Google Cloud Platform: What it is, how to use it

Cloud computing today allows hardware and software products to coexist remotely (in data centers) and at scale. Together, these products work to offer specific services. Users can generally access, manage, and use the tools they need through a web interface, and this is also true for Google Cloud Platform services.

In addition to the accessibility of services, users also gain flexibility and choice when working with Google Cloud Platform: Each service is available “a la carte” so users can take advantage of different resources to build the infrastructure they need.

Once they’ve identified the Google Cloud Platform services that would benefit them, users simply create a “project” through the intuitive, web-based GCP Console. Better yet, project owners can manage which team members or administrators have access to which services.

Google Cloud Platform

What types of tools are available through the Google Cloud Platform?

Google Cloud Platform services are strong. One way to navigate them is to consider what solutions are available based on your core computing needs: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS).

•  IaaS enables IT departments to run virtual machines without having to invest in or manage this IT infrastructure themselves. IT often opts for an IaaS solution when the workload is temporary, experimental, or subject to unexpected change (for example, test environment projects).

•  PaaS is the next step, building on the IaaS model. Customers opt for all the benefits of IaaS, plus get underlying infrastructure such as operating systems and middleware. Your provider hosts and manages all these elements.

•  SaaS goes one step further – everything is available via the web: the provider hosts, manages and delivers the entire infrastructure, including applications. Users simply log in to access the resources offered by the specific solution, such as backup and recovery tools.

Another way to navigate Google Cloud Platform is by service offering type. The main categories of services include:

  1. Calculation
  2. work networks
  3. Storage and databases
  4. Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML)
  5. Big Data
  6. Identity and Security
  7. Management tools

Within these categories, the best services include:

Calculationwork networksStorage and databasesAI and MLBig DataIdentity and SecurityManagement Tools
Compute engineGoogle Cloud Virtual NetworkCloud StorageCloud Machine LearningBig QueryGoogle Cloud IAMStackdriver
App EngineCloud Load BalancingCloud SQLCloud Vision APICloud DataflowCloud Resource ManagerDeployment Manager
Container EngineCloud CDNBigtableCloud Speech APIDataprocCloud Security ScannerCloud Shell
Container RegistryGoogle Cloud InterconnectCloud DatastoreNatural Language APICloud Datalab Google Cloud Billing API
Cloud FunctionsCloud DNSCloud SpannerTranslate APIGoogle Genomics  
Cloud Pub/Sub Persistent Disk    
  Cloud Source Repositories    

Can I use a Google Cloud Platform service, like Google Cloud Storage, while taking advantage of another solution?

Service integrations can make powerful tools even more robust. That’s why niche providers and hyperscalers like Google are looking to partner with each other, to expand their reach and deliver more value to their customers. Consider integrating the Google Cloud Platform:

Acronis, a leading provider of hybrid cloud storage and cyber protection, offers easy, reliable, efficient, secure and private solutions to more than 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses worldwide. Acronis’ backup-as-a-service solution, Acronis Cyber ​​Backup Cloud, integrates with Google Cloud Storage to offer a truly flexible cloud infrastructure, which is what IT service providers need. Leveraging native Google cloud storage integrations with Acronis, customers can:

  • Meet business requirements through an internet cloud-connected office upgrade.
  • Predict storage costs, with a per GB rate that includes storage, solution management, output and backup, and software licenses.
  • Comply with industry standards, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and vertical-specific requirements.
  • Follow the 3-2-1 rule of backup, so data can always be recovered
  • Get lightning-fast recovery, leveraging Google Cloud Platform’s robust and extensive global network.

In this way, Google Cloud Platform services can extend their impact and enrich other specialized solutions that benefit customers.

Does Google Cloud Platform offer certifications?

Although GCP is designed to be easy to use, certain Google Cloud Platform certifications can help you work more efficiently, demonstrate your technical expertise, and boost your career. There are three main pathways:

  1. Partner Certifications – This option is task-oriented and is intended for cloud beginners to become familiar with the core technology of the Google Cloud Platform. This certification can open doors to new certifications and opportunities at a professional level.
  2. Professional Certifications: – If you’ve been in the industry for a few years, you may want to consider taking hands-on Google Cloud Platform courses. You will gain advanced design and implementation skills based on the job/role you have (or want to have). Topics include: Cloud Architecture, Data Engineering, Cloud Developer, Cloud Network Engineering, and more.
  3. Google Workspace Certification: – With this option, Google Cloud Platform extends its reach to anyone who uses Google Workspace. For example, project managers and executive assistants who regularly need to use core Google Workspace tools and services will benefit from this Google Cloud Platform certification.

Google Cloud Platform Pricing

Google has no upfront costs, no pay-per-use services, and no cancellation fees. In addition, Google offers price discounts and offers innovations such as the right size. Customers can also use a price calculator through your website. This tool helps customers anticipate costs. In the meantime, a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) tool is available to help estimate costs between Google Cloud Platform and AWS.

Prices vary by individual service, so you’ll also want to look across the platform for each of the offerings and evaluate prices accordingly.

Comparing the Big Three: Google Cloud Platform vs. Microsoft Azure vs. aws

Because Google Cloud Platform offers so many different services, you need to be sure that when you compare popular services like Google Cloud Platform with Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud Platform with AWS, you’re not comparing apples to oranges. Every organization has different priorities, and how big and how fast you grow will have a tremendous impact on your IT needs and budget.

Here is a brief overview of some of the key differentiators between the top cloud platform providers: Google Cloud Platform vs. Microsoft Azure vs. Amazon Web Service

 Customer typeCostServices
Google Cloud PlatformSmall and medium businesses. Partners with Cisco to reach businessesGartner recognizes GCP for its customer-centric pricing, including deep discounts and flexible contracts.Fewer services, but advanced technical capabilities, with AI/ML and data analytics tools ahead of the competition.
Microsoft AzureCompaniesDiscounts based on particular conditions require help for their evaluation.Robust infrastructure with proven hybrid cloud capabilities.
Amazon Web ServicesAny, but with a non-invasive approach due to its enormous size.Gartner recommends the use of a third-party tool to estimate prices effectively.Great options, but focused on public cloud solutions, so hybrid deployment with on-premises data centers can be challenging.

What happens to Google Cloud Platform uptime?

Reliability is an important factor when choosing any IT vendor as businesses cannot afford downtime, making business continuity a priority and a key factor when evaluating vendors from the cloud Meanwhile, customers are genuinely concerned about the ability of industry leaders like Google to deliver reliable cloud infrastructure and services: Microsoft’s own challenge to ensure the uptime of its Microsoft 365 solution has put this challenge in the foreground.

According to Google, users of the Google Cloud Platform can expect 99.95% reliability. They achieve this level of performance by building safety nets into their application and network architecture, assuming that any element is fallible. With built-in redundancy and robust failover capabilities, data is always accessible through another system. Last but not least, Google constantly performs performance tests – pressure testing systems in order to proactively prevent problems and quickly fix them.

Final reflection

Google Cloud Platform may be the “new kid on the block” compared to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, but its offerings deserve serious consideration. The company is constantly evolving and improving its services, so even if you’ve done some recent research, you’ll want to keep evaluating its capabilities based on your needs.