It's pretty amazing what can be done in 18 months...
Last year at Google I/O, we announced Google Compute Engine. (my project for the last 4-ish years). We had a great "1.0" product -- we'd covered the basic features, with a few great twists (all storage encrypted at rest, global VM network), a few glaring warts (twice-yearly maintenance windows) and a number of rough edges.
Since then, in addition to scaling up our back-end systems and redesigning our APIs for better fault tolerance/isolation, we've rolled out a few new features:
* Globally available snapshots of persistent disks
* Disk attach and remove on the fly
* A new web UI
* High memory and High CPU machine types
* Boot from persistent disk
* Ability to bulk-fetch and monitor instance and project metadata within a instance
* Small and micro machine types with less than 1 core and limited bursting
* Increased supported PD volume sizes from 1T to 10T
* Instance-level metadata updates
* Ability to program routing rules on your virtual network (VPN, LB, etc)
* Per-minute pricing after the first 10 minutes
* API command to reboot a VM
* Transparent internet load-balancing at L3 or L4 that scales to 1M qps
* Ability to boot a kernel of your choice
* Differential snapshots and pricing for same (pay only for changed data in snapshots)
* Image management and deprecation
* RHEL and SuSE licensing support
* Live migration and the removal of maintenance windows
* Disk performance scaling with size up to 2-5x the soured of a single drive.
Plus a bunch of behind-the-scenes work on reliability, performance, manageability, tools, etc. Also, 3+ price drops, including the very exciting pricing change today to make durable, snapshot-able, portable disk cost the same as our old ephemeral instance-local storage. This is a very exciting development thanks to our storage and infrastructure teams.
And lest you think "General Availability" means "done," I'm looking forward to seeing where things go in the next 18 months. I think we'll see some equally interesting announcements in the next 6 months, 1 year, etc. This isn't the end of the road or even the end of the beginning, but it's a nice milestone.