Google App Engine may not be as popular as some other generalist cloud computing solutions, but Google is still expanding the capabilities of its cloud solution. The latest should prove rather interesting for many developers, Google is now offering a cloud database for App Engine.
Google Cloud SQL
is a MySQL-based database service that enables App Engine users to move their databases into cloud or use their existing applications that need database access on App Engine.
The service will be free, for now, and provides several advantages over hosting your own database, the Google computing infrastructure probably being the biggest.
"One of App Engine’s most requested features has been a simple way to develop traditional database-driven applications," Navneet Joneja, product manager for Google Cloud SQL, wrote
"In response to your feedback, we’re happy to announce the limited preview of Google Cloud SQL," he said.
"You can now choose to power your App Engine applications with a familiar relational database in a fully-managed cloud environment. This allows you to focus on developing your applications and services, free from the chores of managing, maintaining and administering relational databases," he added.
The advantages of using Cloud SQL should be quite obvious. Since everything is in the cloud and managed by Google, you don't need to configure or troubleshoot anything, it should just work.
Since the data is replicated on several Google data centers, it will almost always be available. Google will also offer import/export capabilities for bringing your database into and out of the cloud.
Google uses the very familiar MySQL so most web applications will be ready to go and the database format should be very familiar to most devs and administrators.
Of course, another obvious advantage, is that everything is integrated with App Engine, great if you're already using or planning to use the cloud service.
The new cloud database is free to use for now, since it's in "preview" mode, but Google will eventually charge for it. It will notify users 30 days in advance once it decides to do that.