Cloud // Platform as a Service
News
9/9/2011
06:18 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Apologizes For App Engine Confusion

Higher App Engine prices may be here to stay, but Google is providing tools to help reduce costs.

10 Essential Google+ Tips
Slideshow: 10 Essential Google+ Tips
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google engineering director Peter Magnusson issued an apology Thursday evening through Google+ for the way that Google handled the App Engine price change.

Google announced in May that it planned to change the App Engine price structure toward the end of the year. But it was only a few days ago that developers had the tools to figure out what their bills would look like. The magnitude of the change prompted an outcry.

"It's clear we were wrong: Expecting developers to figure out their future costs from information in the admin console was simply too obtuse," wrote Magnusson. "We made a classic error: We're too familiar with our own product. So I apologize: We should have realized this and put out a version of side-by-side billing much sooner."

To help developers adapt, Google has decided to begin the new pricing model on November 1 rather than mid-September, as had been previously planned.

The company published a blog post Friday detailing changes it is making to ease the transition to the new pricing model.

Google is taking several steps to help developers adapt beyond extending the review period to November 1. It is also increasing the number of free Instance Hours per day from 24 to 28, which will help developers understand the impact of traffic spikes. It is extending its 50% pricing discount to December 1. And it has committed to providing usage reports in one day rather than three, which will allow developers to adjust to usage spikes sooner.

Google is also working on ways to help developers understand and monitor costs more effectively. The company plans to add a "billing" line to the graph that displays Instance usage in the App Engine Admin Console, and it's planning to provide a similar monitoring tool for datastore usage.

Finally, Google plans to make Premiere accounts, which include business-oriented features like support and offline billing, available prior to November 1.

To help developers adapt to the price structure change, Google is also providing advice about code optimization. This includes setting Max Idle Instances to a lower level to reduce Instances billed, managing resources more efficiently, and using Reserved Instance Hours, which are almost 40% cheaper than unreserved Instance time.

While not every App engine user will be able to make his or her applications run at an affordable level under the new price regime, some are finding that code optimization makes a difference.

Developer Emlyn O'Regan, for example, has documented various optimization techniques in a series of recent App Engine blog posts. While he doesn't appear to be able to optimize his code back to what he was paying--$0.51 per day--the changes he made will take his daily bill under the new price scheme down from $49.92/day to $1.92/day.

The Virtual Cloud Connect Conference event will tackle the issue of reliability. Join us Sept. 29 for a look at the techniques that can turn unreliable cloud platforms into rock-solid applications. Find out more and sign up.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek - July 21, 2014
Our new survey shows fed agencies focusing more on security, as they should, but they're still behind the times with cloud and overall innovation.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.