Google Shows Enterprise Focus with App Engine, VMware Plans

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2010-05-19 Print this article Print

Google opened its annual developer confab, Google I/O, with a few moves aimed at demonstrating its enterprise chops, including a new version of the search giant's developer hosting platform -- Google App Engine -- and a partnership with VMware to help bring enterprise Java developers to the cloud.

Google opened its annual developer confab, Google I/O, with a few moves aimed at demonstrating its enterprise chops, including a new version of the search giant's developer hosting platform and a partnership with VMware to help bring enterprise Java developers to the cloud.

At the opening of its Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco on May 19, Google announced a new version of the Google App Engine, Google App Engine for Business.

In a blog post on the Google site, Vic Gundotra, vice president of engineering at Google, said:

"Today we're announcing Google App Engine for Business, which offers new features that enable companies to build internal applications on the same reliable, scalable and secure infrastructure that we at Google use for our own apps. For greater cloud portability, we're also teaming up with VMware to make it easier for companies to build rich web apps and deploy them to the cloud of their choice or on-premise. In just one click, users of the new versions of SpringSource Tool Suite and Google Web Toolkit can deploy their application to Google App Engine for Business, a VMware environment or other infrastructure, such as Amazon EC2."

Google App Engine for Business enables enterprise organizations to build and maintain their own applications on the same scalable infrastructure that powers Google applications, with added management and support features tailored specifically for the enterprise. New capabilities for businesses include the ability to manage all the apps in an organization from one place, simple pricing based on users and applications, premium developer support, a 99.9 percent uptime service-level agreement (SLA), and, coming later this year, access to premium features like cloud-based SQL and SSL. 

During the May 18 Google I/O keynote, Kevin Gibbs, technical lead and manager of the Google App Engine project, said one of the most common concerns for enterprise Web developers is "managing all the apps at your company." So Google looked at its Google App Engine hosting platform as a way to address this, but realized it needed to shore it up to support enterprises.

"Google App Engine for Business is built from the ground up around solving the problems that enterprises face," Gibbs said.

In a briefing with eWEEK, Eric Tholome, product management director for developer technology at Google, said Google App Engine for Business allows developers to use standards-based technology, such as Java, Python, the Eclipse IDE and Google Web Toolkit (GWT), to create applications that run on the platform. It also offers users dynamic scaling, consistent availability and flat-rate pricing.

Gibbs said Google will be delivering the features in Google App Engine for Business throughout the rest of this year  What Google announced at the show was a preview of the platform, which includes an Enterprise Administration Console, a company-focused console that allows you to see, manage and set security policies for all applications in your domain. Other features such as support, the SLA, billing, hosted SQL and custom domain SSL will come later, according to the company's road map.

Pricing for Google App Engine for Business will be $8 a month for each user for each application, up to a maximum of $1,000 per application per month, Gibbs said.

Meanwhile, Google announced a series of technology collaborations with VMware to deliver solutions that make enterprise software developers more efficient at building, deploying and managing applications within any cloud environment: public, private and hybrid. 

"Companies are actively looking to move toward cloud computing," said Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware. "They are certainly attracted by the economic advantages associated with cloud, but increasingly are focused on the business agility and innovation promised by cloud computing. VMware and Google are aligning to reassure our mutual customers and the Java community that choice and portability are of utmost importance to both companies. We will work to ensure that modern applications can run smoothly within the firewalls of a company's data center or out in the public cloud environment."

The move for Google is to gain more traction in the enterprise, with enterprise Java developers using the popular Spring Framework, which comes out of VMware's SpringSource division. VMware recently did a similar partnership with in this regard.

"More than half of the new lines of Java code written are written in the context of Spring," Maritz said addressing the audience at Google I/O. "We're providing the back end to add to what Google provides on the front end. We have integrated the Spring Framework with Google Web Toolkit to offer an end-to-end environment."

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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