Google Opens Up Data Center For Third-Party Web Applications

The Google App Engine will be free to software developers for low-bandwidth applications. Need more? Google is in the process of working on a pricing model for hosting applications that grow to have major data center requirements.

Google announced that it would open its data centers for developers to host their applications for free, up to a certain capacity. The company will charge modest rates for hosting thereafter, should the application become a widespread success.

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The announcement was made at the Google Developer Conference in San Francisco by Kevin Gibbs, Google's Technology Lead for the Google App Engine. "We want to open up the Google data centers and the capabilities that we use when we make our applications," Gibbs says. "You can run your apps on Google's infrastructure."

(For more news from the conference, see Google Outlines Web Development Investments in Three Key Areas).

The pricing? It will be free for up to 500 MB of storage and the bandwidth capabilities of 5 million page views. Later this year, as Google opens up the platform for apps that will shoulder heavy adoption and bandwidth, it will be as follows:

  • CPU: 10-12 cents per core hour.
  • Storage: 15-18 cents per GB a month.
  • Outgoing bandwidth: 11-13 cents per GB
  • Incoming bandwidth: 9-11 cents per GB

The Google App engine will be available for applications that operate under the free model as a "preview" version. A month ago, when Google released the engine to the first 10,000 developers who signed up, the company saw an overwhelming waiting list with 10,000s of additional developers.

The basic premise behind this development process is as follows: the developer works on the app locally and tests it, before moving it over to the Google App Engine, where it is ready to host the application as users adopt it. Other features planned for the engine include offline processing, rich media support, additional infrastructure services, image manipulation and more APIs, according to Gibbs.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for you to create an app," Gibbs says. "This is just a first step."

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