For non-techies, Google App Engine will allow you to host your web sites and applications on their infrastructure. Not only that, this service will automatically grow in resources and capacity, as your application or web site requires. If you launch a web site and it spikes in traffic from being mentioned on Oprah, Google App Engine (and products like it) will automatically scale up to provide more server resources to handle that traffic and usage.
The features include:
- 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
I am told the major feature that developers are delighted about is the persistent storage. I am told Amazon’s S3 doesn’t offer this. In short, with some cloud computing services (such as S3), once your stop your service, it will lose any updated information (e.g., database additions or uploads). You would have to update your image every time the site is updated to ensure S3 will show those changes on restart. Persistent storage solves that problem, I am told.
The service is free and available to the first 10,000 developers who sign up. No, there are not more spots available at this moment, but you can sign up for the wait list now. During the trial period storage is limited to 500MB with 200M megacycles of CPU per day, and 10GB bandwidth per day. Google said they “expect most applications will be able to serve around 5 million pageviews per month.” The limited quota mentioned here will remain free in the future, but you can purchase more if necessary. The pricing has not yet been released.
More coverage at Techmeme.