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GAE+VMW: co-petition in the cloud-era May 26, 2010

Posted by Sacha in CloudBees, English, IT.

During Google IO, Google announced “Google App Engine for Business“. Well, it seems the marketing department has been more active than then engineering team lately…

This is the exact same GAE platform, including its ugly limitations, with the following key differences in terms of its offering:

  • They announced a roadmap for 2010 where they’ll provide an SLA, a management interface, and support for SSL certificates (…)
  • It will be priced at 8USD per app per month … but this will be ONLY for INTRANET applications and pricing will scale with the number of users in your intranet up to a maximum of 1000USD/month/app
  • They intend to release an offering for public-facing applications (you know, this “Internet” thing) but they haven’t worked out the pricing yet
  • They will provide later this year a SQL-based offering


This is a purely reactive move to the smart VMForce announcement. Google is a huge company, they consider themselves as the cloud company, they’ve had GAE available for TWO YEARS now and the only think they come up with is … a roadmap listing revolutionary features such as SSL support and an SLA… This is immensely weak. If anything, this announcement reinforces what GAE’s current deficiencies are.  The pricing information also indicates the very reactive nature of this move: their offering is only for intranet apps (…) since they most probably do not want to release their pricing before VMForce does (VMForce hasn’t disclosed what pricing scheme they’d use). And they also probably realize that coming up with a public pricing scheme will be tough (and a departure from their current scheme – based on “people being nice”).

The other part of the announcement was Spring’s availability on GAE’s platform. But, wait, aren’t those two companies supposed to be fiercely competing (or about to)?!? Yes, they are, and it seems to show that in the cloud-era, companies are willing to make “co-petitive” partnerships pretty easily if it can ease their own agenda. In this case:

  • VMSource gets to amplify their desire to see Spring as the defacto Java programming model of the cloud (remember, they seem to fully ignore EE6!),
  • Google gets to hide the mud by providing the Spring API on top of a highly restrictive platform (which probably wouldn’t satisfy anybody writing modestly sophisticated apps)

This is going to be a fun decade 🙂





1. Manik Surtani - May 26, 2010

>> This is going to be a fun decade

Now that’s for certain! 🙂

2. Sacha - May 26, 2010

Manik, stop reading blogs, we are all waiting for Infinispan 4.1 GA to be released 🙂


3. Manik Surtani - May 26, 2010

LOL! 🙂 All in due course.

4. gwthead - May 26, 2010

Spring apps are Web 1.0 . AJAX support is minimal, you can refresh certain part of a page with difficulty, DWR, DOJO, etc hard to maintain. GWT is the way to go developing rich apps, fully Web 3.0 !

5. sqljunkie - May 26, 2010

in GAE-Enterprise, SQL db support is interesting. is it gonna be available only within an INTRANET ? why this SQL db is not available to the public ? is google Datastore worth switching to a new paradigm ?

Sacha - May 26, 2010

At this point, it is not available at all. When it will be available, I’d hope that Google will have released an offering for public web site. But that is just what I would expect, this is not based on any factual information. And no, for most apps (read: 99%), switching to a new paradigm (datastore) just to make the “cloud” happy makes no sense.

6. Mark Little - May 26, 2010

Manik, listen to Sacha 😉

7. Mark Little - May 26, 2010

BTW, couldn’t agree with you more Sacha. If the cloud is to succeed it has to start off by solving real world problems and that means taking existing applications and making them available on someone else’s hardware on a pay-as-u-go basis. It doesn’t mean rewriting those applications. Later on down the line (read after a few years) new apps will be developed to take better advantages of the scaling, deal better with the issues that large scale distributed systems cause, and generally be “better” Cloud citizens. But of course by then the definition of Cloud will be different to what it is today (it had better be, because today’s offerings are very basic.)

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