Google Says New Cloud Updates Simplify VM Management

The new features are designed to help organizations create, clone and manage virtual ” on Gcoogle’s cloud platform.

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Google’s Compute Engine cloud platform unit has introduced new management features that the company says makes it easier for enterprises to create, clone and manage VMs.

One of the updates to Google Compute Engine’s so-called “instance templates” allows organizations to create virtual machine instances from existing templates. Organizations can use the capability to create VMs that are identical to the template or to modify it for specific uses.

The management update also allows organizations to also save the configuration of an existing VM instance to create a new template.

An instance template on Google’s cloud is basically an API that organizations can use to define the specific properties of a VM like such as operating system type, disk configuration and machine type.

The updates give organizations more flexibility in creating and managing VM instances, said Sophia Yang, a Google product manager in a Feb. 22 blog.

“Imagine you’re running a VM instance as part of your web-based application, and are moving from development to production,” Yang said. “You can now configure your instance exactly the way you want it and then save your golden [configuration] as an instance template,” then can then be used to create other VMs.

Another update is designed to enable easier configuration of multiple data disks or application disks for a virtual machine instance. According to Yang, enterprises can now set up multiple persistent disks as part of the workflow for creating virtual machine instances. The feature is useful for organizations that want to create data disks that are separate from the operating system disk, she said.

A third update gives organizations a way to more easily create an image of a virtual machine instance even if it is running. Cloud administrators that want to create an image of a VM for backup, sharing or cloning can now do that without having to disrupt any of the services that are running on that machine Yang said.

The final management feature update provides a safeguard against accidental deletion of VM images. Accidents can happen occasionally and an administrator might end up interrupting important services by accidentally deleting a VM instance.

Administrators can now protect against this threat by setting a flag that warns against actions that could result in accidental deletion. The capability is especially important for VM instances that are running critical applications and workloads, Yang said.

All of the features are available now for Google cloud customers, though some are still in beta test mode.

The management updates are the second from Google this month aimed at providing more options for enterprises running workloads in the cloud. On Feb. 14 Google announced the availability of new high-performance VM configurations optimized to run on Intel Xeon Skylake-powered Google cloud servers.

The highest-end configuration now supports 96 virtual CPUs and 624 GB of memory and is designed for high-performance computing workloads.