Google preps VM migrations within compute cloud

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Google preps VM migrations within compute cloud

Compute Engine to shunt VMs between availability zones.

Google is preparing to launch an update to its Compute Engine cloud that will allow it to shunt user virtual machines around availability zones in the name of resiliency.

The company announced in an email to customers today, sighted by iTnews, it was putting the finishing touches on what it calls its new transparent scheduled maintenance system.

The system will make Google’s scheduled zone maintenance events transparent to the applications and workloads of users, automatically moving customers’ virtual machines around scheduled outages and ahead of expected failures, the company said.

According to the customer email, more detailed information around the VM migration - including how customers will need to configure their VMs in response - will be made available in the coming weeks.

The company has rolled out the system and infrastructure to its US Central 1a region already and will upgrade US Central 1b early next month.

Google has not announced availability for other regions, but said European rollout dates would be revealed next year.  

The company also revealed its US Central 2a region would be taken permanently offline at the end of the year, as part of the effort to consolidate its US footprint into zones able to offer the new transparent scheduled maintenance.

Users with applications or workloads in the region will need to move over to US Central 1a or US Central 1b between November 11 and December 31 this year.

A Google spokesperson said customers can still choose which regions their virtual machines are hosted in. But during scheduled maintenance or outages, customer's VMs will now be moved around availability zones within a user's chosen region, but not outside of it.

At present, only United States customers have the option of selecting which specific data centre their VMs are hosted during sign-up.

Google launched its Amazon rival last July and made it more widely available in May this year.

Compute Engine is a direct competitor to Amazon’s Web Service EC2 infrastructure-as-a-service solution, but Google took the unusual path of only offering support for servers running Ubuntu or Linux platforms and excluding Microsoft operating systems. 

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