Back in October, I attended the Google Cloud OnBoard, a free, full-day training event hosted in various cities across the country that provides developers with in-depth training and certification to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Prior to attending, I already had some experience with the platform: from the always reliable Google Maps and Analytics APIs to a passing curiosity in some of their machine learning tools such as TensorFlow and the Vision API. But to my surprise, I ended up learning its depth of cloud capabilities is much more extensive than expected.
An Infrastructure for Success
From the moment the first speaker stepped onto the stage, Google made it very clear that through GCP they wanted to be the partner for any company focused on growing their business. In the past, knowledge of the infrastructure was necessary for providing any type of digital service. What Google hopes to do is carry that responsibility so that customers can focus on providing solutions and of course, continue to leverage the capabilities the company has been known for.
In effect, though every business has its own unique needs, Google has built out the common patterns into a tech infrastructure that allows for easy startup and incredible scalability as well as for customers to seamlessly integrate data-driven and collaborative solutions.
Your Gracious Cloud Host
Netplus recently moved some of its client websites onto Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help alleviate some of the flexibility issues experienced on previous hosting platforms. It hasn’t been a seamless transition, but we’ve benefited from the high customizability, reliability and above all, scalability the services provide.
When the OnBoard sessions started to dive into detailed training and demonstrations on the GCP, it was easy to see some of its similarities to AWS. Some features that jumped out at me during the presentation:
- Fully automated out of the box
- Baseline services to make migration as simple as possible
- Multiple options available for hosting environment and data storage
- Google Stackdriver, which provides in-depth monitoring of all utilized services
- Integrated content delivery, development environment and repository storage
It’s also exciting to think of the integration possibilities with their existing services that we already use (e.g., Google Maps).
Though my working knowledge of AWS and GCP doesn’t allow for a precise comparison between the two platforms, my experience with AWS helped deepen my understanding of the OnBoard coverage and the possibility of utilizing GCP in the future.
Schooling the Machine
The latter presentations focused on the capabilities beyond cloud infrastructure and hosting that were being added to GCP. Some quick takeaways:
- Their Big Data platform includes various services that provide quick, customizable analysis and visualization of massive datasets on the fly.
- Their Machine Learning APIs analyze content/meaning of text (e.g., extracting and encoding of personalized information) and translate through images and real-time focus.
- Their message-oriented middleware provides inter-application streaming, online and offline push notifications and asynchronous monitoring.
In the end, I left the conference with my mind buzzing with the possibilities that the platform could provide for our agency and clients alike. It was a day packed with presentations and tutorials that showcased how much Google had leveraged the infrastructure into the cloud, and I look forward to the opportunity to apply what I learned in the near future. Been using GCP? Let us know what you think!