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September 4, 2015

Google hits cloud application Holy Grail with autoscaling

Users will be able to scale in minutes but will it only work for certain types of application behaviour?

By James Nunns

Google is enhancing its Cloud Platform with autoscaling capabilities for customers, in order to dynamically scale the number of instances.

According to a blog post from the company, users will be able to define the, "ideal utilisation of your group of compute instances," and Autoscaler will add instances when needed, removing them when traffic is low.

This will mean that customers won’t need to buy and hold spare capacity to deal with spikes in traffic. The company says it can scale from zero to millions of requests per seconds in minutes.

CBR spoke to Mark Baker, Ubuntu server and cloud product manager, Canonical about the reality of autoscaling: "The reality is that maybe that works for certain types of application behaviour but if you look at some of the examples in e-commerce or online TV voting, Amazon can’t scale it up that fast because its reacting basically a post event trigger that says its hit a threshold and says it needs to do that.

"It can’t keep up with it. You see there’s a lot of case studies that for those really variable workloads, we know it’s going to happen on this day or hour and you need to pre-provision VM’s and pre populating them and filling all your caches and all those kind of things."

To boost its large-scale compute offering, the company has additionally made available 32-core VMs.

In its goal to bring in more customers in the cloud applications market, the company has brought in some new features to Google Docs.

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The Research feature in its Docs Android app is designed to make it easier to pull quotes, facts and images from Google search.

Additionally it has enhanced its voice typing for web, it now offers more than 40 languages and the company says it is even suited to long-form dictation.

The company’s Google Sheets has been given a new feature with Explore. This tool will help to visualise, summarise and interpret data. The company isn’t finished there; its Forms have been given a refresh with different themes and options to add your own photo or logo.

The changes are most evolutionary rather than revolutionary but they are likely to appeal to a range of users.

To help users access its apps, the company has also refreshed the look of its Apps Marketplace. The update includes an improve navigation bar that aims to make it easier to find specific apps by browsing through the most popular app categories.

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