Print 13 comment(s) - last by teohhanhui.. on Apr 10 at 8:37 AM

As usual there's never a dull moment at Google has long been the leader in online application hosting, with its Amazon Web Services business.  This business allows customers to utilize Amazon's cloud computing infrastructure to procure computing and storage resources as a utility.  In the past, web developers had two main options:  use Amazon to host their applications, or host their own applications.

Now, after a swirl of rumors, Google announced that it is prepared to take on Amazon in the application hosting business.  Google will deploy its new business called the Google App Engine which will allow users to write code and deploy it.  The new business promises to deliver unparalleled scaling potential, flexing the muscle of Google's claimed 1 million servers.  Many analysts lauded the move as it provides Google another opportunity to expand into a different business market.

Analysts think that large application hosting companies will largely replace individual hosting for storage and deployment of web applications.  This move will save smaller companies time and hassle with setup, system administration, and maintenance.  Google's strong capacity in the server market primes it to be able to handle the massive spikes that frequently occur in online traffic.  To combat such occurrences, Google will also use its automatic replication and load balancing technologies, as well as its Bigtable database system. 

Another feature of Google's system that may make it more attractive to many developers than Amazon's is the ability to use Google's APIs.  Authentication and Gmail will be among the easy to plugin APIs as Google says "it's unnecessary and inefficient for developers to write components like authentication and e-mail from scratch for each new application."

Google's experience in developing its own SAAS (software as a service) applications and dealing with their massive growth, make it a logical fit for helping others in the applications hosting business.  These applications deal with millions of petabytes and users without a hitch, so Google should be prepared for the worst its customers might give.

The company has been extremely secretive about its data centers, with only a few people knowing how it works.  Many speculate that they are composed of "Hadoop, Linux and just about any piece of open-source software that works."  However, few doubt their prowess.

Some speculate that the move may force Amazon to cut its rates for its EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) infrastructure, which currently is at 10 to 80 cents per instance hour, and its S3 (Simple Storage Service), which currently costs 15 cents per gigabyte per month.

Google has not announced pricing yet, so this may be the biggest deciding factor.  A beta version of the service is available for free to the first 10,000 developers to volunteer.  Developers will only be allowed 500MB of storage and enough CPU resources to handle 5 million page views per month per application.  Eventually additional bandwidth and storage will be purchasable as the service moves out of beta.

In other news Google defended its policy of retaining data on all its users for 18 months on Monday.  Responding to criticism from the European Union, Google said the policy is essential to improving its search results.  The EU commission complained that computer Web addresses and cookie monitoring are personal information that Google needs to do more to protect and purge.  The commission’s recommendations for European data protection laws have finally been released and are readable here.  This will likely have a major effect on Google and its fellow online players.

The recommendation recommends increased user notification and making it punishable by law to not do so.  Cookies, which track a user’s comings and goings, are widely used by Google to track user behavior and target ads, but this practice has been criticized as invasive of privacy.  The committee responsible for the report, known as the Working Party stated in the report, "It is the opinion of the Working Party that search engines in their role as collectors of user data have so far insufficiently explained the nature and purpose of their operations to the users of their services.  The Working Party does not see a basis for a retention period beyond 6 months."

Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel issued a statement Monday, taking issue with the findings.  He stated, "We believe that data retention requirements have to take into account the need to provide quality products and services for users, like accurate search results, as well as system security and integrity concerns."

If the EU chooses to legislate such actions, Google may have its own day in court, like its rival Microsoft did over antitrust issues.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Good or Bad?
By freeagle on 4/8/2008 2:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
So google continues to expand into virtually every part of IT world. It remains to be seen whether it will turn into a cancer disease or beautiful symbiosis

RE: Good or Bad?
By Misty Dingos on 4/8/2008 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 5
Or a really ugly mutant with desires to eat our brains or mate with our women!

It could also become aware and start building a robot army in secret to take over the world! When robots have guns only Charlton Heston could save us and he is dead now. I find the timing very suspicious.

Perhaps only global warming can stop Google. Or an errant bit of computer code will gum up it's software gears and forestall the doom of man.

RE: Good or Bad?
By kileil on 4/8/2008 4:04:11 PM , Rating: 4
When robots have guns only Charlton Heston could save us and he is dead now. I find the timing very suspicious.

At least now we can finally pry that gun from his cold, dead hands.

RE: Good or Bad?
By murphyslabrat on 4/9/2008 3:05:22 PM , Rating: 1
When robots have guns only Charlton Heston could save us and he is dead now

I think Will Smith would do O.K. After all, I think that robots with guns are the only thing that he hasn't fought yet.

RE: Good or Bad?
By eye smite on 4/8/2008 5:31:56 PM , Rating: 3
If google follows the same track they've been on, hopefully it will be something usable free of malware.

RE: Good or Bad?
By omnicronx on 4/8/2008 8:54:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but the question is here, are they 'ensuring' that we get the best search results, or that we are getting the best search results for their paid adds on the side. Its not as if we are all getting different search results when typing the same thing in google. This is where this practice has its similarities to malware.

RE: Good or Bad?
By teohhanhui on 4/10/2008 8:37:17 AM , Rating: 2
Analyzing user searches and activities do help them improve their search and other services IMO.

"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki