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Demystifying GCP: The Puzzle

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts by Google Certified Trainers Ben Finkel and Garth Schulte that will explore Google Cloud Platform.

It should be no surprise that with the rich variety of players who make up the cloud services market today, one of the most appealing options is from the team at Google.  With its globe-spanning network infrastructure, industry-leading team of engineers, and robust history of cloud-based services, Google has created one of the hottest clouds out there. Google offers many different solutions for your IT needs, and if you’re new to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you may find the wealth of products (11)

But don’t worry! Garth Schulte and I aim to demystify the Google Cloud Platform with this blog series — and walk you through everything the Google cloud services have to offer! Settle in for an exciting ride and find out just how awesome and productive you can be with the Google Cloud Platform.

Broadly speaking, the GCP can be broken out into six different classifications. We’ll introduce each group here, but always remember that these services are integrated with each other and often cross these boundaries in interesting ways.

1. Google Compute products are the linchpin of the Google Cloud Platform. Their Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, “Google Compute” provides you with a virtual machine hosting environment that you can use to spin up customizable VMs for any solution. With “Google App Engine,” Google Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) developers can confidently deploy their apps to a fully-managed platform with zero configuration time. Recently, Google introduced the “Google Container Engine,” a Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) model that allows you to scale up Docker containers in the cloud!

2. Google’s Storage options allow for a rich variety of online data and file storage to support your business and applications needs. Traditional relational data can be stored in managed MySQL databases provided by “Cloud SQL.”  Scalable, cutting-edge NoSQL databases are available through the “Cloud Datastore” and brand-new “Cloud BigTable” services. If you need a responsive storage system for static binary data, Google has you covered with “Cloud Storage.”

3. To help support growth in data collection and research areas, Google provides Big Data tools to enable inexpensive and robust analysis. “BigQuery” is Google’s signature Big Data-querying tool that enables super fast, SQL-like queries against datasets of nearly unlimited size. Getting all that data into and out of BigQuery is facilitated with Google’s cloud ETL product “Dataflow”.

4. Of course, once your solutions are in the cloud, you need to organize security and manage traffic between resources, applications, and data. Google’s cloud Networking products make virtual networking a breeze. Use the “Load Balancer” to distribute traffic among your cloud services and create a hybrid cloud between your on-site network and Google with the “Cloud VPN.”

5. Google Cloud Services are a wide-ranging collection of APIs that you can utilize both in the cloud and in your on-premise solutions. With tools such as “Translate API” and “Prediction API,” you can leverage the same powerful algorithms that Google uses. Google “Pub/Sub” enables managed asynchronous messaging that can scale up to a global scale. If you’ve got your own API to deploy, the “Endpoints” service offers a fully-managed API service that provides a reliable and managed delivery.

6. None of this would be possible if you couldn’t work with your apps with the same comfort level as with an on-premise installation. Google’s cloud Management tools provide for ease of control and monitoring, without introducing a steep learning curve of new products. Cloud Trace and Debug gives you real-time diagnostic information about your cloud apps so that you can proactively address any problems that might come up. Logging and Monitoring give you the output you need on a resolute and aggregated business to ensure delivery of all of your services.

Buckle up! During the next few weeks, Garth and I will blog you through this maze of awesome products and services — and help you become the next Google Cloud Platform wizard!

Psst! Want to explore GCP further? Browse all of our Google Cloud training!

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