Has Google done enough to mollify users of App Engine?
Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Google has announced "a few adjustments" to its pricing scheme for App Engine - but while they give developers some leeway there's no real shift.

Was Google was taking notice? In reporting Google's new App Engine pricing we concluded:

At present it seems that either Google rethinks its pricing structure (unlikely) or a lot of Google App Engine apps are about to disappear.

Perhaps it was as it has now made some concessions due to "developer reaction". However, the changes don't amount to price reductions but are instead a longer period before the new pricing is introduced - 8 weeks to November 1st rather than the original 2-3 weeks; coupled with an extension of the 50% discount for instances until December 1st. This latter extension is due to the delay in the availability of Python 2.7 which will support concurrent instance requests.

Another concession is an increase in the Free Instance Hours from 24 to 28 which is designed to enable developers trying out App Engine to run a single instance all day and   remain in the free quota despite spikes.

The Google App Engine Blog also includes the following advice for strategies to keep the costs as low as possible:

  • Set Max Idle instances: Setting Max Idle Instances to a lower level will help lower your costs as we will only charge for idle instances up to the maximum you set. This could impact your performance so it’s worth reading up on the ramifications.
  • Always-On reflected in bills: Currently the side-by-side bills still include the cost of always-on even though it will be retired when the new pricing launches (to be replaced by min idle instances). We’re working on a fix for this. Until then you can comfortably subtract 48 instance hours per day from the estimate.
  • Reserved instance hours: The simplest way to lower the charge for instance hours is to consider using reserved instance hours. They are 37.5% cheaper than on-demand, but you do need to commit to a certain number of them over the course of a week.
  • Managing resources: Check out this article, which provides more helpful advice on how to efficiently manage your resources and lower costs.

For developers who are happy with the idea of paying for the service, Google is bringing forward App Engine Premier Accounts, making them available as soon as possible.


The blog post concludes by noting that more than 150,000 developers have chosen to use App Engine to run their apps. I wonder how many will still be using it in a few months time.

Related news:

Google's App Engine pricing causes discontent

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 November 2011 )