Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Google App Engine - Quotes and thougts

From the many blog posts about the Google App Engine, my favorite quote comes from Dave Winer:
Now, what Google announced is really exciting! I'm not kidding. It's even better than I hoped. Yes, it's only Python, but IBM's PC-DOS was only BASIC and Pascal when it first came out, and it didn't matter. Yeah, I preferred C, but I coded in Pascal because that's what you had to do to get an app running. What you're going to see here that you've never seen before is shrinkwrap net apps that scale that can be deployed by civillians. That's a mouthful, but that's what's coming. Why? Because here is a standardized platform that can be stamped out in the billions of units. Maybe Google can't do it, but the perception is that they can. Who is willing to stand up and say Google hasn't nailed scaling? What PCs did in the 80s, Google is doing now. PCs took the black magic out of owning a computer. Now Google is taking the black magic out of operating a scalable web app. Python is the new BASIC.
There were also lots of negative thoughts, e.g. Donna Bogatin:

Google’s latest attempt at Internet shock and awe replays the by now traditional Google routine of “giving away” Web services under the guise of disinterested benevolence while the Web cheers the supposed Googley revolutionary Internet disruption and forecasts doom for existing players, such as Amazon, for this example.
In typical Google fashion, though, “free” comes at a very high price. In fact, the Google App Engine product unveiled by the high-flying corporation is in contention for the scariest Google move to date.
Not only do startups using Google App Engine unwittingly put control of their businesses in the sole discretionary hands of Eric Schmidt and company, unwitting consumer users of Google App Engine hosted services automatically “share” all of their personal, proprietary data with Google, whether they really want to or not.
Generally people are comparing the App Engine with Amazon's AWS offerings and either seem to be interested in the one or the other. I think these two services can be combined for easy creating scalable web applications which go beyond what you can do with a limited amount of time and money, compared to the scenario where you would use just one of the services. Let me elaborate: For the simple, stateless stuff, for static and dynamic HTML pages and for persisting data, Google App Engine is perfect. For advanced stuff like Comet HTTP push, video streaming or batch processing, Amazon EC2 instances could be used on demand just for that.

1 comment:

Kevin Smith said...

I thought of using both services the way you described, too. I wonder, though, if the bandwidth charges in and out of both clouds would make it cost prohibitive.