Apr092008

Google App Engine

Published by hirantha at 7:58 AM under Google

Google isn’t just talking about hosting applications in the cloud any more. They’ve launched Google App Engine, an ambitious new project that offers a full-stack, hosted, automatically scalable web application platform. It consists of Python application servers, BigTable database access and GFS data store services.

At first blush this is a full on competitor to the suite of web services offered by Amazon, including S3 (storage), EC2 (virtual servers) and SimpleDB (database).

However,Unlike Amazon Web Services’ loosely coupled architecture, which consists of several essentially independent services that can optionally be tied together by developers, Google’s architecture is more unified but less flexible. For example, it is possible with Amazon to use their storage service S3 independently of any other services, while with Google using their BigTable service will require writing and deploying a Python script to their app servers, one that creates a web-accessible interface to BigTable.

The service is completely free during the beta period, but there are ceilings on usage. Applications cannot use more than 500 MB of total storage, 200 million megacycles/day CPU time, and 10 GB bandwidth (both ways) per day.

One current limitation is a requirement that applications be written in Python, a popular scripting language for building modern web apps (Ruby and PHP are among others widely used). Google says that Python is just the first supported language, and that the entire infrastructure is designed to be language neutral. Google’s initial focus on Python makes sense because they use Python internally as their scripting language.



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