Tuesday, August 12, 2008

BYOS - Build Your Own Startup - on the Cloud! - Issue 3

The geek world is aglow, but business world is cool

Ask any geek what is new in the world today, and he may drown you with excitement about cloud computing. But ask a technical manager about it, and he will cool you with his talk about the total cost of ownership. Ask a business man, and you may get a "huh?" We are forced to admit that there is a disconnect between the geeks and the business world. Why is this - that is what we have set out to investigate. Google App Engine is the subject today.

B. Pleemo, you look very mysterious today. And why did you invite me to the zoo?
P. Well, Bernard, I could not wait for YOU to come up with an idea, so to spur you on, I invented one myself. To implement it, I will need python. I do not know if this snake is a python, but my Python is a programming language used by Google App Engine.
B. Firstly, I accept the challenge. I do not know what you have in mind with your idea, but I will show you mine at our next meeting. Now continue with yours!
P. Okay, Bernard, as you may remember, I am Jewish, and I had an idea of building a web site where everybody can set Jewish calendar reminders. There is a site or two like it, but my idea is to make it unaffiliated, very flexible, and individualistic, so every person or a group of people can use the site in their personalized way.
B. So why the cloud?
P. I do not expect to make money on this, so I can not spend much. However, I have to plan for an eventuality that it will become popular, and I need my site to be able to handle occasional peak loads.
B. I see...
P. Enter Google App Engine! It allows to upload your application to the Google Cloud. It is free until you get to 5 million page views a month. And Google scales it for you on demand. I have already started my application right here! Not much, admittedly, but give me two weeks - for Python is new to me - you see however some exchanges there and even some hackers.

B. Pleemo! I can tell you the character of the Google Cloud right away myself: it is opaque, simpler to use, and it is free. It fits your purpose perfectly well. You have beaten me to the business idea. My only consolation is that it is not properly business.
P. Bernard, you are a great student of mine. Note, also, that Google makes you use "datastore". It is simpler than a database and it too has no limit.
B. Thank you Pleemo! I will study the links you gave me, and watch for your idea's progress - since here we are back to discussing the speed of development and the risk of failure.
P. Good, Bernard, and if you really want to study, then google about Dell trying to acquire the 'cloud computing' trademark, or read the explanation of cloud vs grid vs distributed computing on Mark's blog. Arrivederci in two weeks.

I enjoyed the trip to the zoo, where I have not been since my youngest children stopped asking for it, and I am curious to see what will happen in two weeks.
My reporting is getting easier, and my homework lighter.

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