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Google conjures dedicated memcache within platform cloud

App Engine catches up with Amazon and Microsoft's floating silos

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Google has added a dedicated memcache service to its platform cloud, giving the company's technology more of the characteristics of clouds operated by Amazon and Microsoft.

The upgrades to Google App Engine (GAE) came as part of the 1.8.2 release of the platform cloud, along with Git push-to-deploy for developers that use the popular git code management service, and other updates relating to PHP, Python, and Eclipse support.

Memcache is an open source object caching system that stores key-value data in pooled RAM from multiple servers. It is used by websites including Wikipedia, Twitter, and Craigslist.

Wrapping in features like memcache-as-a-service is crucial for cloud companies that are trying to woo developers into their floating silos. GAE already had a memcache service, but dedicated memcache provides developers guarantees of capacity and performance for $0.12 cents per gigabyte per hour, whereas the previous shared service offered no guarantees at all.

"With dedicated memcache you can purchase in-memory data caching capacity exclusively for your application, cache more data and drive up cache hit rates," Google cloud product manager Chris Ramsdale, wrote in a blog post that announced the changes. "With higher cache hit rates, dedicated memcache can also reduce Datastore costs and make your application faster than ever."

The preview service will compete with similar offerings from Amazon (Amazon ElastiCache), and Microsoft (Windows Azure Caching with memcache protocol support).

Besides Memcache, Google also enabled support for Git code management with Git Push-to-Deploy, which lets developers push App Engine code up into git along with App Engine. The service has also received App Engine Modules, which serve as a way of breaking large applications into modular components that can share services.

Developers can class their apps modules with three types of scaling properties – manual, basic, and automatic – which will affect how the software consumes resources over time according to demand.

Though much of Google's development emphasis appears to be around taking on Amazon via infrastructure-as-a-service with Google Compute Engine, Mountain View has continued to add new features into App Engine, as it seeks to expose more internal Google services to developers. Google had not responded to further queries at the time of writing. ®

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