Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Google App Engine Body-Slams Amazon Web Services

I love it.image

Google makes a strong move into the scalable web services arena with the introduction of Google App Engine. 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 had the chance to run through the Google App Engine documentation last night. It's very well done (especially since it is just a Preview Release).

Yeah, it's all Python, but there's nothing wrong with that - Python Rocks.

Yeah, they want you to use Django, but there's nothing wrong with that. Django Rocks. And, if you don't think so, just upload any Pure Python framework and roll your own. It's easy.

But, how does it compare to Amazon EC2 + S3 + SimpleDB?

It's completely different.

Google App Engine is a much, much higher level toolkit and abstraction layer. Here's how I think about it:

Amazon Web Services gives you the logs and asks you to build yourself a cabin. Amazon Web Services lets you change that cabin into a chateaux or a lodge, but you've got to wield the hammer.

Google App Engine gives you a log cabin and asks you to move in, invite your friends, and start to party. When the party gets too big, Google App Engine builds you a bigger cabin, chateaux, or lodge. You keep partying.

I believe the simplest approach wins.

I love the Amazon Web Services guys (and have written many articles about what they are up to). I'm a big fan. The fact is that Google App Engine is severely limited in what it can and cannot do. They sky's the limit with Amazon Web Services, however. AWS pretty much does whatever you want. Just write some code.

Google App Engine will be wildly successful because it makes building and serving a scalable web site super simple (if you know Python).

There is a place for both tools, but Google App Engine will see so much more variety of services.

I added my name to the invite list... Pick me. Pick me. Pick me.


  1. [...] Lock-In" has been a major concern for folks getting their first look at Google App Engine. I commented on exactly that point in one of the responses to my earlier post. My feeling was that the framework would be largely [...]

  2. [...] Google App Engine was release with native support for pure Python web applications. It’s now really easy to write and deploy Python applications that are extremely scalable on top of a solid (and portable)  infrastructure. [...]

  3. [...] basically a REST interface to the Google BigTable database service that is included with Google App Engine. This is simple, yet powerful stuff. And, this is just another example - see my earlier post on [...]

  4. i think the cloud computing concept also rocking these days, as google doc is its form too.


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