Google App Engine meets Amazon EC2

A programmer has got Google App Engine up and running atop Amazon's EC2 cloud computing infrastructure. Sort of. Let the cross-coding games begin!

What do you get when you cross Amazon's EC2 on-demand cloud computing infrastructure with Google's new App Exchange foundation for Web applications ?

It's hard to say what the union could produce besides ugly children. But it's not just a hypothetical hybrid: programmer Chris Anderson has released software called AppDrop that brings App Exchange to EC2. Programmer Andy Baio spotlighted the development Monday on his blog.

OK, now I need to mention the caveat that this isn't really one cloud computing foundation running inside another.

In fact, Anderson just has the single-computer version of Google's App Engine software running on EC2 rather than the real online one. That means software written with Google's App Engine software developer kit can run on EC2 servers, but it can't take advantage of some of the central features of App Engine. For example, it stores data on that particular server and can't employ Google's BigTable data-storage service to tap into Google's large and load-balanced infrastructure.

Baio quotes Anderson as saying there's room for database improvement, though, including software that could bridge to the more conventional MySQL database software.

"It wouldn't be that hard to write a Python adapter to MySQL that would preserve the BigTable API," or application programming interface, Anderson is quoted as saying. "And while that wouldn't be quite as scalable as BigTable, we've all seen that MySQL can take you pretty far."

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.


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