Google Cloud Fundamentals, Storage, Pricing

2022-06-16 23:30:33 By : Ms. Sunny Zhang

Google Cloud is a public cloud service that will enable customers to calculate, store, and design applications.

Google Cloud is defined as a public cloud service that allows customers to compute, store, and develop applications without significant on-premise investments in hardware and software. This article explains what Google Cloud is, its services, and its pricing.

Google Cloud is a public cloud service allowing customers to compute, store, and develop applications without significant on-premise investments in hardware and software.

Google Cloud traces back to 2008 when it released a preview of ‘App Engine.’ App Engine was a cloud service available to 10,000 developers to run their web applications. It offered fixed storage, bandwidth, and CPU cycles. App Engine morphed into the official Google Cloud in 2011, five years after Amazon released its cloud service AWS.

Today, software developers aren’t the only ones using the cloud to run their projects. Entire organizations run on the cloud, which means that Google Cloud is used by developers, administrators, DevOps teams, and security professionals. Google Cloud’s main clientele is enterprises with a budding group of programmers without any data centers or on-premise servers.

Google Cloud is poised to help businesses go digital with its multiple offerings. Like all cloud vendors, it promises high availability and reduced latency. This means that the technology is tuned for maximum efficiency. This expertise is usually unavailable in-house, especially in small businesses.

Besides efficiency, using cloud services such as Google Cloud is the best way to keep up with technological advancements. They also ensure that industry regulations are followed, no matter the server location.

You should note that Google Cloud is different from Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Google Cloud combines services such as infrastructure hosting, big data analysis, and content delivery networks (CDN) . Google Cloud Platform is the specific Google Cloud service that focuses on infrastructure, particularly for hosting web applications. 

Google Cloud’s biggest competitors are:

Google Cloud stands firmly at the third position in the cloud vendor market. One of Google Cloud’s most significant advantages is its seamless integration with its other services. Google is known for its services such as Google Workspace and Google Ads. This and flexibility at both service and pricing levels make it highly attractive to organizations. Google Cloud reported a 46.5% growth in revenue in 2021.

Google Cloud’s offerings combine physical hardware such as hard disks and virtual resources like virtual machines (VMs). These assets are located in the various Google data centers across the globe.

Every Google data center is located in a region . These regions are usually large parts of continents, particularly North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. An example of a Google Cloud region is Asia-east1.

Each region consists of several zones , all isolated from each other. For instance, Asia-east1-a and Asia-east1-b are two zones in the Asia-east1 region.

Every organization needs to decide on what its cloud requirements are and what resources it needs for uninterrupted operation. The scope of operation depends on what resources are required. For example, an entire network is a global resource, while segmented networks are regional resources. 

Every resource used on Google Cloud is part of a project. A project is how resources of different requirements or applications are logically organized. Each project comes with its settings, permissions, and metadata. Resources within the same project have the freedom of communication and integration. Resources of different projects can only work with each other using a shared virtual private cloud (VPC) .

Billing is done at a project level, with each project associated with one billing account.

A basic understanding of these components allows businesses to organize their requirements and resources while optimizing costs effectively.

Google Cloud’s data clean room is called Ads Data Hub (ADH). It is a service that compares Google’s aggregated user data with the advertiser’s data to spot opportunities and gaps in ad targeting. Data is encrypted, and no personally identifiable information (PII) is available to anyone.

See More: What Is Cloud Computing? Definition, Benefits, Types, and Trends

When it comes to cloud computing, the term ‘service’ refers to the software and hardware consumed by the user. This hardware and software vary on the system being deployed on the cloud. A truly streamlined cloud offering provides the appropriate channels to access and maintain these resources. Google Cloud boasts of 100+ products that address all of the above.

Regarding hardware, Google Cloud offers different types based on the machine family . A machine family is a set of curated processors and hardware configurations optimized for specific workloads. The different machine families available are:

Each of these machine families does not just rely on hardware. Google Cloud uses appropriate architecture and configuration for optimal functioning.

