How many Google App Engine apps are there?

I’m in San Diego today with Lenny Rachitsky of Webmetrics, talking about possibilities for cloud research. We were discussing App Engine penetration, and fired off some searches to try and see how much attention the Google Platform-as-a-Service is getting. This is speculative at best, and fairly imprecise; but we did see some surprising things.

The trick here is that every Google App Engine site has a name that ends in appspot.com. You can call your new site whatever you want (mysite.com), but there’s a default name for it (mysite.appspot.com). And that makes it searchable.

appengine-searchFirst of all — how many are there? Well, according to Google’s own search, around 221,000. But what’s most interesting is that the top-ranked ones aren’t in North America. Many of them are Chinese, or Indian. Some of them are phishing sites (such as this one that is a pixel-for-pixel copy of Twitter — don’t log in.) Looks like the free trial and easy enrolment in the service make it appealing for certain markets.

Where’s the word “Appspot” being searched for? Once again, we turn to Google — this time their Insight for Search service — and see that China and Japan are where most of the discussion’s going on about “appspot”; for “appspot.com”, however, it looks like it’s North America.

googleinsightsappengineIt’s not clear that App Engine is getting the broad adoption of other cloud platforms, like Amazon. For one thing, it’s a Platform, not Infrastructure, model, which makes it less attractive for enterprises. There are concerns over portability, particularly for people who code to Google’s APIs for storage. But if these searches are anything to go by, it’s getting attention in some parts of the world.

How Performance Impacts KPIs: Velocity Online Conference

For anyone who missed it, Alistair had an interesting (and popular) post on watchingwebsites.com about how speeding up performance improves online business.   The data was gathered through some experimentation that Alistair helped us run with some Strangeloop customers.  Through the experiments, we were able to draw a direct link between web performance and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the business, getting us closer to the holy grail of showing, in business terms, why performance matters.  Alistair presented the data in a joint webinar with Strangeloop in October.

Next tuesday, December 8th, I’ll be revisiting the data and presenting them again at the Velocity Online Conference, which is O’Reilly’s online version of the Velocity Conference.   The online version is also co-chaired by Steve Souders and Jesse Robbins, will run for half the day, and includes some pretty interesting presentations on topics that range from Varnish to SPDY to Steve’s impressive Browserscope initiative.  I’m excited to be a part of it and am looking forward to playing Alistair’s proxy in presenting the data, not to mention listening in on the other presentations.

I encourage all to attend.  And knowing how much Bitcurrent’s inquisitive readers will surely be interested in the event, I got us a bit of a discount too.  Here are all the pertinent details:

Hope to see you there.

The ROI of clouds, from IGT09

I’m at IGT09 this week, put together by the energetic Avner Algom. Yesterday, I gave a presentation on the ROI of cloud computing (including some data that IDC and Peter Van Eijk were nice enough to let me use.) We started off with a panel on enterprise cloud use, with four panelists from very different backgrounds:

  • Steve Rubinow, EVP and CIO of NYSE Euronext
  • Yosi Shneck, CIO, Israeli Light Company
  • Eyal Waldman, Co-founder & CEO, Mellanox
  • Liam Lynch, Chief Security Strategist, eBay

Here are the slides, including panel questions.

Getting ready for the Future of Clouds with Dr. Bob Marcus later today. Should be fun; he has a lot more useful information than I do to share with the crowd, so I’ll try to make vague, generic comments that can’t be proven instead.

Crowdalytics and lean startup metrics: Gemini Round Table in Israel

logo-geminiWe’re headed to Israel for IGT09, and while we’re there, we’ll be meeting some of Israel’s startups. The folks at Israeli VC firm Gemini have set up a two-hour session entitled Crowdalytics and lean startup metrics on November 30, as well as one on cloud computing on the 1st.

The overall focus of the session? Startup acceleration and community monitoring. Startups need to learn fast from their mistakes, and they do this best when they have a complete perspective of their online presence. Today, that presence extends far beyond their own website, out into the communities and platforms of the web. We’ll look at analytics for lean startups and the emerging field of community monitoring, and discover how watching the web can help fledgling companies build the right business faster.

A bunch of local firms are going to be there, including EyeView, Mintigo, Collecta, Outbrain, TwitWit, Footbo, Ekoloko, Clicktale, and Confidela. Bitcurrent collaborator and Syntenic CTO Dan Koffler will also be joining us.

Conclusions from the Hybrid Cloud panel

Lots of good conclusions from the Hybrid Cloud panel at Interop; too many to see on one slide, so here they are.

  • Hybrid isn’t one app in two places; it’s internal and external apps talking to one another
  • Migrating for new apps is easy; for already deployed ones, it’s much harder
  • In the new world, the developers are the admins and ops toolsets are changing
  • The 2010 platform will be
    • Infrastructure-aware; parallel; split between dev and ops
    • Not really PaaS; but not IaaS either
    • Runs both in-house and externally
  • Increased focus on making it easy for developers to transition to on-demand environments
  • Portability becomes a bigger concern (in/out and between clouds)
  • Where enterprises will initially embrace it:
    • Collaboration, messaging, things “just above” infrastructure
    • Areas that don’t add strategic value
    • Leverage utility model of what’s there now (apps with inherent burstability)
  • Ideological battle in infrastructure
    • Bottoms-up focus on primitives (storage, queue, compute); we build things from easy-to-connect, RESTful functions
    • Top-down modelled approach, which we reduce down to the underlying patterns and can generate code from them (policies, etc.)
  • Growth of 2 kinds of technologies
    • That make this easier for developers (Ruby on Rails) ➜ This will win
    • That help to migrate legacy systems into cloud-compatible containers
  • Enterprises about 5-7 years behind consumer/public Internet (Web tech, Hadoop, enterprise mashups)
  • Let us not forget: All big web businesses use a ton of Oracle
  • Huge $ to be made solving enterprise migration: Discrete components or specific apps
  • Standardization is 15% of the problem; standards bodies are still arguing taxonomies
  • Internet standards are built on rough consensus and running code; whoever produces a useful product that is available to many people quickly will win

Cloud Connect

cclogoTechweb — the folks behind Interop — are launching what promises to be the definitive cloud computing conference. It’s called Cloud Connect, and while it’s still half a year away, we’re hard at work on content and scheduling.

There have been lots of cloud-specific events. But as clouds become an IT reality, the industry needs to focus on specific aspects of utility computing: performance, availability, scalability, and security, for example.

Cloud Connect will have tracks for cloud providers, CIOs and architects, developers, and operators. We’ve assembled around 40 experts to help guide the content (affectionately dubbed the Cloud Crowd) and we’ll be announcing more details soon.

IGT2009 in Israel

IGT2009The Israeli Association of Grid Technologies (IGT) puts on a conference in Israel focused on grids, virtualization, and cloud computing. It’s a vendor-neutral organization supported by the Magnet program of the Israeli Chief Scientist.

We’re headed to IGT2009, and will be putting on content with the other organizers and participants. 2008’s conference had all the big names in cloud computing, and IGT09 is expecting over 600 attendees this year.

Web2Expo New York

web2expoO’Reilly is the go-to reference for technology (we’re a bit biased, of course) and the Web2 conferences are no exception. Web2Summit is the blue-sky event that talks about what’s possible on the Internet, leaving the attendees and sessions of Web2Expo to figure out how.
We’ll be running a day-long session on web monitoring, with a particular focus on how to tie social media tracking systems back to outcomes in analytics.

We did an overview of Complete Web Monitoring at the spring Web2Expo, and this one will borrow from that, but also add a lot from the discussions we’ve had with various startups and vendors since that time.