The Google Compute Engine (GCE) has officially been released as a commercial service. GCE has been in test mode for the past year and it is already employed in cloud platforms by Google customers who including RedHat and SUSE. Unique aspects of GCE include pay-as-you-go pricing in 10 minute increments, lower prices for standard instances and new 16-core instances for greater computational needs.
In addition to GCE support for CentOS and Debian, Google has added the choice of other *nixes namely SUSE, FreeBSD and RedHat Enterprise Linux. This allows developers to run software that require specific kernels and loadable modules including Docker, xfs and aufs.
Transparent maintenance has also been rolled out in the US zones with other markets to follow in coming months. This should combine software and data center innovations with live migration technology, eliminating the downtimes that accompany these tasks.