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Google App Engine’s Pricing Changes Announced – Tips To Lower Your Bill

Last week, Google extended a one-time courtesy credit of $50 to all free Google Apps that sign up for billing and all paid Apps that modify their budgets between now and October 31, 2011. Once you have signed up or made changes to your billing settings, a $50 credit will appear in the “Billing History” area of the Admin Console for your application.

Google’s App Engine team today announced an update on the changes they are making to help ensure how the new pricing will affect your app. “Although prices will increase, we’re confident that you’ll find App Engine still provides great value,” said the team.

The Apps Engine team said that based on the feedback the following steps they have taken:

  • Extended review period: You now have until November 1 to configure and tune your application to manage your costs.
  • Increased free Instance Hours from 24 to 28. This means that people who are using a free app to try out App Engine can run a single instance all day with a few spikes and still remain below our free quota.
  • Extended discount of 50% on instance prices will continue until December 1st, at which time Python 2.7 should be available, and will include support for concurrent requests, which could further lower costs.
  • Faster Usage Reports (and the included comparison bills) within one day instead of the previous three.
  • Better analysis tools: The team said “We will add the “billing” line into the instances graph on the Admin Console. We’re adding datastore billing information into the dev console to making it easier for you to track how the changes you make affect your bill, which should also help lower the cost.”
  • Premier accounts will be launched as soon as possible. If you are interested in a Premier account, please contact at [email protected]

The team also shared tips to lower bill and get a better sense of the true cost of App Engine:

  • Set Max Idle instances to a lower level will help lower your costs as we’ll only charge for idle instances up to the max you set. This could impact your performance so it’s worth reading up on the ramifications.
  • Always-On reflected in bills will be retired and be replaced by min idle instances, when the new pricing launches. Until then you can comfortably subtract 48 instance hours per day from the estimate.
  • Reserved instance hours: The simplest way to lower the charge for instance hours is to consider using reserved instance hours. They’re 37.5% cheaper than on-demand, but you do need to commit to a certain number of them over the course of a week.
  • Managing resources: this article provides more helpful advice on how to efficiently manage your resources and lower costs.
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