The digital age which we are in now is heavily characterized by great technological innovations. And just like every other facet of the IT sphere, cloud services have significantly improved too. I mean significantly, with several options are now available, from which you can decide which to adopt. One of the best choices of cloud servers as of now the Google Cloud Platform.
Google Cloud Platform, commonly referred to as GCP is a top-notch cloud computing technology owned by Google. It’s a leading cloud platform launched about a decade and three years ago to provide IT solutions to web and software development processes, including – hosting, data management, and others. A simple way to grasp what the GCP is and what it does is through the geographical cloud, I mean the one you see up in the sky. You know it is never out of reach for the sight once you look into the sky. Google Cloud Platform works just like that! To further explain the GCP with the “cloud” concept, let us talk a little about cloud computing.
What exactly is Cloud Computing?
A long time ago, businesses handled their data storage and management themselves. Everything was done virtually in-house. Some others adopted the use of self-hosting. However as time went on and businesses kept growing, these solutions gave birth to several managerial problems, especially for firms that are not IT-related. It became a huge task for them to merge the technicality of self-managing their data, databases, and websites. The need for IT experts was too obvious to deny. These concerns, among others, are what cloud computing handles.
Cloud computing is an IT system that keeps data off-premise (in a virtual location) and makes the files or application as the case may be available to users anywhere and anytime. It leverages the use of IT components to make data available to users in any location of the world, provided there is an internet-enabled device. Cloud computing works on a tenancy basis, meaning that users would rent the virtual space from a cloud service provider, who would manage it for them.
This, and others features are what we will be discussing in this article. We shall exploit what makes the Google Cloud Platform a real force amongst other service providers. Now let’s talk about the service models of the GCP.
What are the services available under Google Cloud?
As a suite, Google Cloud offers services including – Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Even though Google Cloud Platform has been trending in the tech circle for a while now, you might be unfamiliar with it if you are not IT-inclined. However, a good background to get along quicker would be to explain its computing services, as mentioned above.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service is a cloud computing model that businesses can leverage to handle their computing and data storage needs. Like we noted earlier, the age-long approach of self-managing data storage and servers could be quite challenging. You’d have to put lots of resources to set up a data center with a functional power and controlled cooling system. Apart from that, there is storage equipment you will have to purchase, and as will employ IT staff to manage them. All of these become more difficult when demand spikes.
Under the IaaS model of the GCP, Google manages infrastructure on your behalf. This simply means you will not be the one to look after your network and computing needs. In other words, businesses operating the GCP do not need to personally set the facilities we have mentioned themselves, they will only rent and pay the billed amount to Google.
Platform as Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service is another cloud computing system that provides a way of building and managing software, without having to worry about buying software licenses. GCP’s PaaS tool enables you to be in full control of your data and application.
Software creation would be way easier if another server undertakes the task of updating software and the overall data control. With Google Cloud Platform’s middleware, all these would be effectively managed for you.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service is another cloud computing model also operated by third parties on behalf of users. With SaaS, everything concerning software development, installation, upgrading, and management is handled by these third parties, usually called vendors. This simply means businesses would not have to employ on-premise IT staff to handle their software issues like middleware, data storage, and maintenance, among others for them.
Having talked a little about cloud services, another basic thing you should know about Google Cloud Platform is its API services. So, let’s take a brief look at them.
How Google Cloud API works
API stands for Application Programming Interface. In the world of web and mobile development, APIs are like the cables that hold a long suspension bridge in place. The APIs enable the interface that allows the mutual working of applications. Let alone people outside of the IT domain, even people in the IT industry do not have a precise understanding of how it works. Let’s give a simple explanation of APIs using how browsers work.
Anytime you attempt to open a website through your browser, a request is immediately sent to the remote server of the website. Do you know what a remote server is? It’s just a computer somewhere loaded with all the files and data required to respond to all requests made on a website. The website’s remote server returns a response to your browser, which your browser would interpret to produce views. The API is what the remote server used to receive requests and return responses to your browser. You now see how essential they are in web development.
Google APIs work just the same way. The interfaces allow users to jointly use different Google Services, like the Google Map, Gmail, Calendar, Meet, etc.
Now that we’ve talked about cloud computing and APIs, we have a good foundation to explore the components of the Google Cloud Platform.
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What are the major components of the Google Cloud Platform
Compute component of GCP
The Compute component has six main sub-components: the App Engine, Compute Engine, Kubernetes Engine, Cloud Function, Cloud run, and VMware Engine. Let’s talk a little about some of these sub-components.
