Google Unleashes Web Services: Google App Engine

Google App EngineGoogle unleashed their Amazon Web Services killer today called Google App Engine. Right now the development kit is limited to Python (and the Django Web Framework built on Python), the Google BigTable database and the GFS file services but this will undoubtedly change the game for Amazon Web Services and the paid providers that have been built around managing AWS. Here are more details from the announcement on TechCrunch.com

Google isn’t just talking about hosting applications in the cloud any more. {Google is} launching Google App Engine, an ambitious 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 services.

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.

Google Product Manager Tom Stocky described the new service to me in an interview today. Developers simply upload their Python code to Google, launch the application, and can monitor usage and other metrics via a multi-platform desktop application.

30+ Ajax-Powered WordPress Plugins

from Mashable.com. Here are some examples.

AjaxWP – Adds AJAX to all aspects of your WordPress site speeding up the load times.

Alexa Rank – Display your Alexa rank with pride.

Ajax Comment Preview – Allows readers to preview their comment before submitting.

asTunes – Retrieves data from your Audioscrobbler/last.fm profile and posts it as a list on your blog.

Codebox – Side scrolling box for displaying code snippets.

Crossroads – Adds thumbnails and comments from your Flickr account.

FireStats – Full featured statistics including referrers and popular pages.

13 Disasters for Production Websites and Solutions

from http://CodeProject.com 

This would be better titled “13 disasters for production web sites and their PREVENTIONS” since all of the Solutions presented are preventive measures, but these are still wonderful insights for anyone trying to develop a stable, global, expandible web application. Here is an excerpt.

Choosing the right hosting provider

Our experience with several bad hosting companies gave us valuable lessons on choosing the right hosting company. We started with very cheap hosting providers and gradually went to one of the most expensive hosting providers in USA – Rackspace. Rackspace is insane when it comes to cost and good service quality. Their technicians are very well trained and their Managed Hosting plan offers onsite Sys Admin and DBA to take care of your servers and database. They can solve SQL Server 2005 issues as well as IIS related problems that we frequently had to solve ourselves. So, when you choose a hosting provider, make sure they have Windows 2003 and IIS 6.0 experts as well as SQL Server 2005 experts. While running production systems, there’s always probability that you will fall into trouble which is beyond your capability. Having onsite skilled technicians is the only way for you to survive such disasters.

I have built a check list for choosing the right hosting provider from my experience: