Home » What is Google Cloud? The Ultimate Guide [2022]

What is Google Cloud? The Ultimate Guide [2022]

What is Google Cloud

Google Cloud Platform is the on-demand delivery of computing services over the internet that offers faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. This includes providing servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and business intelligence to businesses and consumers alike, without requiring these users to maintain any physical infrastructure.

How does it work?

In the cloud, customers and cloud service providers operate using fundamentally different responsibility models. The image shows the Google Cloud Shared Services Model:

In this shared responsibility model, the cloud offers a few new concepts, namely, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and as a bonus, serverless, or Function as a Service (FaaS), a term used these days to describe fully serverless environments.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS provides the most flexible cloud computing model and enables you to retain the most control over your infrastructure. Google Compute Engine is an example. With an IaaS solution, you can deploy virtual machine environments onto servers, giving you full ownership of the infrastructure end-to-end, without having to manage the physical servers yourself. IaaS does have limitations as well; for example, you need more overhead to manage your resources, since you retain a lot of control. That inherently means you have a lot more responsibility for the security of your environments.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

The PaaS model offers a simple, cost-effective solution to developing and deploying applications on a scalable and highly available platform. PaaS typically offers development teams a lot more speed for application deployment, and because it typically ramps up and down based on usage, a PaaS solution can be more cost-effective.

Google App Engine is an example; however, while developer expertise has evolved, App Engine is no longer the default model, and the current trend for consuming cloud computing by application developers is to use Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), which falls somewhere in the middle between PaaS and IaaS.

Some of the limitations of PaaS concern data security, since the cloud service provider controls the underlying infrastructure; vendor lock-in (although this is not an issue with GKE); operational limitations; and a lack of full developer flexibility.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

The SaaS model is the most familiar to everyone, in which an application is delivered over the Internet through a web browser, without the need to download or install anything on the client side. SaaS solutions are advantageous for software that is designed to perform a general set of tasks and to disallow a developer end user to customize or modify the application.

Examples of SaaS are Salesforce, Intuit QuickBooks, and Google Workspace. There are several limitations to SaaS: these solutions are designed to solve only certain use cases and are not designed as solutions that enable developers the freedom to build.

Google Drive, for example, is a SaaS solution designed purely for file storage on the Internet. End users don’t have much control here beyond the service catalog of options Google Drive provides. Major implications of SaaS are vendor lock-in, lack of interoperability, lack of control and customization, and concerns about data security.

Overview of Google cloud

In order to understand the Google Cloud Platform we are going to have an overview of its products and services. There are the following main services offered by Google in the form of solutions:

  1. Compute Solutions
  2. Storage Solutions
  3. Database Solutions
  4. Data Analytics
  5. Networking Solutions
  6. Operations Solutions
  7. Developer Tools
  8. Hybrid Cloud and Multi-Cloud Solutions
  9. Migration Solutions
  10. Security and Identity Solutions

What are GCP Compute Solutions?

GCP includes various computing- and application-level offerings:

Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine (GCE) is an IaaS solution that enables users to launch virtual machines (VMs) on demand. With GCE, users manage the entire underlying infrastructure associated with the VM instances, including the machine types. VMs can be launched on predefined or custom machine sizes.

GCE supports live migration, OS patch management, preemptible VMs (PVMs), and more. It is similar to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

Preemptible Virtual Machine

Preemptible virtual machines (PVMs) are low-cost, short-term instances that are intended to run batch jobs and fault-tolerant workloads on Compute Engine. They offer significant cost savings, typically up to 80 percent, while still offering the same performance and capabilities of regular VMs. It is similar to Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.

Google App Engine

Google App Engine (GAE) is a PaaS solution that offers a fully managed, serverless application platform for building and deploying applications, without users having to manage the underlying infrastructure. With no server management and no configuration deployments, developers can focus on building applications.

GAE supports popular development languages such as Go, Ruby, PHP, Java, Node.js, Python, C#, and .NET Framework, and you can bring your own language runtimes and frameworks. It is similar to AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

Google Kubernetes Engine

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a PaaS solution that offers a secure managed Kubernetes (K8s) service. GKE offers enterprise-ready containerized solutions with prebuilt deployment templates, enabling customers to ensure portability, with simplified licensing and consolidated billing.

GKE is the direction that most modern enterprises and cloud-natives are heading, and although you may not encounter much about it on the exam, it’s very important for the modern Google Cloud Architect to learn. It is similar to Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).

Cloud Run

Cloud Run is a PaaS solution that offers a fully managed compute platform for deploying and scaling containerized applications. Cloud Run eliminates infrastructure management and is able to scale up and down on demand, charging only for the exact resources used.

It supports any language, library, or binary and is built upon the open standard Knative. It is similar to AWS Fargate.

Cloud Functions

Cloud Functions is a FaaS offering and is an event-driven, serverless computing platform. With Cloud Functions, you can run your code locally or in the cloud without having to provision any servers.

