Google App Engine vs Google Kubernetes Engine

Nowadays, more and more developers are shifting towards containerized workflows. Containers are essentially a form of OS virtualization that contain all the necessary executables, libraries, and configuration files required to run a code stack.

Developers prefer containerized workflows as it provides a new level of efficiency, promoting rapid development via fast feedback loops that allows tracking the changes in a code in real-time.

While containers provide several benefits, choosing the platform for a project is crucial so that developers can extract the full advantage of the container ecosystem.

Continue reading as we discuss two cloud platforms, i.e., Google Kubernetes Engine and Google App Engine and decode which environment will they be the most useful at. 

Continue reading to know more about these two amazing cloud services.

What is Google App Engine? 

Google App Engine is a serverless and fully managed PaaS implementation that allows developers to deploy and host scalable applications through Google-managed data centers.

This serverless compute platform is available in more than 20 locations worldwide and offers developers Google’s scalable infrastructure, flexible environment and security.

GAE natively supports almost all programming languages, allowing developers to start writing the code in their preferred language. App stacks developed using App Engine are sandboxed and can be run across multiple servers without compatibility issues.

Moreover, App Engine provisions the data servers, routes the incoming traffic, and scales the app to ensure consistent performance.

Google App Engine Core Features 

  • Integrated diagnostics

One of the standout features of Google App Engine is the integrated monitoring and logging solutions, courtesy of Google Cloud Platform. As a developer, you get access to Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring, which identifies bugs in the app stack in real-time. An event recording SDK can then report the same to the testers who can fix it instantaneously.

  • Developer-friendly

App Engine natively supports multiple programming languages, including the likes of Ruby, C#, PHP, Java, .NET, Node.js, etc. Each language gets its own SDK and runtime.

Moreover, you can also import your frameworks and libraries through docker containers for better control over the building and deployment process.

  • Traffic splitting

You can also use App Engine to test various versions of the application to select which one works the best. GAE routes the traffic to different app versions available on the infrastructure, allowing you to plan the traffic increments for reporting and identification.

Google App Engine Advantages 

  • Easier administration

Being a fully managed service, App Engine is extremely easy to set up and start working in production environments. As a developer, you do not need to worry about anything about the underlying infrastructure.

You can complete the setup using the Google Cloud Platform UI or write simple commands of your own. The platform will also provide the servers on your behalf and scale seamlessly according to traffic.

  • Quicker deployment

A direct benefit of easier administration is quicker app deployment. You do not need to worry about the server-side setup at all and you can start writing your code in your preferred language from the get-go.

Since GAE does most of the backend managing for you, you can focus on improving the app and bringing it to the market at the earliest.

  • Support for both SQL and NoSQL:

The apps you develop using App Engine can either use the Google Cloud SQL database for hosting and storage or the built-in NoSQL DB for storing large data volumes with at least 3 independent replication sites.

You can select the database choice based on the requirements of your project, but you need to be careful about data structure provisioning for optimum results.

What is Google Kubernetes Engine GKE? 

Google Kubernetes Engine is a production-grade container orchestration service that provides a managed environment for developing, managing, and scaling containerized applications using Google-managed infrastructure.

Essentially, Kubernetes is a cluster of several Compute Engine instances and provides the mechanisms required to communicate with it.

You can deploy either a self-managed Kubernetes Cluster or run a cloud provider-managed Cluster, like the Azure Kubernetes Service, Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, etc.

Orchestration service makes it much easier to automate and scale container-based workloads for live production environments.

Google Kubernetes Engine Core Features

  • Kubernetes applications

For live development workloads, Kubernetes provides prebuilt deployment templates with simplified licensing, portability, and consolidated billing.

These solutions are not simply container images; they are Google-developed, open-source, commercial applications available on the Google Cloud Marketplace that significantly improve the developer’s productivity.

  • Workload and network security

The Kubernetes Engine sandbox essentially adds a second layer of defense between the containerized workloads for enhanced security.

Clusters natively support Kubernetes Network Policy, which works wonders in restricting traffic with a firewall. Moreover, it is backed by a team of HIPAA and PCI DSS compliant security experts.

  • Hybrid networking and management

Kubernetes reserves a range of IP addresses that allows your cluster’s IP to exist with private network IPs using Google Cloud VPN. In addition, you can also control your Kubernetes Clusters using your Google Account and take advantage of Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging for better insights into your app.

Advantages of using Kubernetes

  • Open-source

Kubernetes provides an excellent balance of cost and functionality. Being an open-source, it is essentially free software and you do not need to purchase any additional license to deploy it for production environments.

  • Cloud agnostic

Unlike App Engine that requires you to write fresh or modify your code when migrating to other services, Kubernetes allows you to migrate your workloads easily without making any changes to the code. This is applicable for both self-managed and cloud provider-managed workloads.

  • Advanced monitoring and logging

In Kubernetes, you can deploy both monitoring and logging solutions according to the requirements of your project.

You can choose open-source solutions like Graylog, Prometheus, Fluent Bit, etc., along with commercial or cloud provider solutions that can be integrated into the Kubernetes Engine for advanced monitoring and logging.


At the end of the day, which service you choose vastly depends on the scale and scope of the project, and you will need to thoroughly evaluate your requirements before deciding.

App Engine is a PaaS service from Google Cloud. It offers features like popular programming languages, application versioning, and a fully managed environment.

Kubernetes Engine is a platform that makes it simple to deploy, manage, and scale Kubernetes. It offers features like autoscaling, pre-built templates, and security.

If you cannot decide between the ease of production and scalability for your project, contact a leading app hosting company for deeper insights into the project and know more about what environment will be the better choice for you.


What is Google App Engine?

It is a PaaS service from Google Cloud. It offers features like popular programming languages, application versioning, and a fully managed environment.

What is Google Kubernetes Engine?

It is a platform that makes it simple to deploy, manage, and scale Kubernetes. It offers features like autoscaling, pre-built templates, and security.

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