Taking aside customer demand, I’ve personally spent time on Google Compute Engine (GCE) now and I can honestly say that it’s a game changer. While it might be flying under the radar now, I expect this to change in the future. GCE is really the first major public cloud I have seen, other than AWS, that is designed as a true elastic, scale-out Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) system. The new Rackspace OpenStack-based cloud is close, but GCE is really ahead in a number of key areas, including their on-demand block storage service (equivalent to AWS Elastic Block Storage). This isn’t readily apparent unless you have used GCE, because they don’t make much noise.
I can tell you this with certitude, GCE is *not* a toy and while they might be in private BETA right now, consider this: GCE has about 10x the functionality and usability that EC2 had while in private BETA in late 2006. I should know, I was using EC2 at that time. When GCE becomes more public I fully expect it to ramp harder than AWS did in 2007, when EC2 went from private BETA to public BETA, and to quickly become a viable large-scale alternative to EC2.„