Introduction to the Google Cloud Platform
Why Google Cloud Platform?

Google Cloud Platform is one of the most important Cloud Computing services currently available. Started in April 2008 with the release of the PaaS platform Google App Engine, it has quickly grown, adding the critical IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) Google Compute Engine.

This introduction to the Google Cloud Platform course was created by our cloud expert David Clinton. We'll explore the most basic concepts through a general overview of the whole Google family. We'll learn about Google Compute Engine and gcloud, the command line interface Google developed for GCP

Who should take this course

This is an introductory course to Google Cloud Platform, so no previous knowledge is expected and just about anyone can benefit from it. Nevertheless, some basic experience with the Linux Command Line Interface might be useful for the the gcloud lecture. You might also want to try our introductory courses "Introduction to Cloud Computing" and "Introduction to Virtualization Technologies" to learn more about Cloud Computing and Virtualization from a low-level and provider-agnostic point of view.

After completing this course, you might want to follow up with the Google Compute Engine quizzes that are available in our Test section. You will test yourself but will also learn more about GCE thanks to the detailed information that accompanies each question.



Hi, and welcome to's video series on Google Cloud Platform, The Basics. In this video, we're going to explore the value that virtualization and specifically Google's GCE can have on the delivery of your computing services. If you're watching this video, the odds are that you're interested in deploying digital resources over the internet.

Whether to remote members of your team, or the customers and users you hope will find and enjoy what you offer. Of course, there's nothing stopping you from setting up your own physical computers as web servers but there might be cheaper, safer and more efficient ways to get to the same results. What is virtualization? Companies that have huge server farms of thousands or hundreds of thousands of computers all operating 24 hours a day 7 days a week can sometimes martial the leftovers of their enormous resources and sell them.

What does PaaS mean?

You can effectively rent a part of a computer with it's data storage drives and it's memory and it's network connectivity for your own use. If you need two hours of computing at a certain level of computing power, you can rent that from virtualization providers like Amazon AWS or Google's Google Compute Engine. There are a number of service models that these computing services can be sold as. PaaS which is platform as a service provides a computing platform in a solution stack as a service. The customer might rent time and space on this platform to create and provide access to, for his customers, his own applications. Examples of PaaS include: the Google app engine and AWS Elastic Beanstalk. But the Google Compute Engine is clearly IaaS that is infrastructure as a service.

They're selling access to computers. Computers with memory and storage devices and all the connectivity you'll need to load your own operating system or the operating system you'd like to take advantage of along with your own applications and your own configurations.

Why Google Cloud Platform?

Why Google more than other platforms? Of course, there's no one platform that will provide every possible need. And for some needs you may be better off at Amazon or a different platform entirely. But Google does definitely have some advantages. It has very competitive pricing. Their scale and their presence on the internet already allows them to cut down to the very, very bone and provide you the lowest prices you could imagine and then next month they lower the prices again. They fill some gaps that the Amazon Web Services seems to have or at least have had in the past. For instance, GCE allows you persistent disks. The disk drive, the virtual disk drive that you create to run one instance can actually be read by other instances as read only. Not read/write the data on it that's produced by one instance can be accessed by others. That's not so simple as far as I know on AWS. GCE images aren't tied to any one region, whereas AWS AMIs need to be copied if you want to use them from one region to another. GCE provides IP addresses that can be dynamic can be temporary. But you can actually promote them to reserved IP addresses without actually losing the address or without having to restart your instance. Perhaps most of all Google is Google. They provide all kinds of services. Google Apps, Google Drive and Google Compute Engine. You'll be able to natively integrate anything you create with Google Compute Engine with those other services.

Again, Google may not have all the answers to every problem but there are certainly a great many problems that they can solve and it's certainly worth our time to learn more about how. Let's just briefly explore the key elements of the Google Cloud Platform. GCP places a heavy emphasis on app development to provide close control for API access. You can access all GCP resources through APIs note that most API access is enabled by default. They also offer a fully functioning repository management system in source code. The App Engine Platform allows you to deploy and manage your apps in real time from either of the browser-based dashboard or locally through the SDK. Compute Engine allows you to launch and manage virtual compute instances including persistent disks, OS images, virtual networks and load-balancing. You can either store globally available objects and data through Cloud Storage or use Cloud Data Store, which is a fully managed and globally accessible NoSQL data service.

About the Author
Learning Paths

David taught high school for twenty years, worked as a Linux system administrator for five years, and has been writing since he could hold a crayon between his fingers. His childhood bedroom wall has since been repainted.

Having worked directly with all kinds of technology, David derives great pleasure from completing projects that draw on as many tools from his toolkit as possible.

Besides being a Linux system administrator with a strong focus on virtualization and security tools, David writes technical documentation and user guides, and creates technology training videos.

His favorite technology tool is the one that should be just about ready for release tomorrow. Or Thursday.