Google's App Engine Problems May Signal Larger Cloud-Computing Problem

By June 20, 2008

Google's App Engine suffered a temporary loss of service for about two hours and further disruptions later on Tuesday, calling into question the functionality of cloud computing. According to the Google App Engine Forum, the cloud-computing service was down for about two and a half hours from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. PST, leaving developers without a hosting site for their applications. Later, a similar outage was also reported.


"This outage was the result of a bug in our datastore servers and was triggered by a particular class of queries," wrote a member of the App Engine Team, as reported by InfoWorld.

Although the problem was fixed and developers can now access the site, Google is still working on fixing the bug that caused the problem in the first place.

Similar outages have affected Amazon's cloud-computing service, leading many to question the integrity of the servers and services such companies offer to developers.

Although Google's App Engine was launched this year, Amazon's service has been around since 2002. This year, the company has experienced similar technical difficulties in both its cloud-computing and storage services.

Amazon's services prompted Google to create App Engine, but because both companies are experiencing similar malfunctions, it could signal a larger problem created by cloud-computing. It is a new service being highly developed by many Web 2.0 companies, but without proper management, cloud-computing could cause more problems down the road than solutions it creates.

Google's App Engine is designed for developers to host applications for free for those up to 5 million page views a month, with incremental fees for numerical page view categories more than that.

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