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The free AppEngine: how much does it cost?

AppEngine is a Google product that allows to write web applications in Python or Java and host them on the Google infrastructure. AppEngine takes care of the typically difficult tasks of distribution, scalability and fail-over. It offers easy to use APIs for web request handling, data storage, memcache, etc. One of the biggest benefits is the integration with Google accounts — a user simply signs in to an AppEngine application with their existing Google account.

Perhaps prototyping a web application, together with hosting/publishing, has never been as easy as with AppEngine. Add to that the Python language, and it’s a lean-mean web application machine.

AppEngine is free up to some quotas. If the application is successful and you need more resources, you have to pay. Here is the table of the free quota, and the incremental cost:

Free quota per day Cost above quota
CPU Time 6.50 CPU hours $0.10/CPU hour
Bandwidth Out 1.00 GBytes $0.12/GByte
Bandwidth In 1.00 GBytes $0.10/GByte
Stored Data 1.00 GBytes $0.005/GByte-day
Recipients Emailed 2,000.00 Emails $0.0001/Email

The question is, how much would it cost if there were no free quota, and you’d have to pay for the free quota at the same incremental cost. In other words, what is the dollar value of the quota that Google is offering for free?

Per day: CPU $0.65, Bandwidth Out $0.12, Bandwidth In $0.1, Storage $0.005, Emails $0.2. Summing them comes to $1.07 / day.

So the “cost” of the free quota on AppEngine is about $1/day/application. Consider that Google is offering up to 10 free applications per account, so the cost could be argued is $10/day/account.

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