toe-to-toe with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and a few other, smaller service providers. The variety of availability zones is one of the factors customer look at to decide which cloud provider to go with. How big of a role this factor plays depends on the type of their application.
While not necessarily housed in separate data centers, deploying resources in different zones in a single region provides isolation from failure (i.e. if one zone goes down, the other may remain online). Deploying across multiple regions enables geographic isolation, which protects from region-wide failures.
Google Compute Engine has three regions: U.S., Europe and Asia. While U.S. and Asia now have three zones each, Europe still has two.
The choice of a zone may also depend on the type of processor a customer wants their cloud to run on. Some zones support Intel’s Sandy Bridge architecture and some support the newer Ivy Bridge chips.
Google has six data centers in the U.S., one in South America, three in Europe and two in Asia.
In addition to beefing up its availability zones, Google has also recently released SSD-backed persistent disk service on Compute Engine into general availability. The service was launched as a limited preview in June.
In a recent blog post, Gartner analyst Lydia Leong wrote that while Google has been rolling out new cloud technology rapidly, there was still “an enormous gulf between its technology capabilities and its go-to-market prowess.”
Google has not been winning significant customers away from the IaaS market incumbent AWS. While it has done well selling cloud capacity for batch processing jobs and for deployments that combine Compute Engine with its Platform-as-a-Service offering App Engine, Google’s infrastructure cloud services have not seen much in terms of market momentum.