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Words to go: Google cloud network services

Without a solid network, cloud resources can't communicate like they need to. If you're a Google cloud user, know these options to keep those communication lines strong.

Whether through the public internet or a private connection, each cloud computing model requires users to connect via a network. And a poorly designed network architecture can negatively affect other components within a cloud-based infrastructure.

Top public cloud providers, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), have their own native network offerings. Google cloud network services offer private and software-defined network options to manage virtual private clouds (VPCs), scale applications, reduce latency and more.

Get to know Google cloud network services and which might work best for your deployment with this list of key terms:

Google VPC: Google VPC is an isolated virtual network within Google's public cloud infrastructure. Admins can provision GCP resources, such as Google Compute Engine (GCE) VM instances or Google Container Engine containers, and choose to connect them or isolate them from each other. Within the VPC, multiple GCP projects can share a common network via a feature called Google Shared VPC Networks (XPN).

Cloud infrastructure components
Network is one component of cloud infrastructure.

Google offers two types of VPC networks: auto mode VPC networks, which are the default, and custom mode VPC networks. The difference between these two options is that custom mode VPC networks require enterprises to create subnets manually. For added security, users can secure their VPC network with identity and access management, as well as firewalls.

Google XPN: As mentioned above, Google XPN -- which is currently in beta -- enables multiple GCP projects to share one VPC network and resources. Each independent project maintains its own network configurations and security policies. This Google cloud network service is especially useful for hybrid cloud deployments or when separate groups within an enterprise manage multiple applications that interact on GCP.

Google Cloud Load Balancing: Google Cloud Load Balancing is a service that distributes traffic across different GCE compute resources and regions to ensure applications can scale. It places resources behind a single anycast IP to enable cross-region load balancing and is software-defined, rather than based on a physical device. There are five types of load balancing: HTTP(S), SSL proxy, TCP proxy, network and internal. To ensure application and content delivery, this service integrates with Google Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Google Cloud CDN: Google Cloud CDN uses global points of presence to more quickly deliver applications and website content to end users. GCE instance groups and Google Cloud Storage buckets move through the HTTP(S) load-balancing feature and then through the Google Cloud CDN. Google Cloud CDN then uses caches at the points of presence located at the edge of the Google network to reduce latency. Google Cloud CDN produces logs of what information the caches receive and enables you to delete unneeded content.

Google Cloud Interconnect: This Google cloud network service increases availability and reduces latency for traffic that travels from in-house enterprise systems to GCP. Google Cloud Interconnect providers, such as Backbone Connect, Colt and Equinix, offer direct connections to enable an enterprise's infrastructure to link to GCP. Admins can access all GCP services and use multiple Cloud Interconnect providers. Data-intensive applications especially benefit from this.

Google Cloud Domain Name System (DNS): This Google cloud network service frees enterprises from having to manage their own DNS servers and software. Users submit requests for domain names, and the Google DNS service translates them into IP addresses. The service also stores those addresses, along with other data, and allows users to search by name. Users can manage DNS records via the GCP Console or gcloud command-line tool or create their own DNS interface through a REST API.

Next Steps

Evolve your load-balancing strategy for multicloud

Compare virtual private cloud vs. on-prem infrastructure

Network updates become critical for cloud success

This was last published in June 2017

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Which Google cloud network service do you find most useful, and why?
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Hello Kathleen,

Very insightful post. My company was born in Telecom so we feel that network architecture needs to be performed in sync with the design of cloud services. You are correct they have to go hand in hand if the customer is going to have a great experience.  
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