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A Google cloud services guide for the enterprise

Last updated:August 2016

Editor's note

Google has solidified its position as one of the top three public cloud providers, alongside Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. And with its growing services portfolio, Google is taking aim at the enterprise cloud market more than ever before.

Google Cloud Platform is a suite of public cloud services that includes Google Compute Engine for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and Google App Engine for platform as a service. The broader set of Google cloud services includes a plethora of features for cloud management, security, analytics, storage, big data and containers, as well as access to third-party products.

Still, despite the breadth of its cloud offerings, attracting enterprise customers has proven difficult for Google. Recent outages related to networking issues have users questioning Google cloud services' reliability and maturity.

Before making a final decision, use this guide to get a closer look at Google's public cloud, compare it to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure, and discover best practices for Google cloud management.

1Tips for Google Cloud Platform deployment and management

Price shouldn't be the only factor when choosing a cloud provider. Before selecting a vendor, evaluate what features and tools you require to run and manage cloud workloads, and if that provider meets your needs. Google Cloud Platform offers a wide range of services to consider, including compute, storage, big data, networking and more. Enterprises can choose between Google Compute Engine and Google App Engine or use a mix of the two. Regardless of which Google cloud services you deploy, it's critical to use numerous monitoring and management tools, including third-party products, to keep everything running smoothly.

2Google jumps into the container game

With hybrid and multiple cloud models on the rise, the need for portability is in high demand, and containers help meet that need. After the quick rise of Docker, Google stepped up to the plate with Kubernetes, Google's open source system for managing containers across numerous cloud environments. With Google Container Engine, users can manage and orchestrate Docker containers and container clusters that run within Google cloud services. Since Google infrastructure runs containers and has for years, some experts say it might have a leg up on competition -- but there is always room for improvement.

3Google goes head-to-head with AWS, Azure

Google, AWS and Azure are the market leaders in public cloud computing, and continually fight for the top spot. AWS is the first choice for many IT pros, because of its maturity in the market and its large selection of offerings, but Azure is gaining momentum due to its already established presence in enterprises. Google may be in third place, according to many industry analysts and experts, but the vendor's competitive pricing and new features -- particularly around big data and containers -- could help it rise in popularity.

4Google bets big on cloud storage, big data services

The need for big data services is growing, as enterprises search for valuable insights that can give them a competitive advantage. Hoping to get ahead of this trend, Google cloud services provide a number of tools to analyze, monitor and store large amounts of data. In addition, Google Cloud Storage now includes standard storage; DRA, which has lower availability than standard storage; and Nearline, an archival storage offering. Evaluate these storage and big data options and see if Google has what you need.

5Important Google terms to know

Whether you are a Google cloud novice or an expert, it is always important to know the appropriate terminology. Get better acquainted, or reacquainted, with Google cloud services through these key definitions.

6All the Google tweets fit to print