Live migration won’t help Google cloud customers moving to new European zone

The great race by cloud powers to update their infrastructure worldwide continues.

[company]Google[/company] is adding a new Google Compute Engine zone (in Google talk it is called europe-west1-c) in two weeks, according to a web post. The company is phasing out its existing europe-west1-a zone, which will remain online till March 29, 2015 — at which time all virtual machines and persistent disks running there will go poof.

The new zone will sport all the newest bells and whistles, including “shiny Ivybidge machines” and the latest network fabric, cooling, power, etc., according to Google.

The idea of the post is to ensure that customers have enough time to plan and execute their exits from europe-west1-a zone. To make the move, Google advises them to make a disk snapshot and use that to relaunch a new VM in the new shiny new zone.

So where, you might ask, is Google’s much ballyhooed live migration in all this? Live migration facilitates the movement of working VMs between physical hosts but that capability apparently works within zones, not between them. Google promised changes there too, starting in late January 2015. Per the post:

Infrastructure refreshes are rare; zones typically run for three to five years between refreshes. We are working hard to make these refreshes completely transparent to your instances and applications, as we have done via our Live Migration technology for within-zone maintenance events. It’s our goal to make even ground-up infrastructure refreshes like this non-disruptive in the future.

There is a command that can help migrate instances between zones, but it is not guaranteed to work, said David Mytton, CEO of Server Density, a  server monitoring company. Still, this transition should not be a huge issue if systems are designed right. In that case, customers should be able to launch new instances in the shiny new zone and “drain” them from the old one, he said.

Rightscale tested out Google live migration and found it lived up to its billing, although most of the resources in the test resided in a single zone.

Refreshing zones within a given region to the best and brightest tech is but one battle in this war. Expect to see Google, [company]Amazon[/company] and [company]Microsoft[/company] launch entirely new regions — especially in Europe — in the upcoming year to satisfy businesses and nations concerned with data sovereignty issues.

Battery Ventures' expects Amazon, Google and Microsoft to add new cloud regions worldwide soon.

Battery Ventures expects Amazon, Google and Microsoft to add new cloud regions worldwide soon.