It scales up or down on demand, so it is cost-effective, and you pay only for what you use. Developers can write code, and Google Cloud does the rest. It is similar to AWS Lambda.

What are GCP Storage Solutions?

There are the following Storage solutions that are available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage (GCS) is a globally unified, scalable, and highly durable object storage offering. It offers object life cycle management to move your data automatically to lower-cost storage classes based on criteria you define to optimize your cost.

GCS is often used for content delivery, data lakes, and backup. It offers varying service level agreement (SLA) availability levels depending on the storage class, ranging from 99.0 to 99.95 percent. It is similar to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

Cloud Filestore

Cloud Filestore provides high-performance, managed file storage for applications that require a file system. Like the Network File System (NFS) protocol, Filestore offers the ability to stand up a network-attached storage on your GCE or GKE instances.

Filestore is highly consistent, fast, fully managed, and scalable using Elastifile to grow or shrink your clusters. Filestore offers a 99.9 percent SLA availability level. It is similar to Amazon Elastic File System (EFS).

Persistent Disk

Persistent Disk (PD) provides high-performance, durable block storage for solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD) devices, which can be attached to GCE or GKE instances.

Storage volumes can be resized and backed up and support simultaneous reads. It is similar to Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS).

Local SSD

Local solid-state drives (SSDs) are high-performance, ephemeral block storage disks that are physically attached to the servers that host your VM instances. They offer superior performance, high input/output operations per second (IOPS), and ultra–low latency compared to other block storage options.

They are typically used for temporary storage use cases such as caching or scratch processing space—think of workloads such as high-performance computing (HPC), media rendering, and data analytics. It is similar to Amazon EC2 SSD-based instance store volumes.

What are GCP Database Solutions?

There are the following GCP database solutions that are offered by Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

Cloud Bigtable

Cloud Bigtable is a fully managed and scalable NoSQL database for large analytical and operational workloads. It’s able to handle millions of requests per second at a consistent sub-10ms latency.

Bigtable is ideal for things like personalization engines, advertising technology (ad-tech), digital media, and Internet of Things (IoT), and it connects easily to other database services such as BigQuery and the Apache ecosystem. Bigtable offers a 99.99 percent SLA availability level. It is similar to Amazon DynamoDB.

Cloud SQL

Cloud SQL is a fully managed relational database for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server, offering a simple integration from just about any application such as GCE, GKE, or GAE. You can use BigQuery to directly query your Cloud SQL databases.

CloudSQL offers a 99.95 percent SLA availability level. It is similar to the Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS).

Cloud Spanner

Cloud Spanner is a fully managed, scalable, relational database for regionally and globally distributed application data. It offers the benefits of a relational database structure while scaling horizontally like a nonrelational database, allowing for strong consistency across rows, regions, and contents with a 99.999 percent SLA availability level.

Cloud Spanner solved a major issue with traditional databases by eliminating the trade-off between scale and consistency with its horizontally scaling, low latency, and highly consistent characteristics. Cloud Spanner is similar to Amazon Aurora, but Aurora’s biggest benefit is performance over RDS and MySQL/PostgreSQL compatibility.

Cloud Spanner promises a high-performance, globally distributed RDBMS, which is not MySQL/PostgreSQL compatible.

Cloud Firestore

Cloud Firestore is a fully managed, fast, serverless, cloud-native NoSQL document database that is designed for mobile, web, and IoT applications at global scale. Firestore is the next generation of Datastore, which was the original highly scalable NoSQL database for mobile and web-based applications.

Firestore offers a 99.999 percent SLA availability level. It is similar to Amazon DynamoDB. The key differentiator between Firestore and Bigtable is that Firestore is designed for mobile applications and Bigtable is designed for analytical workloads.


Memorystore is a scalable, secure, and highly available in-memory service for Redis and Memcached. It enables you to build application caches that provide sub-millisecond data access, and it’s entirely compatible with open source Redis and Memcached.

Memorystore provides a 99.9 percent SLA availability level. It is similar to Amazon ElastiCache.

What are GCP Data Analytics Solutions?

There are the following Data Analytics Solutions available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  1. BigQuery
  2. Dataproc
  3. Dataflow
  4. Pub/Sub
  5. Cloud Composer

What are GCP Networking Solutions?

There are the following Networking solutions that are available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  1. Global Resources
  2. Region
  3. Zone
  4. Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)
  5. Subnet
  6. Shared VPC
  7. Cloud DNS
  8. VPC Flow Logs
  9. Firewall
  10. Cloud Content Delivery Network
  11. Cloud Load Balancing
  12. Cloud NAT
  13. Cloud VPN
  14. Cloud Interconnect
  15. Peering
  16. VPC Network Peering
  17. Private Google Access Options

What are GCP Operations Solutions?

