Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a collection of online services that organizations can use to build, host, and deliver applications. The best part is that GCP runs in Google’s data centers, so you can take advantage of Google’s global network and vast experience with serving applications to billions of people around the world.
In this course, you will get an overview of the GCP services available in various categories, such as compute, storage, and networking, and you will also see hands-on examples showing you how to create virtual machines and web apps using the Google Cloud Console and gcloud command-line interface.
- Describe some of the GCP services available in various categories
- Use the Google Cloud Console
- Use the gcloud command-line interface
- Anyone who would like to learn more about Google Cloud Platform
- General technical knowledge
- A Google Cloud Platform account is recommended (sign up for a free trial at https://cloud.google.com/free/ if you don’t have an account)
The GitHub repository for this course is at https://github.com/cloudacademy/gcp-overview.
Once you’ve deployed applications on GCP, you’ll need to maintain them. Google provides many services to help with that.
One of the most important is the Cloud Operations suite, which was formerly known as Stackdriver. Cloud Monitoring gives you a great overview of what’s happening with all of your resources. By default, it provides graphs showing metrics like CPU utilization, response latency, and network traffic. You can also create your own custom graphs and dashboards. But an even more critical feature is that you can set up alerts to notify you if there are problems. For example, you can set up an uptime check that alerts you if a virtual machine goes down.
Another useful service in the Cloud Operations suite is Cloud Logging. This is a central place where you can search all of the logs related to your resources, which can be very helpful for troubleshooting.
The suite also includes Error Reporting, Cloud Trace, Cloud Debugger, and Cloud Profiler to debug live applications and track down performance problems.
In addition to monitoring performance, you’ll also need to monitor security and compliance. Security Command Center gathers this information in one place. Its overview dashboard shows you active threats and vulnerabilities, ordered by severity. For example, if one of your applications is vulnerable to cross-site scripting attacks, then that vulnerability will show up in the list. Security Command Center also includes a compliance dashboard that lets you know about violations of compliance standards, such as PCI-DSS, in your GCP environment.
So far in this course, I’ve talked about creating GCP resources manually, but once you’re happy with a particular configuration for a resource, such as a virtual machine, you’ll probably want to create nearly identical resources in a more automated way.
Google’s solution is Cloud Deployment Manager. To use it, you create a configuration file with all the details of the GCP resources you want to create, and then you feed it to Cloud Deployment Manager. What makes it really powerful is that you can define the configuration of multiple, interconnected resources, such as two VM instances and a Cloud SQL database. Then you can deploy all of them at once.
Google has many other management tools as well, but these are the ones you’ll probably use the most often.
And that’s it for management services.
Guy launched his first training website in 1995 and he's been helping people learn IT technologies ever since. He has been a sysadmin, instructor, sales engineer, IT manager, and entrepreneur. In his most recent venture, he founded and led a cloud-based training infrastructure company that provided virtual labs for some of the largest software vendors in the world. Guy’s passion is making complex technology easy to understand. His activities outside of work have included riding an elephant and skydiving (although not at the same time).