Google Joins Infrastructure-as-a-Service Fray

By Nicole Hemsoth

April 14, 2008

Google announced a preview release of Google App Engine, an application-hosting tool that developers can use to build scalable Web apps on top of Google’s infrastructure. The goal is to make it easier for Web developers to build and scale applications, instead of focusing on system administration and maintenance.

Leveraging Google App Engine, developers can:

  • Write code once and deploy. Provisioning and configuring multiple machines for Web serving and data storage can be expensive and time consuming. Google App Engine makes it easier to deploy Web applications by dynamically providing computing resources as they are needed. Developers write the code, and Google App Engine takes care of the rest.
  • Absorb spikes in traffic. When a Web app surges in popularity, the sudden increase in traffic can be overwhelming for applications of all sizes, from startups to large companies that find themselves re-architecting their databases and entire systems several times a year. With automatic replication and load balancing, Google App Engine makes it easier to scale from one user to one million by taking advantage of Bigtable and other components of Google’s scalable infrastructure.
  • Easily integrate with other Google services. It’s unnecessary and inefficient for developers to write components like authentication and e-mail from scratch for each new application. Developers using Google App Engine can make use of built-in components and Google’s broader library of APIs that provide plug-and-play functionality for simple but important features.

“Google has spent years developing infrastructure for scalable Web applications,” said Pete Koomen, a product manager at Google. “We’ve brought Gmail and Google search to hundreds of millions of people worldwide, and we’ve built out a powerful network of datacenters to support those applications. Today we’re taking the first step in making this infrastructure available to all developers.”

The preview release of Google App Engine is limited to the first 10,000 developers that sign up, all of whom will be restricted to the free quota of 500MB of storage and enough CPU and network bandwidth to sustain around 5 million page views per month for a typical app. The preview phase is intended to gather feedback from developers. Eventually, developers will be able to purchase additional storage and bandwidth.

You can learn more about Google App Engine by visiting the product page. Engineers from Google will also be on hand at Google I/O in May to talk about building on Google App Engine.

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