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App Development
5 minutes read

App Engine Vs. Compute Engine

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
5 minutes read

The App Engine vs. Compute Engine debate is one that can quickly get complicated for non-technical team members. Sometimes it is worth understanding their differences, especially if you are undergoing an app development process.

Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine are part of the Google Cloud platform. Although their names look very similar, they serve different purposes.

Google App Engine (GAE) is a Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Google Compute Engine (GCE) is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). If you are not familiar with these terms, you can read more on our article on IaaS and PaaS, also known as cloud delivery models.

In this post, we analyze what Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine do as well as their main differences. That way, you will make the most out of these helpful app development components.

App Engine Vs. Compute Engine

It is a common mistake to confuse Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine. Although their names are similar and both belong to the Google Cloud family, they both serve different goals during the stages of app development. No matter what type of app you are working on, you will most likely end up using both Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine.

Google Cloud

As mentioned, these tools are part of the larger Google Cloud family of services and products that the search engine giant offers. Although primarily known for its data storage services, the Google Cloud platform provides app developers with a wide variety of solutions. Like Amazon Web Services (AWS), developers can use the different Google Cloud tools available to build top-quality apps. 

The Google Cloud platform and its Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine offer developers complete control over several elements without running and maintaining them directly. For companies, this is great as it allows them to run an app with lower costs, at scale, and leaving aside the burden of maintaining the infrastructure and the platform components of an application.

The best part is that, like other tools offered by the Google Cloud platform, Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine offer developers a flexible environment and a standard environment to build their products.

Google App Engine

The Google App Engine falls under the category of Platform as a Service (PaaS). This includes anything related to cloud services, operating system, middleware, and runtime needed to operate an app; in other words, it covers many of the components of DevOps. By using the Google App Engine, developers can focus on writing the code without maintaining the infrastructure.

Some of the Google App Engine pros include being scalable without managing the infrastructure directly. This is very convenient as it frees developers from configuring unwanted software implementations. 

Developers can choose a flexible environment or a standard environment. This is very beneficial for your company, as you only pay for the resources your app needs. The Google App Engine flexible environment and standard environment help developers address specific needs. These allow developers to use custom runtime environments with any popular library and framework thanks to a Docker container. Developers can choose a flexible environment, a standard environment, or both.

Lastly, the Google App Engine helps development teams stay Agile. Thanks to its compatibility with popular development languages and various development tools, Google App Engine helps keep project management goals on the right track.

These and other features make App Engine applications attractive to development teams.

Google Compute Engine

Unlike Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine focuses on the infrastructure components required to build an app. Because it falls under the Infrastructure as a Service category, the Google Cloud Compute Engine deals directly with the servers, storage, and networks needed to run an app.

The Google Cloud Compute Engine helps developers focus on app components like virtual machines. Using the Google Cloud infrastructure, developers can run their virtual machines without any inconvenience. 

A virtual machine on the Google Compute Engine can be set up to work with an optimal CPU capacity while at the same time allowing your company to manage its costs. That way, you don’t have to spend lots of resources setting up your app’s virtual machine. Virtual machine instances on the Google Compute Engine can be created with the Google Cloud console.

Another positive thing to keep in mind when using the Google Compute Engine is that development teams can run, manage, and organize Docker containers on virtual machines using the Kubernetes engine monitoring tools.

The Differences Between Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine

At a glance, many of the products and services offered by the Google Cloud platform seem very similar. To non-technical users, this is sometimes a problem. Understanding the different tools used to build an app helps better manage digital products, thus helping increase its chances of success.

There are important differences when it comes to Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine. However, you only need to understand one. The main difference between Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine is that the former is a PaaS while the latter is an IaaS.

Once you fully understand what each one encompasses, you will better understand their differences.

Using Google Cloud

There are many benefits of using Google Cloud products and services. Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine are two of the most popular ones, as they can be used easily by developers to build powerful applications.

To make the most out of the Google App Engine and the Google Compute Engine, make sure to find an app development partner that understands how they work. Now that you know the main difference in the App Engine vs. Compute Engine debate, you can start using them to build your app.

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