Everyone has realized the real money is in selling the cloud computing services. Amazon had it, HP will be getting onboard and Google now wants to make money out of it. Services for running your web applications and providing you that server in the cloud, is expected to be the next big business on the internet and Google's foray called "App Engine" was launched for this cause. Initially free, Google will now be charging for hosting your apps on App-Engine.
App Engine currently supports just Python for your web applications. But it has promised that other languages will be added later. The good thing about App Engine is that its fast and easy to setup, if you have a Python web application. You can also be assured that Google is hosting it and hence chances are that the reliability and availability of your applications will be high! All those good features do come at a price and hence the fee that Google announced today is not really bad. But in a world of Google freebies (for excellent services), its a little hard to predict when Google will charge for a service.
The pricing for Google App Engine are as follows:
Free quota to get started: 500MB storage and enough CPU and bandwidth for about 5 million pageviews per month
$0.10 - $0.12 per CPU core-hour
$0.15 - $0.18 per GB-month of storage
$0.11 - $0.13 per GB outgoing bandwidth
$0.09 - $0.11 per GB incoming bandwidth
The pricing shows that its not all that costly compared to Amazon S3 and is cheaper than what you would be spending on your own hosting and maintenance. The API provided with App Engine is pretty good and Google has added an image-manipulation API that can scale, cut, crop and rotate images. Another API for better caching (memcache) has also been added. As time goes by, it'll be interesting to see how many languages are added to App Engine. I'm hoping Java and Ruby/RoR is added quickly and I may deploy some web apps and get some clients for that deal!!