Greg DeMichillie
Greg DeMichillie

SAN FRANCISCO – A rotating cast of Google executives took the stage at today’s Google Cloud Platform Live conference in San Francisco to announce a host of new capabilities for the company’s suite of cloud services.

It’s part of a broader effort by Google to become a stronger player in cloud services for developers, competing against the likes of Microsoft and Amazon. Greg DeMichillie, the Director of Product Management for Google Cloud Platform, said that all of the changes are designed to make it possible for developers to easily build applications without having to worry about as many trade-offs.

For example, Google Compute Engine will be getting a number of new Virtual Machine options, including Suse Enterprise, Redhat Enterprise and Windows Server 2008. The expanded offerings will make it a closer competitor to Amazon Web Services, which offers a broad range of virtual machine options, including a number of different versions of Windows Server.

Google also announced a number of changes to the company’s developer dashboard to make it easier to manage code in the cloud. When a developer commits new code, the system will now automatically compile the code and run unit tests on it. In addition, the system now makes it easier for developers to track down bugs, by providing detailed stack traces, and one-click access to problematic code.

For fans of the company’s App Engine application hosting platform, its Managed VM service will allow them to build web services as normal, and then use a virtual machine to handle custom functions that App Engine doesn’t support. That means users can get the best of both worlds, by using the auto-management of App Engine, along with the flexibility of a virtual machine.

Google added the ability to ingest massive amounts of streaming big data through its BigQuery Streaming feature, which can now handle up to 100,000 records per second in real time. That means users can pull in a massive, live-updating set of data like records from 45,000 power meters in Seattle, and quickly process it to gain instant insights.

The new capabilities followed Google’s announcement today that it is slashing cloud prices across the board. Amazon will have its own chance to fire back with its own barrage of announcements tomorrow at the AWS Summit in San Francisco. Stay tuned for coverage from that event, as well.

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