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Demystifying GCP: Tools

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

No cloud would be complete without an ecosystem of tools to help us more efficiently build solutions on the platform. Google Cloud Platform is loaded with an array of tools to do just that! The most popular of which and the one you’ll likely be working with the most, the Google Cloud SDK, contains everything we need to build and manage solutions across GCP’s suite of products and services. But, what about some of the lesser known and recently announced beta tools in the pipeline? Whether you’re looking to improve developer productivity, discover security threats, or easily monitor your infrastructure, there are tools for that! Let’s demystify each one.

Cloud Repositories
Git repositories for our projects hosted on Google Cloud Platform! This. Is. Awesome. Every project you create has a repo automatically created in GCP containing your projects source. This is great for everything, such as source control and collaboration with other project members. It also has a built-in editor for working with your source code on the fly in the Developers Console (Web UI). Plus, you can even debug source code with the Google Cloud Debugger while it’s running in production. Wowza!

Cloud Debugger

Speaking of Google Cloud Debugger, it’s one of those troubleshooting tools that should make all developers giddy. Troubleshooting code issues often can be a slow and painful process. Traditionally, it meant walking through code or logging diagnostic information, neither of which are well suited for PaaS style apps. Google has redefined this model by putting us directly in the code! This tool allows us to capture and inspect the state and stack of our source code without ever having to pause or stop our applications, meaning we can easily pinpoint coding issues, even in production apps.

Cloud Trace
Have you ever had to diagnose a performance issue that was sporadic? Gigantic pain in the tuchus, right?!? Cloud Trace is here to save the day! This tool gives us the ability to understand where and how much time our App Engine apps spend processing requests through simple visualizations, so  that we can quickly find and fix those performance bottlenecks.

Cloud Security Scanner 
Security is a big concern these days, especially in the context of cloud-based apps and services. Cloud Security Scanner is a tool for developers that enables them to regularly scan and identify security vulnerabilities in their App Engine apps. Simply pass it the URL to your application and it’ll crawl, scan, and attack your site from all angles, giving you the power to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to app security!

Cloud Monitoring
Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a single view of our cloud solution across all of the products and services in Google Cloud Platform to better understand health, utilization, and performance metrics? It would be, and we have it. Cloud Monitoring is an incredible service that unifies infrastructure and system monitoring, while giving us the ability to customize dashboards and configure alert notifications. The insight this tool provides can help us make smarter decisions — and ultimately improve our GCP solutions from the inside out.

The ecosystem of tools in the Google Cloud Platform continues to evolve as Google is always improving and streamlining the experience for all who those work with its platform. Keep your head in the clouds to see what they come up with next; it’s certainly exciting times to be a part of Google’s cloud!

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

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