Google PR agency to feedback on the long-term availability of the Google Compute Engine

After I have called the long-term availability of Google’s Compute Engine (GCE) into question, Google’s PR agency has contacted me to understand the motivations for the article. In the article I have reacted to a GigaOM interview of Googles Cloud Platform manager Greg DeMichillie who wouldn’t guarantee the long-term availability of GCE.


Google Cloud Platform manager Greg DeMichillie responded in a GigaOM interview to a question on the long-term availability of Google cloud services and answered unexpected and not within the meaning of the customer.

„DeMichillie wouldn’t guarantee services like Compute Engine will be around for the long haul, but he did try to reassure developers by explaining that Google’s cloud services are really just externalized versions of what it uses internally. ”There’s no scenario in which Google suddenly decides, ‘Gee, I don’t think we need to think about storage anymore or computing anymore.“

Although DeMichillie to qualify in the end that Google wouldn’t shut down their cloud services in a kamikaze operation. However, it’s an odd statement on a service which is relatively as of late on the market.

Feedback of Google’s PR agency

Beforehand I want to clarify that this was no call to influence me, but to understand how it came to the article. Google’s PR agency said that DeMichillie was apparently misunderstood and my article only highlights this negative statement and neglects the positive themes. Google today severely invests in infrastructure resources and there are no signs and reasons that the Google Compute Engine will be closed.

My statement

It was and is never about to cast a shadow on Google (or any other vendor). This is what I told the PR agency. But at the end of the day the user needs to be advised and equally be protected. Moreover I am an analyst and advisor and counsel companies who rely on my judgment. For this reason I need to react on those statements and include it in my decision matrix, especially when it directly comes from an employee of a vendor. What should I do when I recommend the use of the GCE since the technical things and requirements fits, but Google subsequently announced to close the service? For this reason I react extremely sensitive on such topics. In addition, Google had not cover oneself in glory the recent months and years when it comes to maintain its service portfolio for the long-term. The end of Google Reader caused more negative reactions by the users than the current NSA scandal. Notabene, this is a free service for consumers. With the Google Compute Engine we are talking about a service which mainly address companies. For companies it’s about a lot of money to spend to bring the workloads to the GCE. If the service is suddenly closed this generates, depending on the respective company, a non incalculable economic damage to migrate the data and applications. This Google should consider when making decisions. Even if this was just one statement as part of an interview. This does not create trust in the cloud portfolio and fits well with the experience of the recent past when Google cleaned it’s room.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.