What is Google Cloud Platform (GCP)?

Before we begin learning about Google Cloud Platform, we will talk about what is Cloud Computing. Basically it is using someone else’s computer over the internet. Example- GCP, AWS, IBM Cloud, etc. Some interesting features of cloud computing are as follows: 

  • You get computing resources on-demand and self-service. The customer has to use a simple User Interface and they get the computing power, storage requirements, and network you need, without human intervention.
  • You can access these cloud resources over the internet from anywhere on the globe.
  • The provider of these resources has a huge collection of these resources and allocates them to customers out of that collection.
  • The resources are elastic. If you need more resources you can get more, rapidly. If you need less, you can scale down back.
  • The customers pay only for what they use or reserve. If they stop using resources, they stop paying.

Three Categories of Cloud Services

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): It provides you all the hardware components you require such as computing power, storage, network, etc. 
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): It provides you a platform that you can use to develop applications, software, and other projects. 
  • Software as a Service (SaaS): It provides you with complete software to use like Gmail, google drive, etc. 

Google Cloud Platform

All the services listed above are provided by Google hence the name Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Apart from these, there are so many other services provided by GCP and also many concepts related to it that we are going to discuss in this article. 

Regions and zones:

Regions and Zones

Let’s start at the finest grain level (i.e. the smallest or first step in the hierarchy), the Zone. A zone is an area where Google Cloud Platform Resources like virtual machines or storage is deployed. 



For example, when you launch a virtual machine in GCP using Compute Engine, it runs in a zone you specify (suppose Europe-west2-a). Although people consider a zone as being sort of a GCP Data Center, that’s not strictly accurate because a zone doesn’t always correspond to one physical building. You can still visualize the zone that way, though. 

Zones are grouped into regions which are independent geographic areas and much larger than zones (for example- all zones shown above are grouped into a single region Europe-west2) and you can choose what regions you want your GCP resources to be placed in. All the zones within a neighborhood have fast network connectivity among them. Locations within regions usually have trip network latencies of under five milliseconds. 

As a part of developing a fault-tolerant application, you’ll need to spread your resources across multiple zones in a region. That helps protect against unexpected failures. You can run resources in different regions too. Lots of GCP customers do this, both to bring their applications closer to users around the world, and also to guard against the loss of a whole region, say, due to a natural disaster. 

A few GCP Services supports deploying resources in what we call a Multi-Region. For example, Google Cloud Storage, lets you place data within the Europe Multi-Region. What that means is that it is stored redundantly in a minimum of two different geographic locations, separated by at least 160 kilometers within Europe. Previously, GCP had 15 regions. Visit cloud.google.com to ascertain what the entire is up to today. 

Pricing

Google was the primary major Cloud provider to bill by the second instead of rounding up to greater units of your time for its virtual machines as a service offering. This may not sound like a big deal, but charges for rounding up can really add up for customers who are creating and running lots of virtual machines. Per second billing is obtainable for a virtual machine use through Compute Engine and for several other services too. 

Compute Engine provides automatically applied use discounts which are discounts that you simply get for running a virtual machine for a big portion of the billing month. When you run an instance for at least 25% of a month, Compute Engine automatically gives you a reduction for each incremental minute you employ it. Here’s one more way Compute Engine saves you money. 

Normally, you choose a virtual machine type from a typical set of those values, but Compute Engine also offers custom virtual machine types, in order that you’ll fine-tune the sizes of the virtual machines you use. That way, you’ll tailor your pricing for your workloads. 

Open API’s

Some people are afraid to bring their workloads to the cloud because they’re afraid they’ll get locked into a specific vendor. But in many ways, Google gives customers the power to run their applications elsewhere, if Google becomes not the simplest provider for his or her needs. Here are some samples of how Google helps its customers avoid feeling locked in. GCP services are compatible with open source products. For example, take Cloud Bigtable, a database that uses the interface of the open-source database Apache HBase, which provides customers the advantage of code portability. Another example, Cloud Dataproc provides the open-source big data environment Hadoop, as a managed service, etc. 

Why choose GCP?

  • GCP allows you to choose between computing, storage, big data, machine learning, and application services for your web, mobile, analytics, and, back-end solutions.
  • It’s global and it is cost-effective.
  • It’s open-source friendly.
  • It’s designed for security.

Advantages of GCP

  1. Good documentation: We are talking about many pages in total, including a reasonably detailed API Reference guide.
  2. Different storage classes for every necessity: Regional (frequent use), Nearline (infrequent use), and Coldline (long-term storage).
  3. High durability: This suggests that data survives even within the event of the simultaneous loss of two disks.
  4. Many regions available to store your data: North Ameria, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
  5. The “Console” tab within the documentation allows you to try for free of charge different SDKs. It’s incredibly useful for developers
  6. One of the simplest free layers within the industry. $300 free credit to start with any GCP product during the primary year. Afterward, 5 GB of Storage to use forever without any charges.

Disadvantages of GCP

  1. The support fee is sort of hefty: Around 150 USD per month for the foremost basic service (Silver class).
  2. Downloading data from Google Cloud Storage is expensive. 0, 12 USD per GB.
  3. Google Cloud Platform web interface is somewhat confusing. Sometimes I am lost while browsing around the menus.
  4. Prices in both Microsoft Azure (around 0.018 USD per GB/month) or Backblaze B2 (about 0.005 USD per GB/month) are less than Google Cloud Storage.
  5. It has a high pricing schema, almost like AWS S3, so it’s easy to urge unexpected costs (e.g. number of requests, transfers, etc.).
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