Google App Engine enables you to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power Google applications.
A new project that offers a full-stack, hosted, automatically scalable web application platform. It consists of Python application servers, BigTable database access (anticipated here and here) and GFS data store service
At first blush this is a full on competitor to the suite of web services offered by Amazon, including S3 (storage), EC2 (virtual servers) and SimpleDB (database).
Unlike Amazon Web Services’ loosely coupled architecture, which consists of several essentially independent services that can optionally be tied together by developers, Google’s architecture is more unified but less flexible. For example, it is possible with Amazon to use their storage service S3 independently of any other services, while with Google using their BigTable service will require writing and deploying a Python script to their app servers, one that creates a web-accessible interface to BigTable.
What this all means: Google App Engine is designed for developers who want to run their entire application stack, soup to nuts, on Google resources. Amazon, by contrast, offers more of an a la carte offering with which developers can pick and choose what resources they want to use.
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