Google Bolsters Services, Lowers Prices to Woo Business to App Engine Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-10-12

Google Bolsters Services, Lowers Prices to Woo Business to App Engine Cloud

Google has beefed up its cloud services with new offerings, including App Engine premier accounts, and has lowered its pricing for Google Cloud Storage, among other moves.

With these actions, Google is aggressively making a stand in the cloud computing space and calling on developers and businesses to give Google a try as their cloud platform of choice.

In an Oct. 11 post, Jessie Jiang, a group product manager at Google, said Google is now offering new enterprise-level service and support options for Google App Engine. With Google App Engine Premier Accounts, "for $500 per month, you'll receive premier support, a 99.95 percent uptime service-level agreement and the ability to create unlimited number of apps on your premier account domain," Jiang said.

To sign up for a premier App Engine account, email group's sales team at

Jiang also noted that Google Cloud SQL, which Google recently released as a limited preview, can serve as a database in the cloud for users. Google Cloud SQL "powers your App Engine applications with a familiar relational database in a fully managed cloud environment," he said. "This allows you to focus on developing your applications and services, free from the chores of managing, maintaining and administering relational databases."

Cloud SQL is available free of charge for now, he added.

Google also announced the graduation of Google Cloud Storage out of Google Code Labs, along with new features as well as the lower price.

Last year, the search giant introduced Google Storage for developers, a service that lets users store data on Google's infrastructure with high levels of reliability, availability and performance. "You can use it for your online archives, storing and serving static content (e.g. images and video), sharing data with your customers and partners, as well for use with other Google services like App Engine, Prediction API and Big Query," Jiang said.

Google Cloud Storage Is Out of Labs


As of Oct. 11, Google Storage for Developers is out of Labs, and has a new name-Google Cloud Storage, Jiang said. "In addition to leaving Labs, we are announcing several new features. You can now read and write files to Google Cloud Storage via the App Engine Files API. We are also making detailed usage information, including access analytics and storage use data, available to all our customers."

Moreover, "we are lowering the prices for storage and bandwidth across the board," Jiang said. "We are not charging for ingress and introducing volume discounts for our larger users. Depending on your usage patterns, you could save over 40 percent of your monthly bill."

In a separate Oct 11 post, Navneet Joneja, product manager for Google Cloud Storage, said:

"We're no longer charging for upload bandwidth into the Google cloud. In addition, we're lowering our prices across the board and introducing volume discounts for our larger users. We are committed to offering an extremely high quality of service to all our customers. As the product has evolved, we've found ways to offer the same great service at a lower cost, so now our prices are lower too. For example, under our new prices, a customer storing a hundred terabytes of data, reading twenty terabytes and writing ten terabytes a month would pay approximately 40% less a month. The difference is even greater for customers with higher usage. Our new prices are retroactive to the beginning of October."

The updated pricing can be found here.

Joneja also said Google has introduced a new, experimental API that gives users access to detailed usage information-including network access and storage use data-that they can use to analyze their usage, integrate with their analysis systems and build their own value-added applications using Google Cloud Storage.

Meanwhile, not only did Google Cloud Storage graduate from Google Code Labs, so has the Google Prediction API, which gives developers access to machine learning in the cloud to build smarter apps. Google announced version 1.4 of its Prediction API, which Jiang says includes two of the most requested features: Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) v4.01 support and data anomaly detection.

According to Jiang, the Google Prediction API has a variety of use cases, from helping increase fuel economy to creating movie recommendation services. It is hosted in the cloud and is well-suited for integration with developers' Web applications.

"We are enabling our enterprise customers to build business solutions that take advantage of the computing power and scalability of Google's cloud services without all the hassles of deployment of applications," Jiang said. "We have been making great progress on Google App Engine, Cloud Storage and Prediction API. There is more to come, stay tuned."

Google also introduced App Engine File API support, Joneja said. Developers can now read and write their data via the App Engine Files API, "enabling you to quickly build your content management tools, data sharing applications, Web games and more using the powerful combination of App Engine and Cloud Storage," he said. "This feature is experimental and currently Python-only, but we're working on adding Java support and additional features."

Google announced other features and offerings. The company said App Engine now supports Python 2.7. Meanwhile, Google also announced two "trusted tester" programs. One is for the Full-Text Search API-fill out this form if interested in trying it out. The other is program is for Google's Conversion API, which allows for the conversion of text to PDF in an application, Google officials said. Interested developers can sign up here.



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