The Google Cloud SQL service, which provides a database backbone for applications running on Google App Engine or Google Compute Engine, has gained key usability and security features, including automatic encryption and support for 500GB databases, and is now generally available to all customers as a managed SQL service on the Google Cloud Platform.
Also now available for the service is a 99.95 percent uptime service-level agreement (SLA) to protect users and their operations, wrote Joe Faith, a Google product manager, in a Feb. 11 post about the revised offering on the Google Cloud Platform Blog.
The new automatic data encryption for users of Google Cloud SQL is being delivered immediately, with encryption of data backups to come in the future, he wrote. In addition, all Cloud SQL traffic on Google’s internal networks is encrypted to better protect user data.
External connections can be encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), while all hosts and Google App Engine applications connecting a user’s application instance must be explicitly authorized, again to protect user data, according to Faith. User data is replicated multiple times in multiple locations and scheduled backups are automatically done by default.
The expanded storage available for each Cloud SQL instance, now up to 500GB each, gives customers more flexibility for their data, while the availability of SLAs means that customers can feel more protected knowing that their data will be there when they need it, wrote Faith. “Replicated storage means we can guarantee 99.95 percent availability of the service. And because even a reduced service is not acceptable for many applications, we have set a high bar for availability: for example, we regard a single minute of just 20 percent connection failure as a downtime.”
Google is always working to expand the customer features of its Google Cloud Platform offerings.
Earlier in February, Google announced that it added support for HIPAA-mandated Business Associates Agreements (BAAs), which will help health care organizations comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act when using the Google Cloud Platform for their applications. The BAA support will allow organizations to build and deploy their health care applications on the Google Cloud Platform and comply with the HIPAA requirements. The federal law establishes standards around privacy, security and breach notification in the handling and storage of health care records for patients. The establishment of HIPAA regulations has meant that patient records are more secure and must be handled with more care by health care organizations.
In November 2013, Google began a program to show game developers how they could build scalable games using the platform so they could expand their games to more users as needed.
In late October 2013, Google replaced its old Google API Console with a new, expanded and redesigned Google Cloud Console to help developers organize and use the more than 60 APIs now offered by Google. The new Google Cloud Console makes managing the more than 60 Google APIs housed within easier than ever, according to Google. Soon, the new cloud console will be set as the default choice for the console by Google, though users will have the ability to revert back to the old version.
Google Cloud SQL Gains Support for Larger Databases, SLAs
Also in October, Google released several technical papers to help cloud developers learn more about the development tools it offers through its Google Compute Engine services. The papers, “Overview of Google Compute Engine for Cloud Developers” and “Building High Availability Applications on Google Compute Engine,” offer insights and details about how the platform can be used and developed for business users.
In September 2013, Google unveiled its second version update of the Google App Engine since August, with the latest release 1.8.4 including a host of features that the company says will make it more flexible and simpler for developers to use for their applications. Included in 1.8.4 is support for Dynamic Web Projects in Eclipse to better support Google Cloud Endpoints and App Engine Backends, as well as fixes for several bugs. One other important new feature is the ability of Google App Engine to handle differential snapshots of a Google Compute Engine persistent disk, so that only the most recently changed data is updated.
The August launch of the previous App Engine 1.8.3 was also accompanied by deeper features for Google Compute Engine and the Google Cloud Datastore as the search giant continues to add functions and robustness to the Google Cloud Platform.
The new tools included Layer 3 load balancing for Google Compute Engine and improvements to the PHP runtime in the latest Google App Engine release. The Layer 3 load balancing capabilities were a key addition in the Google Compute Engine, to provide Google-scale throughput and fault tolerance to manage Internet applications.
In July 2013, Google unveiled several new features in the Google Cloud Storage environment to make it easier for developers to manage, access and upload data into the cloud. Those new capabilities included automatic deletion policies, regional buckets and faster uploads as part of a wide range of services.
In June 2013, Google unveiled a new Cloud Playground environment where developers can quickly try out ideas on a whim, without having to commit to setting up a local development environment that’s safe for testing coding experiments outside the production infrastructure. The Cloud Playground is slated as a place where application developers can try out all kinds of things, from sample code to viewing how production APIs will behave, in a safe, controlled place without having to manage the testing environment, according to Google.