In few words Google App Engine is a service of google provided under Google Cloud Platform that lets you develop, host and manage your web applications and sites easily and scalably on their servers that is even used by google itself for its various products. Before jumping into app engine, lets first learn little bit about cloud computing.
Cloud Computing, in simple term, is storing and accessing data over the Internet instead of doing it on your personal hard drive. The word ‘cloud’ is not a physical cloud but just a metaphor to describe the technology. Basically, cloud is nothing but a huge data center filled with tons of components like servers, routers, and storage units.
It offers services like cloud hosting, storage, networking, and more over the Internet to provide faster, innovative, flexible and secure resources to its customers. The users only pay for the resources they use, hence helping them lower their operating costs and run their business infrastructure more efficiently and securely. The cloud services can be classified into 3 types as Public Cloud, Private Cloud and Hybrid Cloud.
Why Cloud Computing? Characteristics
- Cloud computing increase users’ flexibility with re-provisioning, adding, or expanding technological infrastructure resources.
- Cost reductions as you pay according to your utility.
- Device and location independence enable users to access systems using a web browser regardless of their location or what device they use.
- Maintenance of cloud computing applications is easier, because they do not need to be installed on each user’s computer and can be accessed from different places.
- Security is often as good as or better than other traditional systems, in part because service providers are able to devote resources to solving security issues that many customers cannot afford to tackle or which they lack the technical skills to address.
Service Models of Cloud Computing
Cloud Providers provide their services on various models some are listed below—-
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS contains the basic building blocks for cloud IT. It basically provides access to networking features, computers (virtual or on dedicated hardware), and data storage space. IaaS gives you the highest level of flexibility and management control over your IT resources.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
In the PaaS models, cloud providers deliver a computing platform, typically including operating system, programming-language execution environment, database, and web server.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
In the software as a service (SaaS) model, users gain access to application software and databases. In the SaaS model, cloud providers install and operate application software in the cloud and cloud users access the software from cloud clients.
Server-less computing is a cloud computing code execution model in which the cloud provider fully manages starting and stopping virtual machines as necessary to serve requests, and requests are billed by an abstract measure of the resources required to satisfy the request, rather than per virtual machine, per hour.
Disadvantages and Limitations of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a powerful tool, but you may still find yourself trapped with certain limitations like speed, space, and availability. The level of limitations depends much on who is providing cloud service. Some limitations are:
- Network Connection Dependency
- Limited Features
- Loss of Control
- Not all cloud providers are as secure as they claim to be
- Technical Issues
There exists various companies which provide cloud services. The big names are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, Oracle. We are concerned with only google cloud platform.
What is Google Cloud Platform?
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) , is a cloud service offered by Google for data storing, data analytics, networking, machine learning and more that runs on the same infrastructure that google uses for itself use. But before knowing about GCP, you first need to know about cloud computing.
Launched in 2008 as an App Engine, a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers, which was the first cloud computing service from the google company. In 2011 it extends its wings and added more services to the platform. Google Cloud Platform (GCP), offered by Google, is a pack of cloud computing services like compute, storage, networking, Big Data, G-Suite and many more that executes on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its public user product, such as Google Search, YouTube and Gmail.
Why Google cloud?
As they claim “Solving is in our DNA”. This brand has many things that make it different from its competitors.
- Reduce risk with world-class security
- Improve choice with hybrid and multi-cloud
- Stay nimble with flexible platform which makes cost savings at scale
- Spark innovation with AI and data analytics
- Benefit from Google’s ongoing innovation
- Develop with fully integrated open source software
- Scale alongside Google’s global network
Overview of Google App Engine (GAE)
Now you have seen what cloud computing is, lets jump into app engine.
Google App Engine or just app engine is platform as a service (paas) provided by google under google cloud platform that let anyone develop and host web applications securely in google well-managed data centers. The server resources are automatically scalable according to the current need of applications saving your budget and extra technical work. App engine has every thing ranging from RDBMS to scalable file storage to simple database needed to store data and codes to run applications .
These days app market is just flooded out. Every company, organization or even website need web app to reach out there potential customers and visitors. Theses web apps can be easily hosted on servers provided by different companies like godaddy, bluehost hostgator etc. at various plans. But why google app engine is preferable among all other platform.
App Engine is just taking more and more share of the cloud computing market and actually penetrating into the small budget hosting market too. Its google that is credited to introduce cloud to small businesses with their free trial and easy dashboard. But this company is not alone in this market. Some other big names that really are eligible competitors in providing cloud computing platforms are : Amazon Web Service AWS, Microsoft AZURE, IBM cloud and few more.
Why app engine?
As we all are aware and use to of Google’s various products, they are safe and secure and easy to use. And this is one of the reason for choosing app engine by big and small companies to host their data and applications securely. Some of the features of app engine are :
Easy to Use and Free Trial : Being a Google’s product, it has easy to use dashboard without requiring much more technical skill. You just focus on code of applications while App Engine manages infrastructure concerns.
The free trial of app engine is available to use and understand. Here is the link for getting your try on GAE. New customers get $300 in free credits to spend on Google Cloud during the first 90 days.
Highly scalable : Your application doesn’t have constant visitors all the time. Consider a situation when you have little resource of server space and huge traffic came, it will just suck or consider you have large spaces of servers and and you get little traffics, your resources will get wasted.
So app engine is actually server-less, which basically means it allocates machine resources on demand, taking care of the servers on behalf of its customers. As the number of requests increases for your application during peak time, it automatically allocates more resources for the web application to handle the additional demand.
Language support : Google App Engine primarily supports Languages like Go, PHP, Java, C#, Python, Node.js, .NET, and Ruby and other language through custom runtime. Build your application in these languages—or bring your own language runtime.
Reliability : As your data is stored is google managed data center which google uses itself for its other products, you application is highly secure and always accessible. Their servers almost never go down with 100% uptime record.
Also your data are highly secure and safe from spammers and hackers as google is one of the most secured platform existing investing its long experience and cutting innovations.
Top users of Google App Engine
- Khan Academy
Future of App Engine
With more and more broadening of web applications in our work and advancement of IoT in our day to day life, Cloud platform has a very bright future. Might be there will be better technologies is coming decades, but the recent future is definitely of cloud computing.
App engine as a part of cloud computing is expanding its wings very fast. Till now App Engine applications are easy to develop, maintain, and cost effective, this makes it better than its core competitors, and hence more and more people are choosing it for their online business.
In the years to come, majority of the sites and apps are assumed to be hosted on cloud platform rather on traditional servers which are not very affective on utilizing complete resource. Thus app engine market is now hovering and about to boom.
Some FAQs on App Engine
Is app engine free?
No it is not free, infact it is one of Google’s money making product. But you can use it for 90 days free trial by using $300 balance provided by google when you create your account.
How to go to google app engine dashboard?
Just search app engine on google, the very first result will take you to the dashboard. All you need to create an account or use existing account. Here is the link to the app engine. On the coming page click on “Get started for free”, it will take you to the Google Cloud Console dashboard. Here you can manage all things project to billing.
What is the pricing for using App Engine?
Well it depends on various factors like location and the amount and types of resources you are using. As it flexible and charges you according to the metrics of resources you use, it is affordable. Read full information about pricing here.