Feeds

Google opens private cloud to coders

Revs App Engine

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google has opened its cloud to outside developers.

Last night, while eating S'mores at an intimate developer gathering dubbed Campfire One, the world's largest ad broker unveiled App Engine, a free service that lets anyone build and run web apps on Google's very own distributed infrastructure. The cool kids call this cloud computing.

"The goal is to make it easy to get started with a new web app, and then make it easy to scale when that app reaches the point where it's receiving significant traffic and has millions of users," App Engine product manager Paul McDonald wrote late last night on the brand new Google App Engine Blog. "Google App Engine gives you access to the same building blocks that Google uses for its own applications, making it easier to build an application that runs reliably, even under heavy load and with large amounts of data."

In particular, the platform offers:

  • Dynamic webserving, with full support of common web technologies
  • Persistent storage (powered by Bigtable and GFS with queries, sorting, and transactions)
  • Automatic scaling and load balancing
  • Google APIs for authenticating users and sending email
  • Fully featured local development environment

BigTable is Google's homemade cloud database tool, which runs atop the company's homemade GFS file system. Yesterday, Michael TechCrunch Arrington predicted that Google would use Campfire One to launch BigTable as a web service, and we congratulate him on getting things kinda right.

Naturally, Google isn't the first to offer this sort of cloud computing platform. Amazon.com offers the Amazon Web Services, including its Elastic Computing Cloud (for processing power), Simple Storage Service (for storage), and SimpleDB (for database queries), while Salesforce.com serves up Appexchange. The difference is that the Google App Engine is free - at least in part.

App Engine is available today as a free "preview release," and with this release, applications are limited to 500MB of storage, 200M megacycles of CPU per day, and 10GB bandwidth per day. But somewhere down the road, Google will hawk more storage, more cycles, and more bandwidth at some unknown price. ""We expect most applications will be able to serve around 5 million pageviews per month," McDonald said, referring to the preview release. "In the future, these limited quotas will remain free, and developers will be able to purchase additional resources as needed."

At the moment, there's only room for 10,000 eager developers, but Google plans to increase that number "in the near future."

"We're by no means feature-complete, and we're giving you early access because we really want your feedback."

You can sign up for App Engine here, view all the documentation here, download the SDK here, and discuss the lot here.

Applications must be written in Python. But Google is considering other languages as well. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.