The App Engine takes care of the development and deployment of apps. If you’re familiar with the working principles of cloud services, you will agree with me that cloud computing sometimes has some data processing and analytics problems. The Compute Engine is the GCP’s tool for handling them all. As an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) framework, it helps users to manage their workloads as contained on the Google Cloud Platform. The VMware on its own is what allows users to have a mini data center to operate virtual machines.
Storage in GCP
The Storage component also has three sub-tools, including – Filestore, Cloud Storage, and Data Transfer.
What most people know about cloud computing today is its effective solution for storing and accessing data. Google Cloud Storage provides a convenient and reliable way to store data of any size, and make them available to people. Not only is Google cloud storage effective for keeping your files, but it is also equipped with top-notch security to ensure your stored data is not open to hackers of cybersecurity.
Another good thing about cloud storage is that it supports scalability. Every business has plans to grow and improve patronage. Efficient web development is not just about meeting the demands of today, there must be plans to sustain functionality even at the wildest increase in patronage. This is what brings the concept of scalability to play. Using the GCP, you won’t have to be disturbed on how to meet future spikes in demand as its storage facility is highly scalable.
Networking process in GCP
GCP has numerous networking sub-components for the management and optimization of connections and traffic, to meet customers’ needs. These tools include VPC network, Network service, Hybrid Connectivity, Network Service Tiers, Network Security, and Network Intelligence.
Databases made available in GCP
The database is another essential component of the GCP. Its tools, seven in number, make the building and deployment of applications much easier for developers. The seven tools for managing databases on GCP include Bigtable, Datastore, Database Migration, Firestore, Memorystore, Spanner, and SQL.
Some other components available under the GCP tree are various Developer Tools, Identity and Security services, Internet of Things (IoT), CloudAI, Management Tools, and API Platforms.
So, why should you use Google Cloud Platform?
Security is key in web and mobile development. I am sure you don’t just want to have your data stored alone, you want them to be secured too. What is the essence of a house with a superb architectural outlook that thieves can break into it any time they want? No one would want to stay in such.
Google Cloud Platform doesn’t just make quick access to stored data possible, it also ensures they are preserved from hackers of cybersecurity up to a significant level. You most likely have a Gmail account, and your files have hitherto remained safe. Adopting GCP to host your site grants you the access to enjoy the security outlay Google has built over the years. Moreover, Google is always investing heavily in security as top experts handle the safety of their facilities.
Supports Remote Working
Sometimes, circumstances may not permit working from office locations. If there’s a severe pandemic, for instance, there could be restrictions placed on commuting and public gatherings. Businesses leveraging the Google Cloud Platform have nothing to fear since they can gain unrestricted access to their data with an internet connection.
Did you know employees could be more productive when they work outside office locations? Remote working not only keeps businesses operational under any circumstance, but it does also save time and cost. Homes or coffee shops are unlikely to have the interruptions and pressures that come to play in office locations. Remote working increases productivity.
Easy Subscription System
We are aware that most small-scaled enterprises have small turnovers, and you know what means for their financial strength. Not all businesses would find it easy to subscribe a whole year at a stretch. GCP subscription plan has everyone in mind.
You’re billed based on computing time used. Do you know what this means? It implies you only pay for what you use. In addition to this, you become entitled to certain incentives as you keep using the cloud platform. Rates are discounted for users with workloads that span for a considerably long duration. You may want to ask – for how long? You are entitled to discounts at least for a month, without the burden of any advance payment. Almost all enterprises can fit into this. Google Cloud Platform’s billing system is indeed cheaper than the counterpart platforms – AWS and Microsoft Azure offer.
A website/software that’d win customers must be highly responsive, functional, and user-friendly. For businesses leveraging physical contacts, there’s a marketing concept called business ethics. It entails the kind of conduct and values the staff of an enterprise should imbibe to win and retain customers. Similarly, the quality of user experience your website gives your customers will significantly influence their buying decision.
Kinsta, an IT company, recently acknowledged that the reason they still stand tall in the performance of their WordPress hosting service is owed to Google Cloud Platform. GCP could help you minimize error messages your WordPress site displays, and the average response time as well. Did you know that GCP gives users a speed as high as 10Tbs? So signing up for Google Cloud Platform is ensuring better performance for your site.
We have together trailed through the offers of the Google Cloud Platform. Drawing from the concept of cloud computing, we explored its components and benefits. Having seen for yourself, you’d agree that GCP is indeed a superb cloud network worth expending your resources on as a developer, or business owner.