With its Google Compute Engine launched Thursday, Google is offering an IaaS (infrastructure-as-a-service) cloud for running Linux virtual machines on the same infrastructure that powers Google itself.

Unveiled at the Google I/O conference in San Francisco, the service offers scale for tasks requiring large amounts of compute power. "You can launch enormous compute clusters -- tens of thousands of cores or more" said Google's Craig McLuckie, Compute Engine product manager, in a blog post.

[ Google also detailed its Android "Jelly Bean" OS release at Google IO. | For more on cloud computing, sign up to receive InfoWorld's Cloud Computing in 2012 special report. ]

Developers can take advantage of the speed and scale of the same infrastructure powering Google applications, Google said. "Many of you have learned to live with erratic performance in the cloud. We have built our systems to offer strong and consistent performance even at massive scale," McLuckie noted in the blog post. Google plans to offer users 50 percent more value for their money than other leading cloud providers.

Users can launch Linux virtual machines on demand, including single-, two-, four- and eight-virtual core VMs, with 3.75 gigabytes of RAM per virtual core. Data can be stored on a local disk, on Google's new persistent block drive device, or on Google's Internet-scale object store, Google Cloud Storage.

While Google previously has offered its platform-as-a-service cloud, Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine focuses on provision of virtual machines.

This article, "Google pledges computing without limits in Compute Engine cloud platform," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in business technology news and get a digest of the key stories each day in the InfoWorld Daily newsletter. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

Read more about cloud computing in InfoWorld's Cloud Computing Channel.