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Up against overly complex services from Amazon.com, Microsoft, and Rackspace, Google could strike gold by simplifying

By David Linthicum

It's almost a certainty that Google will announce an enhanced IaaS offering at its developer conference this week in San Francisco. Most industry analysts, and yours truly, have been expecting this move -- and hoping it would happen. It will build on Google's existing PaaS product and Google App Engine, as well as Google storage services.

This is a sound decision on Google's part. It needs to provide an IaaS option that supports its popular PaaS offering to achieve parity with both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's combo of Azure and Office 365. But it could have a benefit beyond the competitive landscape: It could help simplify the overly complex IaaS market.

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If the Google offering is easier to use than existing IaaS wares, such as those provided by Amazon.com and Rackspace, Google may finally find a way to penetrate the large enterprise market that has largely pushed back on the use of public IaaS.

The horsepower of the Google brand name combined with an IaaS setup built more for line managers than developers could address a need that's unmet today: the ability to quickly provision storage and compute resources, as well as migrate to the resources and provide turnkey management.

Certainly, IaaS offerings from Amazon.com and Rackspace are powerful. But they're daunting for nongeeks. A less technical IaaS from Google could help small businesses that have few IaaS offerings they can afford and actually handle. And it could help enterprises adopt IaaS more quickly by getting IaaS out of the IT project queue and into local business units' laps.

Google could provide the path of least resistance to IaaS for both small businesses and enterprises. When the formal news hits later this week, that should be the yardstick by which to measure the offering.

This article, "Google: The great hope for IaaS," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Linthicum's Cloud Computing blog and track the latest developments in cloud computingat InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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