Google remains true to form, and as you might expect, makes a powerful statement with their PaaS entry: GAE (Google App Engine). As one component of the Google Cloud Platform, GAE is a robust and flexible platform with a variety of integration possibilities. GAE provides many of the features and benefits you already expect from Google while also pushing forward the Cloud Services industry in new and interesting ways.
Google App Engine is designed first and foremost as a scalable back end, both for your Web apps, as well as mobile apps and headless APIs. GAE accomplishes this in three ways.
First, like all PaaS products the infrastructure and software platform is fully managed for you by Google in their data centers around the world. Your apps run on new cutting-edge servers stored in high-tech operations centers that provide both physical and information security. Their technicians, engineers, and architects are among the best in the business and keep things running smoothly. Redundancy and Business Continuity is built into both the physical hardware of the data center as well as the management platform that provides the GAE service.
Secondly, Google App Engine is able to dynamically scale up and down to meet the demands of your user traffic regardless of variability or size. By monitoring the volume of incoming requests as well as the service time and latency of your application's responses, GAE can automatically spin up new instances with your custom application to handle any additional load. This same process in reverse allows GAE to reduce the size of your service platform to find the sweet spot between responsiveness and cost-effectiveness. All of this is configurable by you with idle instances to act as a floor when scaling down and quotas to limit your total spend and resource utilization.
Lastly, GAE runs in the Google Cloud Platform which is a worldwide network of cloud services that Google relies on to run its own products. Unlike other vendors who have built separate cloud service centers specifically to resell to you, GCP uses the exact same servers, routers, and other physical equipment for Google's products as yours. When you deploy an application into GAE you are relying on the same scaffolding that supports products such as Google Maps or Google Mail. It's entirely possible for your data to end up on the same disk as Google Search data. You're buying into the Google ecosystem in a way that makes you a partner with Google instead of a customer. All of the speed and reliability that you expect from Google's products are built into your application as well.
GAE also integrates a number of additional features that you can take advantage of to ensure your application remains highly available and responsive. Datastore is a schemaless object store with scalable storage, an SQL-Like querying language, and an easy-to-use API built into the GAE sdk. Memcache provides lightning quick in-memory caching that not only improves application speed, but also can reduce costs by reducing the number of calls to outside services. Task queues and scheduled tasks allow for traffic and communication management with simple API interfaces to push and pull from message queues. These are just some of the features built into GAE and there are plenty more, but GAE can also integrate tightly with other Google Cloud Platform products such as Cloud SQL, BigQuery, and Compute Engine.
GAE is one of the most feature rich and interesting PaaS offerings available today. Google has built a robust engine for creating scalable applications in the cloud. If you need a highly scalable environment to grow your business while keeping your costs manageable, GAE is a very appealing option. With a multitude of great features and the fastest network in the business, you can provide world class service to your users with the click of a button.
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