Proposed Google App Engine pricing demonstrates the hidden danger of cloud
In May this year, Google had announced that GAE is almost ready to graduate from Preview status and become an official Google product.
Three things have been established.
- GAE has lost its distinctiveness and becoming a “me too” offering. It is getting out of the CPU based pricing to instance based pricing.
- The change in the pricing model has made a mockery of the architectural decision of many developers.
- It is proved that market forces and not cost of providing the service is going to decide cloud pricing.
GAE has lost its distinctiveness
I had earlier thought the GAE was potentially disruptive – but I was wrong!
Two of the most disruptive elements (CPU cycle based pricing & No SQL) has been abandoned. Only one disruptive element remains. You don’t need any additional software to deploy application in GAE – no web server, no app server and no database.
Architectural decision and cloud pricing
When you build a cloud application and optimize it for the amount of service charges you pay the provider, you need to juggle between CPU utilization, data storage, read-write and I/O bandwidth used.
If you had designed your application to take advantage of the GAE pricing model – you may be in for a rude shock. You can go through the comments in the announcement and you will see many example of this!
Market forces working
There were enough indications earlier that the cloud pricing is guided more by the market forces than by the cost of providing the service. Amazon EC2, Rackspace and Microsoft pricing look very similar to each other. Also, the reduction in hardware prices has had no effect on the cloud service pricing.
Now GAE, 24 free instance hours per day looks suspiciously similar to Amazon free EC2 instance of 750 hours per month.