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Starting Your Web App in the Cloud for Free

Blogging from the PayPal X Innovate conference, I wanted to share some of the key points from the Google App Engine session. If you are an eBay Developer looking for a simple way to try a cloud-based infrastructure without a large startup cost, you might want to take a look at Google App Engine.


Google App Engine is a cloud-based technology that allows Developers to build web applications on the same reliable and scalable infrastructure that powers Google Apps. Since its launch, more than 250000 Developers have created apps built on Google App Engine. With the free, entry-level tier, Developers can get started with 5M page views per month, 1 GB of bandwidth per month, 1 GB of storage, and 6.5 CPU hours per day. As your application grows, additional resources can be purchased. You can even enable billing customers for your apps to help cover the cost as your user activity grows.

The next level offering, Google App Engine for Business, is in preview and looks to address some of the additional needs of a growing business. Central management of all your Google App Engine apps and 99.9% reliability SLA come with the business tier, and pricing is cheaper than Amazon's AWS service.


There are several key differences between Google and Amazon's cloud offering. Google App Engine requires that you adopt the entire stack, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, given that stack includes Google's BigTable database system. In this regard, Amazon's offering will give you quite a bit more flexibility in deciding which parts of your technology stack you want powered by Amazon. At the moment, Google App Engine only supports apps written in Java or python, with extending JVMs for additional languages. Amazon allows you quite a bit more flexibility in your preferred language. Then again, for this added flexibility, you will pay a bit more than you will on Google App Engine. With their current offering Amazon AWS looks to be easier to graduate to more app sophistication, but I am sure Google is looking to close this gap quickly.


Developers who are just starting to build their apps and want to do so quickly and with little infrastructure investment. Approach with caution as this is a relatively new offering from Google and the system is still improving. Keep an active eye on your application growth, minding an upgrade or migration path should you need it.

October 26, 2010 in Developer Community, Developer Website | Permalink