Google Cloud Platform(GCP): An Overview

Introduction to Google Cloud Platform
History of Google Cloud
What is Google Cloud ?
Features of Google Cloud Platform
Services Offered by Google Cloud
Google Cloud Prerequisites and ID Creation
What stands out Google Cloud?
Pros and Cons
Google Tools and Libraries

Introduction to Google Cloud Platform

Cloud computing is the buzz world which has changed the way organizations are operating their IT and business services. It is offered via remote servers over the internet. These servers include storage, applications, compute power and so on which you pay-as-you-go model. It is evolving very fast due to its fast performance, better management, and less maintenance. There are some major players in the cloud market and each of them carry some unique capabilities which stand them among others.

In this article we will learn more about Google cloud, its features, how it operates, its advantages and disadvantages, and why to choose Google cloud for your IT environment ?

History of Google Cloud

Amazon cloud computing services were launched in 2006 and two years later Google got into this race with its own cloud service. In April 2008 they announced a preview release of App engine, a developer tool which allowed users to execute their web applications on Google infrastructure. App engine was made available to 10,000 developers on a first come first serve basis .

In November 2011 Google pulled App engine out of preview mode and announced it as officially fully supported Google product. Ten years after release of their first product Google added many more services under Google cloud platform domain. 

What is Google Cloud ?

Google cloud platform (GCP) as it is called is a suite of cloud computing services which are provided by Google. It is a public cloud computing platform which comprises a variety of services like computation, storage, networking, application development, Big data, including Google end user products such as Google search, Photos, Gmail services etc. Google infrastructure is built on a platform which provides search results in milliseconds, delivers 6 billion hours of videos on YouTube per month , and stores data of 425 Gmail users.

Features of Google Cloud Platform

  • Sufficient resources for easy scaling as required and effective management of resources to obtain optimum performance
  • Multi-level security options to secure resources such as assets, network and OS parts
  • Skilled professionals for installation, maintenance and support to end users
  • Allocation of suitable amount of bandwidth for peak time loads
  • Google offers cheapest rate hosting services with better features than others
  • Google account can be accessed from anywhere once it is configured 
  • Google has its own private network which enable users to have more control over its functions on cloud
  • Scalable platform over private network as it uses fibre optic cables to extend its network coverage 
  • Google supports built in redundant backup integration to ensure user data is recoverable unless it is forcefully deleted

Services Offered by Google Cloud

Services offered by google are:

  • Computing
  • Networking
  • Storage
  • Big data
  • Security and Identity Management
  • Cloud AI and IoT (Internet of Things)

Google Cloud Prerequisites and ID Creation

  • Requires to have a Google ID
  • Knowledge of using a web dashboard

Free Tier account on Google cloud comes with $300 worth of credit to spend over the next 90 days post date of account creation. All core services of Google are offered free for the next 90 days. 

Step 1: Go to the following link: https://cloud.google.com/gcp/

Step 2: On the next screen, click on ‘Get started for free’, as shown below:

Step 3: Login to your Google Account. Use the ‘create an account’ button if we don’t have an existing Google account.

Step 4: Post login you will get below screen

Here, select the Country, agree to the Terms of Service, and then click on the ‘CONTINUE’ button.

Step 5: On the next screen, provide some necessary details such as name and address details. Also, we have to enter payment details like the method of payments and credit card details. After filling all the details, we need to click on the button ‘START MY FREE TRIAL’ from the bottom of the page:

Step 6: Google will ask for confirmation to use the credit card by making a small deduction to ensure that the card information is correct. However, the amount is refunded back to the same account. Click on the ‘CONTINUE’ button:

Step 7: On the next screen, we must click on the ‘GO TO CONSOLE’ button:

After clicking on the ‘GO TO CONSOLE’ button, it will redirect to Dashboard that includes a summary of GCP services along with projects and other insights as under: 

What stands out Google Cloud?

  • Google cloud platform lets you focus on what you need next for your business. It frees from overhead of infrastructure management , provisioning of servers and network configurations. 
  • Secure, global and high-performance , cost-effective cloud platform built for long haul
  • It has very powerful Big data analytics.

Pros and Cons of Google Cloud Platform 

PROS

  • Very strong and detailed documentation
  • Very strong global backbone network which uses advanced software defined networking and edge caching services 
  • Strong data analytics and storage capabilities
  • Ease of collaboration
  • Designed for cloud native businesses
  • Open-source integration and interoperability 

CONS

  • Fewer services compared to its competitors AWS and Azure
  • Opinionated model geared towards software developers 
  • Data downloads are expensive
  • Support fees are high (150 USD for basic service)

Google Tools and Libraries

Google cloud platform has many developer tools which help write, debug, test cloud native applications in a quick and easy manner. Some of them are cloud code, cloud SDK, cloud build, artifacts registry, Google cloud deploy, cloud deployment manager etc.

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