Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Google Application Engine vs. Amazon Web Services

Well AWS (Amazon Web Services) with a reported 330,000 developers now has significant new competition from the just announced Google Application Engine. Google's new cloud computing service went into limited beta on Monday and was opened to the first 10,000 users to sign up based on the post in the Google App Engine blog. It appears those 10,000 slots have already been taken since when I tried to sign up I received a message saying I would be added to the waiting list. Google's App Engine beta which I assume will turn into the base level service once the service opens to more widespread use will most likely be free based on Google's past performance. So what is Google offering users well here are some of the details on the capacities offered to the beta users - 3 applications, 500 MB of storage/application, 200 million CPU megacycles/day and 10GB of bandwidth each for in and out per day, which is suppose to equate to roughly 5 million page views per month. Amazon Web Services on the other hand has charges for storage, various service requests and bandwidth just like other hosted solution and currently no base level free service. So the question is will Amazon be forced to offer a free base level service to compete with Google or do the 330,000 current Amazon developers represent a large enough mass with enough momentum to keep Amazon from having to offer a free version, it will be interesting to see what happens.

In the mean time AWS is already hosting well known services or parts of those services such as Twitter, 37signals, Smugmug, Elephant Drive and Facebook Apps. So if AWS is something you want to consider further along with joining the ranks of the many AWS developers checkout the following -

AWS Developer Connection
AWS Blog

In addition O'Reilly just published Programming Amazon Web Services if you're really interested in getting into AWS.

Since Google just announced their service the documentation is currently only offered online. In addition Google has an application gallery for some of the applications that have already been created.

As far as programming options AWS supports C#, Java, PHP and Ruby while Google only supports Python at this time. So if Google App Engine intends to compete head on with AWS it would seem that Google will need to broaden their supported programming options in the future. But is Google really interested in competing head with Amazon I'm not so sure of that. Also due to Google's infrastructure and how they build applications they may want to focus on only supplying the limited Python interface.

One other point of interest, if this does turn into true head on competition between Amazon and Google, will Google in particular have to reveal more about their infrastructure to satisfy prospective customers due diligence needs as they decide which service to use, at some point you would think so.

In the meantime tell me what you think about Amazon Web Services if you already use them. Same for the Google Application Engine if you were lucky enough to get in as part of the initial beta group. Or is there another service you think is superior. Do you think Yahoo and Microsoft will expand Office Live Workspaces in order to more fully compete in the cloud computing arena.

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