Dedicated server vs Google App Engine for a Django site?
May 20, 2010 1:55 PM   Subscribe

Is it worth converting Django data models to Google App Engine Datastore API?

A developer has created a query intensive site for me, written with a Django backend. I'm getting ready to launch, and I was about to lease a managed dedicated server (webfaction). But then I started looking at Google Apps...

Would it be more cost effective to have the Django data models converted to Google App Engine Datastore API? I'm weighing further development costs against a monthly server lease.

And costs aside, are there any benefits a dedicated server might have over Google Engine Apps, and vice versa?
posted by ckohrman to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Very interested in answers to this from those who have used AppEngine. I looked at it a while back and even wrote an article on running Pylons on it, but decided against using it because of the limitations and non-portability of code written against its custom APIs.

Rather than just looking at data models, think about whether you'll ever want to use long-running processes, extension modules that include C code, the filesystem, etc. It's not a regular web server. If you're worried about cost, do you really need a dedicated server, or could you get by on a VPS at about $20-$40 a month? If you can afford a developer you can probably afford that.
posted by pengale at 2:11 PM on May 20, 2010

IIRC, Google App engine only supports an earlier version of Django (0.97, I think).

If your app is written in 1.1 or even 1.2, it might be a lot more effort to get it backported as well as tweak the app for GAE...
posted by puddpunk at 4:45 PM on May 20, 2010

Actually, I just asked in the Appengine IRC channel and they mentioned that yes, it is possible. So maybe not as hard as it seems :)
posted by puddpunk at 4:51 PM on May 20, 2010

Best answer: If you're converting between a relational database and Google's Datastore, be aware that they are very different bessts. There are plenty of things you can do easily in one that are nearly impossible in the other. Django and GAE models won't mask the difference.

If you're getting ready to launch, this may be more than you want to bite off right now.

GAE does support Django 1.0 and 1.1.
posted by dws at 5:13 PM on May 20, 2010

Response by poster: I guess one more to consider would be Amazon's service... anybody have thoughts on using that with a Django site?
posted by ckohrman at 2:01 PM on May 21, 2010

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