Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Cloud computing is the fashion right now and Google is positioning it's AppEngine against services like Amazon EC2. However similar on the first glance, the two approaches are rather different in detail: Amazon's service is more a virtual server hosting (where you have all freedoms, however are responsible about administration too) plus a set of webservices (like the storage services S3 and SimpleDB or the Queue Service SQS).
AppEngine offers a concrete application development environment in Python plus a simple database that has to be used. So you are limited to Python code and Python frameworks like Django and you cannot install an arbitrary database, on the other hand you do not have to deal with many administration issues and Google deals with the scaling.
Guide van Rossum, the father of Python (who is now employed at Google) gives a very interesting one-hour presentation on YouTube on how to write and configure a Python/Django web-application within the Google AppEngine environment.