PHP News: Google App Engine PHP Runtime now available to everyone

This is interesting news. I assume that Google App engine is some form of cloud service, but does anyone know any details on it?

Tech companies like to shroud their offerings with words that provide no clear indication of what they provide. I have long suspected that Google was going to be evil and get into the web hosting business (as they try to weasel their way into every possible corner of the internet) and it sort of looks like they have.

Google Cloud Platform lets you build applications and websites, store data, and analyze data on Google’s infrastructure.

I’m not clear why it’s evil to offer scalable we hosting, but in any case…

Google says that applications hosted on app engine will use the same infrastructure as google’s own applications, like gmail. Your number of servers (or “instances”) will automatically scale up or down depending on your site’s current traffic. So, for example, if your site normally gets low traffic, but then let’s say viral advertising causes a huge traffic spike, then app engine will automatically scale up your instances to handle the traffic.

I haven’t used it yet myself, but I’m looking for an excuse. Ill probably start toying with it in the next few weeks.

I wonder whether application data stored on App Engine (source code, databases and other files) will be used by Google to provide even better targeted ads?

Indeed. Time to read the fine print.