Google gives away $300 credits to every one to try its cloud service

I've been using App Engine for a couple years now for small apps and personal projects. This is my view from using AE for running 10 or so hobby projects.


  • free daily quota.
  • The few times my app hit the front page of Reddit, the auto scaling worked perfectly and there were zero issues.
  • It's really easy and fast to create a new project. I think it's ideal for getting simple websites hosted quickly.


  • The documentation. There are some parts of the docs that are amazing and thorough, but there's also a lot of outdated and wrong information. Sometimes, you can even end up bouncing all over following the docs on how to achieve a task. (Setting up SSL on a custom domain for example). You might bounce from to to to ...
  • Again, bad, outdated, misleading documentation. It's a bit confusing to follow as well. Why do I have multiple admin areas? You have your cloud admin area but if you want a domain name, you need a Google Apps account with its own admin area. Which costs $5 a month just to have the account...OR does it? The first time I used it, I paid the monthly fee so I could use a custom domain name with my app engine project. After a few months, I cancelled the subscription... and I didn't lose any features for 6 months until I finally shut the project down. So, I subscribed to something I didn't need to because they kept sending me emails saying I had to.
  • The support is going to be non-existent. Don't even waste time trying to contact anyone at Google. Fortunately, it's very unlikely that you will ever need to contact them for technical support.
  • You have to be careful if you use the App Engine API for everything, since that means you can't easily redeploy to an IaaS or custom server. You might have a lot of refactoring to do if you didn't plan.
  • There are limits to what you can do. I don't remember them all but I know using sockets was an issue. I believe writing files and accessing certain sys module functions are blocked also.
  • I feel like the datastore is really limited and expensive. I've only had small projects on AE but I was surprised at how quickly the quota is used up.
  • Then there's the trust issue. AT some point you have to trust someone when using a server host. But do you trust Google not to collect and analyze your customers data or metadata?

Now, that's for App Engine. The newer Compute Engine is a VM you can spin up and do whatever you wish. I don't have any experience using it so I can't add anything to the above pros and cons.

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