have you ever heard of youtube? how about gmail or google maps? The answer is most likely yes, but you may not have heard of Google Cloud Platform (or gcp).
Let’s talk about the products that make up Google Cloud. We will also cover the history, infrastructure, strengths, weaknesses, and ideal use cases of GCP for Google Cloud Platform. Let’s get started!
what is gcp?
gcp is a public cloud provider, as are its competitors, amazon web services (aws) and microsoft azure. With GCP and other cloud providers, customers can access computing resources hosted in Google data centers around the world for free or on a pay-as-you-go basis.
gcp offers a suite of compute services to do everything from gcp cost management, to data management, to web and video delivery over the web, to machine learning and artificial intelligence tools .
google cloud versus google cloud platform
google cloud includes a combination of services available over the internet that can help organizations go digital. The Google Cloud Platform (which provides public cloud infrastructure for hosting web-based applications and is the focus of this blog post) is part of the Google Cloud.
some other services that are part of google cloud include:
- google workspace, formerly known as g suite and google apps. This product provides identity management for organizations, gmail, and collaboration tools.
- enterprise versions of android and chrome os. these operating systems for phones and laptops are ways for users to connect to web-based applications.
- application programming interfaces (apis) for machine learning and business mapping services. these provide software-to-software communication.
- IT and hosting
- storage and database
- big data
- machine learning
- what is aws?
- what is blue?
- When it comes to strengths, the Google Cloud Platform documentation is second to none. (reading the documents is a career-changing art, by the way). a crowd favorite is how google embeds actions in gcp docs. they are divided into an overview section, followed by a hands-on section, which walks the reader through an implementation of the feature or service.
- Another strength of gcp is the global backbone that uses advanced software-defined networking and edge caching services to deliver fast, consistent, and scalable performance. yes, the top-tier global network costs a bit more, but in my opinion it’s worth designing architectures using a virtual private cloud (vpc) that automatically routes traffic on a global network.
- If I were to say that gcp has a weakness, it would be that google’s cloud platform has far fewer services than aws and azure offer.
- On top of that, gcp has a stubborn model of how its cloud services should be used, and it’s geared towards software developers.
- If you’re a large organization that needs to set a lot of permissions while working on projects, Google has a great organizational hierarchy that allows you to set policies at the top level and forget about them. this allows departments to move quickly but remain subject to organizational constraints. in gcp, all resources belong to a specific gcp project. and when that project is deleted, all the resources are removed from the platform, avoiding resources that generate higher costs.
- Another ideal use case for using gcp is for organizations that need the benefits of big data, machine learning, and advanced analytics. collect customer data to recommend additional purchase suggestions based on purchase history.
- Keep up with the latest news on Google Cloud Platform with our original GCP series this month.
- If you’re new to the cloud, you can get started with Google’s new introductory Foundational Level Cloud Digital Leader certification.
- If you have a bit of a background in technology, I recommend starting with the Google Certified Associate Cloud Engineer (ACE) prep course. does an excellent job of introducing the major components of the google cloud platform infrastructure while giving you a solid foundation for working directly with google cloud resources. After the Cloud Associate Engineer exam, there are many GCP certification paths to consider. If you want to put your skills to the test, the Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect exam is one of the most demanding certifications in the industry today.
While Google’s gcp cloud infrastructure is the backbone of applications like google workplace, we’re not talking about these applications when we talk about gcp. for this post, we are focusing on the google cloud platform.
the history of the google cloud platform
Going back a bit, let’s start with the history of gcp.
gcp first came online in 2008 with the release of a product called the application engine. In April 2008, Google announced a preview version of the Application Engine, a developer tool that allows customers to run their web applications on Google’s infrastructure. (For perspective, this was two years after Amazon launched its cloud computing service, beginning with the launch of S3 and EC2 cloud storage.)
according to google, the goal of the app engine was “to make it easy to start a new web app and then to make it easy to scale when that app gets to the point where it gets significant traffic and has millions of users.” .”
In order to get the necessary feedback to make improvements in this preview version, the application engine was made available to 10,000 developers. These early developers could run applications with 500MB of storage, 200 million megacycles of CPU per day, and 10GB of bandwidth per day.
in late 2011, google removed the app engine from preview mode and made it a fully supported official google product. In the decade since then, Google has created and acquired more services and products to improve the user experience of its cloud platform.
Today, Google Cloud Platform is one of the world’s leading public cloud providers. Google Cloud customers include Nintendo, eBay, UPS, The Home Depot, Etsy, PayPal, 20th Century Fox, and Twitter.
google cloud platform infrastructure, regions and zones
Google’s global infrastructure currently has 24 locations around the world where Google’s cloud platform resources are offered.
Locations start with a Region, and within a Region are Availability Zones. these zones are isolated from a single point of failure. Some resources, such as the HTTP Global Load Balancer, are global and can receive requests from any of Google’s regions and edge locations.
other resources, such as storage, may be regional. storage is distributed across multiple zones within a region for redundancy purposes.
and finally, zonal resources, including compute instances, are only available in a specific zone within a specific region.
When deploying applications on gcp, you should select locations based on your organization’s performance, reliability, scalability, and security needs.
what are google cloud platform services?
each gcp region offers a category of services. some services are limited to specific regions. Major Google Cloud Platform services include:
You can see a full list of gcp products here.
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google has services comparable to aws and azure. aws is clearly in the lead with microsoft gaining ground and google’s platform growing. (more on that in just a second).
see our other cloud platform overviews:
Curious about how various aspects of different cloud providers compare to GCP offerings? Check out our overviews comparing serverless databases, nosql, iam services, and virtual machines (vms).
pros and cons of the google cloud platform
google is my preferred cloud. in my experience it feels like using lego to build architectures. each service has its own use case and was designed to work with the following service and its well-defined interaction rules.
creating a virtual private network and subnets is the basis of the use of resources or any infrastructure within gcp. Try our hands-on lab to learn how to use terraform to create a terraform vpc and public subnet. learn how to create a vpc and subnet via infrastructure as code so you can test and run gcp resources as needed.
the main takeaway is that google is investing in gcp instead of seeking dominance or market growth. my opinion is that google has a hard time prioritizing gcp over the biggest revenue generators of search, ads, and youtube.
google cloud platform use cases
These are some of the ideal gcp scenarios.
Also, there’s a cool feature that allows you to assign projects to different billing accounts over time.
ready to learn gcp?
what’s next? Well, if you’re interested in honing your Google Cloud skill set and leading your organization’s goals for the future, you may want to consider which GCP certification or career path is right for you.
If this article has piqued your interest in Google Cloud Platform, check out our rotating list of free courses or get a free trial to start your journey.
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