Google targets business with cloud application services

Google has announced a pair of new services that it hopes will entice businesses to build and run applications in its data centres for a pay-as-you-go fee.

The first is App Engine for Business, an enhanced version of its existing cloud-based development platform.

Google’s App Engine allows developers to build applications with programming languages including Java, JavaScript, Ruby and Python. It is free to use until a certain amount of processing or storage resources are being used, from which point it is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis.

The Business edition, revealed today and open to invitees, adds a console from which multiple applications can be managed, a higher service level agreement and support for SQL databases.

Google will charge customers $8 per user, per month for each application “up to a maximum of $1000”. It does not state what happens when a customer uses more than $1000 worth of compute resources.

The second service launched today is ‘cloud portability’, which is based on a partnership between Google and virtualisation software provider VMware.

“Google and VMware have enhanced our open source Java development tools, allowing enterprise developers to rapidly build rich web apps, run them on multiple devices, and deploy them on-premise or in the cloud of your choice,” explains the Google Code website.

Like VMforce, the partnership between and VMware announced last month, this service connects VMware’s SpringSource development framework to Google’s underlying infrastructure.

This, the argument runs, will make it easier for developers not only to build Java-based applications on Google’s platform, but also to move applications from one platform to another by automating some of the work involved in connecting an application to underlying components, such as the database.

Coming so soon after the announcement of VMforce, today’s news reiterates the significance of the application development framework, in this case VMware’s SpringSource technology which it acquired in 2009, in the so-called “platform as a service” concept.

An analysis of what these development frameworks do and why they are becoming so important in cloud computing will feature in the June issue of Information Age magazine.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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