Google on Thursday announced it is introducing a four tiered 24/7 support offering for all its cloud storage services. That means the support encompasses App Engine, Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, Cloud SQL, and BigQuery.

This is a big move for Google, which normally just points its customers to Stack Overflow and Google Groups. 24×7 support means you will able to get in touch with someone by phone or have direct access to a Technical Account Manager team.

google cloud support 730x320 Google debuts four tiered 24/7 support for its cloud platform services, prices start at $0 to $400 per month

Here’s the breakdown of the four support tiers:

  • Bronze: All customers get access to online documentation, community forums, and billing support (Free).
  • Silver: In addition to Bronze, you can email our support team for questions related to product functionality, best practices, and service errors ($150/month).
  • Gold: In addition to Silver, you’ll receive 24×7 phone support and consultation on application development, best practices or architecture for your specific use case (Starts at $400/month).
  • Platinum: In addition to Gold, you’ll get direct access to a Technical Account Manager team, who can offer “the most comprehensive and personalized support” (This one is negotiable and you’ll have to contact the company’s sales department).

In related news, Google’s App Engine team today also announced two new preview features (meaning they’re on their way to general availability): App Engine Java 7 runtime support and Google Cloud Endpoints. The first is an expect update while the second is a completely new feature.

The App Engine Java 7 runtime allows App Engine developers to test their application with the new Java 7 runtime before the complete rollout in a few months (SDK and documentation). Here are some of the language features available in the preview:

  • invokedynamic support, which allows developers, tools providers, and language implementations to take advantage of a new bytecode. Called invokedynamic, it lets you handle method invocations efficiently even when there is no static type information.
  • Try-with-resources, which helps avoid memory leaks and related bugs by automatically closing resources that are used in a try-catch statement.
  • Flexible Type Creation when using generics, enabling you to create parameterized types more succinctly.
  • Use of String class in Switch statements.
  • Expression of binary literals using simple prefixes 0b or 0B.
  • Single catch blocks that can handle multiple exceptions.
  • Simplified varargs method invocation.

Google Cloud Endpoints meanwhile simplify building highly scalable and flexible backends for your Web and mobile applications. You can use them to store application data in the cloud that spans both devices and users, as well as expose your own authenticated, reliable, REST-based APIs hosted from an App Engine application and consume them in your Android, iOS, or Web clients.

To use Cloud Endpoints, all you have to do is write a Java or Python class with methods you want to expose, annotate the methods with attributes that control exactly how they are represented in REST interfaces, and generate your strongly-typed client libraries for Android, iOS, and a lightweight JavaScript library. A tutorial is available for Java and Python, plus there is documentation available as well as the usual Stack Overflow forum.

These new options come just a few months after Google announced price cuts for its various cloud offerings in November.

See also – Google Cloud Platform gets new storage options, 20% price cut, more European datacenter support and Following Amazon price cuts, Google slashes Cloud Storage prices by another 10% for a total of 30%

Image credit: Thad Zajdowicz