The term software here is used loosely to describe the various products that serve different functionalities and run on different algorithms. Google Cloud offers various software services to go along with its infrastructure offering. These products are broadly classified into:

To empower programmers and DevOps personnel, Google Cloud also provides:

Besides these, Google Cloud provides a separate service to enable hybrid and multi-cloud environments . Anthos, a Google Cloud solution that enables existing apps with the ability to upgrade to newer technology, is useful in multi-cloud situations. It also provides services tailored toward specific industry verticals such as healthcare, media, and gaming. Support for processing biomedical data in life science-related applications is currently in beta.

Among these services, the most demanded are the compute engine, cloud storage, CDN and SDK, BigQuery, Kubernetes Engine, Cloud SQL, and Anthos. One can find a comprehensive list of every Google Cloud service here .

With so many services to choose from, a complex system can easily become overwhelming. With this in mind, Google Cloud provides three ways for customers to interact with their systems:

See More: Private vs. Public Cloud: 10 Key Comparisons

Calculating the costs of cloud computing services can quickly get complicated because of the different hardware and service-level options involved. Google Cloud has one of the most transparent and flexible pricing systems, especially compared to cloud mammoths such as AWS.

As with all other cloud vendors, Google Cloud runs on a pay-as-you-go payment system. No up-front fees are charged, and termination can be done without penalties. 

Each of Google Cloud’s services has a different pricing model. But most of them have a few common resources, such as CPU cycles, memory consumption, data storage, and connectivity. The total billing amount depends on how much each unit consumed, plus service-specific charges.

Google Cloud provides a pricing calculator to make it easy for consumers to estimate costs. However, it is essential to note that, to estimate costs, businesses must have a meticulously compiled list of resources needed for each requirement they wish to fulfill. 

For example, to consume a Cloud Run service, consumers need to know:

Besides these parameters, they will also need to choose the correct region for optimal load balancing and minimizing latency.

Estimated Pricing for a Cloud Run Project, Dated May 2022

Total billing is listed in a comprehensive dashboard, summing up the total usage of every service. 

For instance, Text-to-Speech is a service that is priced based on the number of characters sent to the service to be synthesized into audio every month. After the first four million characters, it costs $4.00 per one million characters. 

Compute Engine GPUs are an individual service. Users can attach more GPUs to an instance to accelerate specific workloads. Depending on the configuration of the GPU, the costs are added to the price of the instance. For example, a 40GB NVIDIA A100 GPU costs $2.934 per GPU.

An E2 machine-type model is a general-purpose cost-optimized machine with up to 32 virtual CPUs (vCPUs), 128 GB of memory, and a maximum of 8 GB per vCPU. An E2 instance with predefined memory costs $0.002923 / GB hour. 

The final billing would reflect the monthly cost of the E2 model, the GPU, and the Text-to-Speech service usage. Google recalculates these figures each second.

Usage is rounded up to the nearest minute, and use per minute is added for final billing, with applicable discounts.

The costs mentioned above are as of May 2022. A complete list of the current pricing for all the services Google Cloud provides is provided here . 

Google Cloud stands out in the market for its consumer-friendly pricing and deep discounts. Google Cloud was the first to offer a pay-per-second billing model when its competitors were billing per minute. The ‘Committed Use’ pricing plan offers substantial discounts to users who, one or three years in advance, commit to a certain level of usage.

Google Cloud Discounts Based on Committed Use

It also offers the ‘Sustained Use’ discount. This is applied automatically based on percentage usage across the month. 

Google Cloud offers $300 in free credits to begin with. This gives organizations an idea of how many resources and services it would need to run and deploy their workloads. Limits to each service are described in detail in their ‘Free Tier usage limits’ section.

Google Cloud also provides representatives to help customers with their pricing estimates. Apart from this, it also has a 24×7 billing support team for any issues faced after onboarding.

See More: What Is Hybrid Cloud? Definition, Architecture, and Management Best Practices for 2021

Google Cloud is a vendor geared towards programmers. Google is famed for innovation and cutting-edge technology. This reflects on Google Cloud, with its advanced networking and edge-caching services. That being said, Google Cloud does offer fewer services than its leading competitors. However, for small and medium enterprises that cannot swallow the costs of AWS, Google Cloud is well worth exploring. 

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