Compute Engine and App Engine – a Comparison

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I want to show you a little demo of how Compute Engine and App Engine work. Both techs have their strengths and weaknesses, and I wanted to make something to showcase them. 

Compute Engine allows you to spin up Virtual Machines (henceforth to be referred to as “VMs” due to the fact that I can’t be bothered to write “irtual” and “achine”.) VMs give you a lot of control over your system. You can run a number of OSes, with variable processor, memory, and disk configurations. You interact with it by configuring a VM through the Developer Console or on the command line. You then SSH into your VM.

App Engine on the other hand just takes code.  You upload it and we run it. No SSH, no machine, just an upload site and a URL. App Engine by default gives you no control over the hardware running the code. The trade off is that we can immediately scale from zero load to any load you muster.

So how do these compare? App Engine scales in milliseconds? What does that look like? Compute Engine starts up in 10s of seconds? What does that mean? This demo shows off how you can build Compute Engine machines vs how fast you can spin up App Engine instances. This isn’t a one-is-better-than-the-other comparison; there are reasons to use both of these techs, and they aren’t mutually exclusive. Let me know what you think.

 

One thought on “Compute Engine and App Engine – a Comparison

  1. Terence,

    That was a great a video I really enjoyed it. Do you have more videos like this somewhere? I saw you had a Youtube channel but only a few videos there.

    Or do you teach any Google Cloud virtual or in-person courses? I’m a big fan of GCP and have been using it sparingly in the past but now trying to ramp up usage of the platform and learn as much as I can. Would love to learn more with you at the helm.

    Thanks,

    -Mike

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