Google Cloud Platform (GCP): Tools and Services
In the last few years, cloud computing has become an emergent field in the IT industry. There major cloud providers offer competing computation, storage, network, and application hosting services while providing coverage all over the globe promising the best on-demand prices and performance.
“Worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is forecast to grow 20.4% in 2022 to total $494.7 billion, up from $410.9 billion in 2021. In 2023, end-user spending is expected to reach nearly $600 billion.” – Gartner Research
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is the on-demand accessibility of computing power, storage, applications, and other IT resources through a cloud services platform via the internet with pay-as-you-go pricing. It uses remote servers or large clouds to store, manage and process data rather than a local server or personal computer.
Cloud-computing service providers offer solutions according to different models. The three standard models per NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) are:
• Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
• Platform as a Service (PaaS)
• Software as a Service (SaaS)
Popular Cloud Service Provider
In past ten years, companies have successfully launched and offered cloud services in different shapes, sizes, and types. Technology giants like Amazon (AWS cloud), Microsoft (Azure cloud), and Google (Google Cloud) have gained a major share in cloud services.
These providers offer several service plans suitable for both individual consumers and businesses.
What is Google Cloud Platform (GCP)?
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is turning into one of the most important and growing platforms in the cloud market. It provides developers with several products to build a range of programs, from simple websites to complex worldwide distributed applications. These outstanding reliability results in GCP are already benefiting eminent organizations such as Airbus, Coca-Cola, HTC, Spotify, etc.
Google Cloud Platform is a set of cloud computing services such as Storage, Hosting, Computing, Networking, Machine Learning, and Management Services. These services provided by Google run on the same Cloud infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Gmail, Google Search, Google Photos, and YouTube.
GCP solution for Data Engineering
GCP offers a wide range of solutions in the data engineering pipeline. The figure below shows the steps involved.
Ingestion means gathering data from multiple sources. This data could be of any type – structured, semi-structured, or unstructured data.
Batch processing and streaming are two ways data can be ingested in GCP. If you have batch data, you can use google cloud storage and different data transfer services available in the GCP environment, such as storage transfer services, BigQuery data transfer service, and transfer appliances.
For streaming data, PubSub is an available choice in Google Cloud Environment.
For storing a large amount of data GCP offers various cost-effective solutions that are secured, durable, scalable, offer high availability, and optimized. For different types of data formats, it has various storage solutions.
Process and Analyze
GCP offers tools through which we can process and analyze our data by writing complex queries to write simple one-line functions to process and analyze the data. Questions that can be answered in this step include:
• What kind of outcome one may want?
• What type of analysis one may want to perform?
• Converting data into meaning, etc.
Explore and Visualize
To visualize the results obtained from the process and analyze the steps in the data engineering pipeline, GCP offers solutions through which we can create dashboards, charts, reports, etc.
Google Cloud Platform Tools
The table shows tools that are available in GCP for four phases of the data engineering pipeline.
|Ingestion||Storage||Process & Analyze||Explore & Visualize|
Figure 2 Tools available in GCP
Google Cloud Platform Services
Google offers a wide range of cloud platform services. Following are the services that Google has to offer.
- Storage – GCP cloud storage offers a spectrum of storage options such as Cloud Storage, Persistent Disk, Cloud SQL, and more.
- Compute – GCP offers a scalable array of computing options you can customize to match your needs. It provides highly customizable virtual machines and engines to deploy your code directly or via containers.
- Networking – GCP offers a broad range of networking services that leverages automation, advanced AI, and programmability. It enables enterprises to connect, scale, modernize, secure, and augment their infrastructure.
- Data Processing – GCP’s data processing services enable its users to process data in the cloud to get faster solutions. It offers services like dataproc, dataprep, dataplow, pub/sub, and more.
- Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence – The unique feature of GCP is that it supports AI and ML. The GCP offers a wide range of AI and ML services that are prebuilt or built from scratch.
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) – The IAM services provided by Google Cloud are related to security and keeping data safe and encrypted.
- Developer Tools – The developer tools offered by GCP are designed for developers to enhance productivity when working on applications hosted in Google Cloud.
Summary of Service areas:
|Storage||Compute||Networking||Data Processing||ML & AI||Identity & Access Management||Developer Tools|
In a data-driven world, the Google Cloud Platform can offer a wide range of solutions that can help organizations in attaining their business needs and fulfilling their objectives. The various solutions offered by GCP are secured, durable, scalable, high availability, and optimized.