Customers of Google's cloud computing service now have one more option for automating the deployment and management of virtual infrastructures for running cloud applications and services.
The company on Tuesday announced beta availability of Google Cloud Deployment Manager, a configuration management tool designed to make it easier for enterprises to create, test and stage production environments for cloud applications.
Chris Crall, technical program manager at Google's cloud platform group, described Cloud Deployment Manager as technology that lets developers deploy the environment of their choice simply by describing it.
"The syntax is declarative, meaning you declare the desired outcome of your deployment, rather than the steps the system needs to take," Crall noted. It eliminates the need for command line interface calls or code to call specific APIs.
So, a cloud administrator looking to provision a pool of virtual machines would declaratively describe the VM type, assign the VMs to a group, and configure the autoscaler and load balancer, he said. "You can define these resources in a template and deploy them all through one command to Deployment Manager," Crall noted.
The new tool integrates a user interface that allows developers to view and delete VM deployments in the Google Developers Console. It is also tightly integrated with Google Cloud Platform resources such as storage and networking to enable faster provisioning and visualization of the virtual server deployments, Crall said.
Deployment Manager joins a growing portfolio of products that Google offers for cloud configuration management and orchestration. Other products include Chef, Puppet, Ansible and SaltStack.
Like Deployment Manager, these tools enable automated control of cloud infrastructures. Administrators can use them to quickly create and take down virtual instances running on Google Compute Engine. They can also use Deployment Manager to install, configure and upgrade software on VMs, configure disks and firewalls, or configure load balancing, according to Google.
But what makes Deployment Manager different from the other configuration managers is that it is native to Google's Cloud Platform, Crall said. If offers a declarative system that allows developers to express what they want to run.
"Also, unlike other configuration management systems, Deployment Manager offers UI support directly in Developers' Console, allowing you to view the architecture of your deployments," he said. And because Deployment Manager is native to Cloud Platform, enterprises do not need to deploy any additional configuration management tools, nor is there any additional cost involved in running or managing the software, he said.
The beta availability of Cloud Deployment Manager continues a string of announcements that Google has made in recent months to help companies more easily manage their cloud infrastructure, applications and services.
In March, Google introduced a new "click to deploy" option for Puppet, which it said would allow cloud administrators to more easily set up the tool on Google's Compute Engine and accomplish tasks like installing and upgrading VMs.
Also in March, Google announced Cloud Launcher, a collection of more than 120 ready-to-launch open-source packages for the cloud. Like its other configuration managers, Cloud Launcher is designed to reduce the time enterprises require to configure and deploy applications on Google's Cloud Platform.