Definition

Google Cloud Platform

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: An IT pro's survival guide for multicloud computing

Google Cloud Platform is a suite of public cloud computing services offered by Google. The platform includes a range of hosted services for compute, storage and application development that run on Google hardware. Google Cloud Platform services can be accessed by software developers, cloud administrators and other enterprise IT professionals over the public Internet or through a dedicated network connection.

The core cloud computing services in the Google Cloud Platform include:

  • Google Compute Engine: An infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering that provides users with virtual machine (VM) instances for workload hosting.
  • Google App Engine: A platform as a service (PaaS) offering that gives software developers access to Google's scalable hosting. Developers can also use a software developer kit (SDK) to develop software products that run on App Engine.
  • Google Cloud Storage: A cloud storage platform designed to store large, unstructured data sets. Google also offers database storage options including Cloud Datastore for NoSQL non-relational storage, Cloud SQL for MySQL fully-relational storage and Google's native Cloud Bigtable database.
  • Google Container Engine: A management and orchestration system for Docker containers that run within Google's public cloud. Google Container Engine is based on the Google Kubernetes container orchestration engine.

Google Cloud Platform also includes cloud services for data processing and analytics, such as Google BigQuery for SQL-like queries made against multi-terabyte data sets. In addition, Google Cloud Dataflow is a data processing service intended for analytics, extract transform and load (ETL) and real-time computational projects. The platform also includes Google Cloud Dataproc, which offers Apache Spark and Hadoop services for big data processing.

Google Cloud Platform also offers application development and integration services. For example, Google Cloud Pub/Sub is a managed and real-time messaging service that allows messages to be exchanged between applications. In addition, Google Cloud Endpoints allows developers to create services based on RESTful APIs, and then make those services accessible to Apple iOS, Android and JavaScript clients. Other pfferings include Anycast DNS servers, direct network interconnections, load balancing, monitoring and logging services.

The Google Cloud Platform suite of services is always evolving, and Google may periodically introduce, change or discontinue services based on user demand or competitive pressures. Google's main competitors in the public cloud computing market include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

This was last updated in January 2016

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Which Google Cloud Platform services do you find most beneficial?
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I have always liked Google cloud computing and think it better than some paid apps out there. I am glad Google are working to make our lives easier with their technology. Gustavo Woltmann
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While I use Google technology, Google App for Business, Google Doc, and Google Web Toolkit for our application development / framework, I have no choice to use AWS EC2 for our cloud platform which support any RDBMS including PostgreSQL which we use it as our main data storage. This happen because Google Storage limit themselves to NoSQL and its own MySQL , while it abandon no any RDBMS to integrate.
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