Google’s launch of the new Cloud Launcher, in collaboration with its application partner Bitnami, brings good news for developers as well as first-time users. As Google Cloud Platform Product Manager, Varun Talwar, remarks in the blog post, developers have never had it easy deploying applications, what with the time-consuming job of finding and deploying libraries, fixing inconsistencies of versions, etc. The new Cloud Launcher is all set to change that and allow the developers to do only what they ought to be doing: design and writing code!
Bitnami was already a favourite among developers since it offered a one-click solution to install, compile and configure a host of server applications and development environments. The application packages could be used natively, on a VM, and/or on a Cloud. Since, the packages also follow consistent standards the experience on any given platform is identical. Google has further leveraged Bitnami’s features and advantages by integrating its applications with the Cloud Launcher.
Erica Brescia, Bitnami’s COO explains that Bitnami Cloud Hosting is focused on business and non-technical users for whom the native cloud is complex and difficult for use. With this collaboration, it (Bitnami) helps to attract more of these users to the Google Cloud Launcher.
With the Google Cloud Launcher, one can deploy over 120 open source packages at the snap of a finger. It’s a matter of just a few clicks, selecting and specifying a few parameters and voila, the application is all configured for use! The Cloud Launcher includes, among several others, developer tools and stack like LAMP, Apache Hadoop, Django Stack, popular applications like the WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and database applications like Redis, Cassandra, MongoDB, MySQL.
The Cloud Launcher is at present more suited to VM-based applications rather than container-based ones that makes one skeptical about its futuristic implications. However, one also needs to keep in mind the proven robust infrastructure that a VM offers when compared to a container as well as the apparent advantages of a VM being able to supply an independent OS environment.
Google is working to ensure that the packages are well integrated into the Cloud Monitoring that will allow one to monitor and review the performance metrics.
Google Cloud Launcher faces a tough rival in AWS (Amazon Web Services). While AWS scores over Google in terms of the sheer number of services, greater choice of operating systems, instance types and families, and wide geographical distribution, Google has an upper hand with BigQuery and a more efficient Compute Engine. Amazon had raced Google a long while back in providing Bitnami packages as a part of their services, but it lacks the one-click easy solution that Google provides in the Cloud Launcher. To conclude, one can argue a great deal about the pros and cons for each of the platforms but it seems like Google has managed to score brownie points with the new Launcher simply because of its ease and simplicity.