There are the following Operations Solutions that are available at Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  1. Cloud Logging
  2. Cloud Monitoring
  3. Cloud Trace

What are GCP Developer Tools?

There are the following Developer Tools that are available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  1. Cloud SDK
  2. Cloud Source Repositories
  3. Container Registry

What are GCP Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Solutions?

Anthos is a fairly new offering from Google Cloud. It is Google Cloud’s solution to the increasing need for hybrid and multi-cloud PaaS requirements and for preventing vendor lock-in. With Anthos, you can run, manage, and govern applications in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment

 Anthos GKE enables you to run enterprise-grade container orchestration and management in cloud and on-premises environments.

What are GCP Migration Solutions?

There are the following Migration Solutions that are available at the Google Cloud Platform (GCP):

  1. Storage Transfer Service
  2. Transfer Appliance

What are GCP Security and Identity Solutions?

There are the following Security and Identity Solutions that are available at the Google Cloud Platform (GCP):S

  1. Cloud Asset Inventory
  2. Security Command Center
  3. Cloud Audit Logs
  4. VPC Service Controls
  5. Access Transparency
  6. Cloud Data Loss Prevention
  7. Cloud Key Management Service
  8. Cloud HSM

What is Google Cloud example?

Examples of some major enterprises that are signed by Google Cloud are:

  1. Equifax
  2. Home Depot
  3. McKesson
  4. Disney
  5. Snap
  6. Salesforce
  7. PayPal
  8. HSBC

What is the point of Google Cloud?

Google Cloud is continuing to grow at a rapid pace as an alternative cloud service provider with several advantages. Four key core competencies and a set of principles based on system design provide the framework for GCP’s design that are explained below.

Security First

Security and data protection is at the core of Google and its products. As a customer of the Google Cloud, you own your data and control how it is used. GCP also has strong internal controls and auditing features that protect customers against insider access to their data.

It offers continuous security monitoring and several security features as part of its shared responsibility model, providing its customers confidence that their businesses are safe from malicious activities.

Open Cloud

It’s become increasingly evident throughout the evolution of the cloud that customers don’t want to lock themselves into one cloud provider; instead, they often use the strengths of various cloud providers for different aspects of their business and for business continuity.

Google offers an open cloud that enables customers to leverage multiple different clouds and follow a common development and operations approach to deliver their applications.

Analytics and Artificial Intelligence

Analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) remain two of Google’s strong points as a company that is heavily data driven. GCP offers fully managed, serverless analytics products and services that eliminate the constraints of scale, performance, and cost.

GCP empowers customers to leverage real-time insights, enabling them to improve their decision-making and accelerate innovation—all without having to manage any infrastructure.

Global Data Centers and Network

Google Cloud was built on the same infrastructure that Google uses to serve more than 100,000 employees and billions of consumers worldwide. This massive private network consists of more than 24 regions, 73 zones, and 144 network edge locations and is available in more than 200 countries and territories.

This is arguably the largest and most advanced software-defined network, delivering the highest level of performance and availability in a secure and sustainable way.

This global backbone has been tested and vetted with billions of users worldwide, using all of Google’s products and internal technology. Building a cloud on top of this backbone only makes sense, especially when reliability is increasingly one of the more important performance indicators for successful businesses.

Do you have to pay for Google Cloud?

Google Cloud Platform offers pay-as-you-go pricing model which means that you only have to pay for the resources and services you use and not for those that you don’t utilize. Whereas in case of other alternative services to Cloud Computing, we often have to pay for resources and services that we don’t even utilize.

Is Google Cloud a database

Google Cloud Platform is a platform that offers different services including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc.

Who is market leader in cloud?

Obviously, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the market leader in cloud services because of its huge global network and it is the most matured and the oldest Cloud services provider in the market as it first started in 2006.

What is AWS (Amazon Web Services)? | The Ultimate Guide [2022]
What is Microsoft Azure? | The Ultimate Guide [2022]

What is Google Cloud certification?

Anyone can register himself online for the Google Cloud Platform foundational level certification for the role of Cloud Digital Leader.

This certification is for anyone who wishes to demonstrate their knowledge of cloud computing basics and how Google Cloud products and services can be used to achieve an organization’s goals.

The Cloud Digital Leader Exam assesses your knowledge in these areas:

  1. Digital Transformation with Google Cloud (10% of Exam)
  2. Infrastructure and Application Modernization (30% of the Exam)
  3. Innovating with Data and Google Cloud (30% of the exam)
  4. Google Cloud Security and Operations (30% of the Exam)

There are a total of three Google Cloud Platform Certifications and you can know about them in detail here.

What is Google Cloud? The Ultimate Guide [2022]
Article Name
What is Google Cloud? The Ultimate Guide [2022]
Unlock the Ultimate Guide To: What is Google Cloud? How does it work? Overview of Google Cloud Platform? Who is market leader in Cloud?......
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Malik Kamal Akbar

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