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Demystifying GCP: Networking

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

No cloud service can function without robust Networking options. Nothing runs on a single computer anymore, and very few business conduct all of their work in a single location. These two simple facts underscore the importance of Google’s world-class (and globally spanning) network infrastructure. The Networking features of the Google Cloud Platform take advantage of this infrastructure to deliver high quality, low latency service and a rich feature set for software defined networking. Let’s talk about how we can put these benefits to work for us!email-blog (21)

Networking and Firewalls – Google’s software defined networking allows you to build virtual networks with your Google Compute instances for traffic management and security. Assigning instances to networks defines a gateway IP address and subnet range. These networks can have custom firewall and routing rules, creating a secure and isolated network structure for your cloud service implementation. Google’s firewall rules allow for traffic shaping based on IP address ranges, ports, protocols, and even custom tags. This ensures that only the traffic you wish to hit your instances will be able to provide robust security. Network routes create pattern-based traffic management that can redirect traffic between your instances, your networks, or the outside internet — allowing for advanced networking setups such as Network Address Translation (NAT) or proxy services.

Google Load Balancing – Global Load Balancing on an independent service platform. Managing and balancing traffic to your web services is a critical first line of defense in business continuity planning. Routing traffic to regions closest to your users ensures fast and snappy service, while load distribution provides much needed redundancy and failover planning. Google has two load balancers available for your cloud service implementation. HTTP balancing uses a proxy service and url map to provide fine-grained control over the management of your request traffic. Examine URL components in real-time and redirect requests to content specific backends. Network-based load balancing allows you to monitor and route traffic based on various protocol rules such as port range, IP address, or network protocol. Google’s load balancer runs as an independent service on Google’s infrastructure, which means it will always be up and running for your user traffic regardless of the state of your implementation; an ideal business continuity feature!

Google Cloud VPN – It’s not likely or feasible to migrate all of your operations to a cloud provider overnight, abandoning your local data center and installation. A much more common scenario is to operate in a hybrid capacity, with some services online in the cloud, and others remaining on-premise. Google Cloud VPN means that you can easily and securely connect your local data center with Google’s cloud infrastructure. With Cloud VPN, you can create a seamless network between your user’s desktops and the Compute Engine Network with the IPSec protocol. This means you can create static routes between any of your services both in the cloud and locally. You can also set up site-to-site VPNs bridging two different Networks in Google’s Cloud service, or even creating a hybrid network across entirely different cloud service providers!

Carrier Interconnect and Direct Peering – Google’s robust infrastructure also creates opportunities for advanced networking connectivity. Carrier interconnect and direct peering allows for enterprise-level direct connections between local on-premise installations and Google’s network edge. This means that you can establish high-bandwidth, low-latency data transfer between Google’s network and your own. These connections are supported by a wide range of 3rd-party service providers allowing for easy setup no matter where you operate from. With these connections in place you can access any of Google’s services via a direct low-latency connection.

These Networking options mean that you can take full advantage of the speed, power, and world-wide reach of Google’s network setup. Fiber-optic backbone connections, under sea cables, and fast edge-caching data centers are all available for your cloud service implementation. It’s another way that Google makes enterprise-class services available to businesses of any size and budget.

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

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