❯ Guillaume Laforge

Google App Engine's new pricing model

I’m quite disappointed by Google App Engine’s new pricing model.

I was aware of the changes, the upcoming prices and quotas, but I wasn’t expecting my small low-trafic apps to go beyond the free quotas, and force me to have to pay for those small Gaelyk apps!

The big problem is the cost of the “frontend instance hours”. An app running all the time, with low trafic, but enough to keep a frontend instance running all day will cost you 30 bucks a month with this new pricing policy.

Let me show you an example, of a small Gaelyk application: the Groovy Web Console. It’s a simple application that features an editor to author some Groovy scripts, that you can then share publicly with others.

So far, the billing / quota details would show me the following results:

This application has always been below the free quotas, and even if the CPU time was a bit high, it was only half away from the free quota of CPU usage. So all was fine. Now, with the new pricing model, here’s what you get:

I’d be paying $1.43 for that specific day, because of the always-on frontend instance, as well as the datastore reads, which have become also quite expensive as well. So if I’d have to pay one or two dollars a day, resulting in 30 or 60 bucks a month.

And the worst thing is that it’s just a transitional step, as the screenshot shows, the frontend instance hours are currently at 50% their end price till November, so the cost will almost double.

As soon as your app will be up all the time, even with low trafic, you’ll easily get to $30 a month. I think that’s on purpose, to force users to go with the first paid tier of the new pricing model. To avoid those outrageous cost, you’ll have to go with the $9 / month plan, and you will be far from reaching the quotas included in that plan, so you’ll pay really $9 even if you only use a dollar or two. Nine bucks is better than 30 or 60, but it still sounds expensive for me for a small blog, and a small utility app that are free content or services.

Really disappointed. And I’m now wondering what I shall be doing with my brand new blog, and the Groovy web console… Even putting ads all over the place won’t pay for the fees…

Now I hope that the Cloud Foundry model will be more friendly for small personal apps!

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