Is Google about to launch a new IaaS service?

With Google’s developer conference due to kick off this week, rumours are afoot that the internet giant is preparing to announce the launch of an expanded batch of cloud services.

Google I/O opens on Wednesday in San Francisco, and a number of leading industry commentators have reported that the company will announce a new IaaS offering, in addition to its existing App Engine and Google Cloud Storage facilities.

On Friday GigaOm cited ‘multiple sources’, claiming that Google was planning to launch a competitor to Amazon’s successful EC2 IaaS service. Such a service was rumoured to be in the pipeline back in May, but wasn’t initially expected until the end of this year.

If the rumours are correct, the launch would mean Google going head to head with both Amazon and Microsoft, which is also believed to be preparing an IaaS cloud offering that would constitute a direct competitor.

In fact, GigaOm notes that while Amazon would appear to be the main target for new IaaS services, Google seems to be focussing on Microsoft’s valuable enterprise developer community.

By making its platform friendlier, easier to write for and deploy on, partnering with the likes of cloud infrastructure management specialists Opscode and  Rightscale, the company hopes to lure developers away.

We wouldn’t be surprised to see Google jumping into the lucrative enterprise cloud arena this week, but in a competitive field, where Red Hat and Oracle also have announced competing services this month, what will be the specific factors that affect cloud spending decisions?

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