The Essence of Cloud Computing: Google Cloud Platform

The Cloud Computing era.

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Cloud computing has imposed itself on mobile technology and it keeps trying to blend itself with the needs of the software and operating system.2020 will be a big year for cloud computing.

But what do we understand about the cloud?

When a US scientist, J.C.R Licklider Invented the intergalactic computer network in the 60s, no one would predict the milestones to be achieved with the invention of this technology from Amazon’s AWS web services, Microsoft azure cloud services to Google cloud.

1962- His ideas foretold of graphical computing, point-and-click interfaces, digital libraries, e-commerce, online banking, and software that would exist on a network and migrate wherever it was needed. (courtesy)

Devs talk of platforms offered in these cloud services have been modified over the years to offer services i.e. Platform as a service (PaaS).

Platform as a service, or PaaS, is cloud computing model that provides users with hosted development kits, database tools, and application management capabilities. Third-party vendors provide users with virtual resources to build, deploy, and launch software applications, reducing the need for back-end software development. Businesses utilize PaaS to outsource hosting, database construction, cloud security capabilities, and data storage. Companies often use PaaS clouds as scalable platforms for new or expanding applications to larger audiences.

This avoids long-term investments in development time and middleware through a pay-as-you-grow model. The service tends to function through a usage-rate pricing model, allowing for growth and flexibility. The service is used by development teams as an alternative to constructing and hosting the back ends of applications with an integrated development environment (IDE). Hosted database and storage services include similar capabilities to mobile backend as a service(mBaaS) products, but those are specifically for mobile applications.

To qualify for inclusion in the PaaS category, a product must:

  • Provide hosted databases creation tools
  • Provide a development platform
  • Provide application management tools
  • Possess capabilities to deploy applications

Developers have been able to build and deploy their applications in the cloud from a variety of tech giants to competitively select from; Microsoft AZURE, Amazon Web services, Google cloud platform, IBM Bluemix and Alibaba Cloud.

Modern technologies like big data analytics, IoT, artificial intelligence and even web and mobile hosting all need heavy computing power thus the huge dependence of these services in  2020 and the years to come is huge.

What is Google Cloud Platform?

Google cloud platform is a public cloud-based machine which delivers services to customers on an as-you-go basis. Public cloud lets users to leverage its resources empowering applications that you build and allow you to reach a broader base of customers.

Google is doing its job. Producing more sharper and customer-focused services and products.

There are two major categories of products and services Google offer on the cloud; G-Suite which is the Googles suite of applications and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Google products that are widely used by smartphone users across the world, include but not limited to, the Google Maps, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google assistant, YouTube, Google Drive and The Play store.

Every smartphone user would tell you how easy it is to set up a google account which in turn is a gateway to all these services. With a single google account you can store all your data including your contacts and directories. With google being consistent on privacy of user data, they believe that trust is created through transparency, and they want to be transparent about their commitments and what you can expect when it comes to their shared responsibility for protecting and managing your data in the cloud, statistics show that people trust google more than Apple for their user data.

This should not come as a surprise as Apple is constantly involved in lawsuits that involve lobbying of user data to third party Ad agencies to earn more revenue, especially in I-Tunes.

Google Cloud Platform is believed to have a competitive approach in the following strengths;

  1. Creative Cost Control-Google’s strategy with GCP is to enable cost competitiveness in some scenarios.
  2. Friendlier acceptance to newbies-Cloud computing can be very overwhelming especially for newbies but Google has made it easy by offering step by step process for most common tasks.
  3. Automated Deployment of modern apps-Developers prefer to build their apps in the cloud to begin with (cloud-native).

Services of Google Cloud Platform

  • Google Compute Engine (GCE)- Exists entirely as a software for hosting virtual machines (VMs and Servers)
  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE, formerly Google Container Engine)-Engineered for deployment of cloud platforms.
  • Google App Engine- This is cloud-native development; building, deploying and evolving the application all remotely. This provides developers with tools and languages such as Python and even Microsoft’s .Net languages for building and deployment of apps directly to Google Cloud.
  • Google Cloud Storage- this is GCPs object data store, which accepts data and presents it to the user in whichever way most useful.

There are several other services that GCP offers not mentioned above.

Here in Kenya, we have several companies which front in offering cloud computing services as IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and IaaS. These include data centers, network operators, servers and virtual servers are Cloud pap, Pamoja cloud, Liquid telecom, MTN, Safaricom and Angani.

There have been tremendous steps that African tech companies have taken to include these services and offer competitive prices for developers to deploy their products on their cloud infrastructure.


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