Google Compute Engine Goes Live for Gold Support Customers Photo by BullionVault of Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons

Google Compute Engine Goes Live for Gold Support Customers

Google Gold Support customers now have access to Google Compute Engine. Prior to this, Gold users needed an invitation or a conversation with Google sales to get access to the service.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is making the cloud platform it announced last summer to take on Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) available to its Gold Support customers.

Previously, Gold Support customers needed an invitation to join the fun or have a conversation with Google's sales department to be granted access to Google Compute Engine. Google announced on the Google Enterprise Blog that it was time to take the wrapping off of the EC2 competitor and make it widely available to customers with a Gold Support subscription.

Additionally, Google is reducing the price of Compute Engine. All instance type costs are now reduced by an average of 4 percent. Gold Support customers are paying $400 per month for a "direct relationship" with Google's support engineers to get help with issues and questions across the Google Cloud Platform offerings.

Google launched Compute Engine last June as an EC2 competitor, and according to the blog by Navneet Joneja, product manager at Google, since then, the company has "expanded coverage, added new instance types, released many new features and made improvements behind the scenes."

But there has been a question as to how VARs, MSPs and cloud partners will fit into the Google Compute Engine go-to-market strategy. There seemed to be indications of partner interest in the platform from the get-go, and Google has been busy expanding Compute Engine during its lengthy beta phase.

In November, Google expanded Compute Engine to support 36 new types of instances while also cutting prices by approximately 5 percent on certain types of instances.

Now officially out of beta and in the hands of Google Gold Support customers, Google is truly going to find out if its Google Compute Engine can compete with AWS EC2. Customers can be rather demanding, and if the service isn't up to spec, they'll go elsewhere.

As for partners, there's still some question as to how they fit in. We'll have to see what Google's next move is—and how AWS is going to respond.

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