It looks as though Google (GOOG) is about to step up to the plate (too early for baseball metaphors?) and take on competitor Amazon Web Services (AWS) on a bit more of an even playing field. Google Compute Engine will soon have features that have been available on AWS for quite some time, including autoscaling and reserved instances.
The rumors of this first surfaced via TechTarget, and if true, it would be an important step in Google Compute Engine's evolution and ability to compete with its much larger competitor. The two major new features rumors indicate Google soon will be releasing would put it in a good position.
Autoscaling is a cloud service that allows for more elasticity by adding or removing resources based on usage, whereas reserved instances add a bit more flexibility for end users by enabling them to buy capacity at a lower cost, but for a very specific period of time. Both features are not new at Amazon, but they have not been available on the Google infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering.
It's still going to be an uphill battle for Google Compute Engine. If there's an 800-pound gorilla in the room, it's most certainly Amazon Web Services and its variety of cloud products. Google is still the up-and-comer in the IaaS arena, even though it has had its share of successes on various cloud fronts—but most directly in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) arena.
To compete with Amazon, autoscaling and reserved instances are necessities.
But it's not just Amazon that Google is playing catch-up with. Microsoft Windows Azure has already added autoscaling and reserved instances to better compete against Amazon, so Google is behind Azure in terms of IaaS features, as well.
If the rumors are true, Google will launch autoscaling and reserved instances features on Compute Engine on March 25.