Google has unveiled a business-grade version of its Google Apps service, offering new pricing and service level agreements for organisations that want applications hosted in the cloud and delivered to them via a company intranet.
Google App Engine for Business is the enterprise-grade big brother to Google App Engine, which has primarily been used as a hosted development platform for consumer-facing web applications.
Google claimed the business-grade cloud features the flexibility of the App Engine, but adds more compute power "to manage enterprise use cases", plus new APIs, pricing models and support. The search giant also intends to build optional SSL encryption and support for SQL once the cloud is out of beta.
The service will come with a 99.9 percent service level agreement, a draft of which said that customers can seek service credits for any down-time in a given month provided they submit logs showing the time and date of error requests within 30 days (with the exception of 60 minutes per month of scheduled down-time.)The service is priced at US$8 per user per month, up to a maximum of US$1000 per month.
Google will also offer professional support services for the cloud compute as of Q4, 2010.
It intends to also develop "predictive billing" to help businesses forecast their monthly costs and to provide additional functions for those organisations that wish to push their hosted enterprise applications onto the public web.
VMware tie up
VMware tie up
Google also announced that the Google App Engine for Business will be among the many cloud computes that enterprise Java application developers can use to push their applications out to the cloud.
Virtualisation software vendor VMware announced at Google's I/O event that Google has endorsed VMware's Spring Java application framework.
VMware claimed that this partnership would allow organisations to more easily port applications hosted internally using VSphere 4 to cloud computes such as Google's App Engine for Business, Salesforce.com's VMForce or Amazon.com's EC2.
"VMware and Google are aligning to reassure our mutual customers and the Java community that choice and portability are of utmost importance to both companies," said VMware chief executive Paul Maritz, speaking at the Google I/O event.
"We will work to ensure that modern applications can run smoothly within the firewalls of a company's datacentre or out in the public cloud environment."
Further, Google and VMware are working on a rapid application development tool called Spring Roo which harnesses both the Spring framework and the existing widgets in Google's Web Toolkit.
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