Google has signalled it is getting more serious about this whole cloud thing with the beta availability of sole-tenant nodes in Google Compute Engine.
The move allows users to create virtual machines on Compute Engine servers allocated for their dedicated use, effectively reserving their own hardware (at least while they pay their bills.) VMs normally run over many physical host servers that are shared by many diverse customers.
By introducing single-tenant nodes, Google addresses the regulatory and compliance needs of organisations that need physical separation in the cloud. Finance, pharmaceutical and government customers will be noting the decision with interest.
The move also makes sense in a post-Meltdown and Spectre world, where cloud vendors have had to scramble to apply patches to prevent nefarious processes wandering into memory areas they shouldn't. Running on dedicated hardware would calm customer nerves somewhat.
Administering and managing instances on dedicated hardware uses all the same tools with which users are familiar and regular pricing applies, with a 10 per cent premium for the privilege of not having to share your hardware with the great unwashed.
Google’s beta offering is similar to Amazon’s EC2 Dedicated Hosts, which allow AWS customers to similarly create multiple instances on dedicated physical hardware. Number two cloud vendor, Microsoft, also permits users to run on single-tenanted hardware on its Azure platform. However, Redmond will only allow one VM per physical host. ®