Google Cloud Platform

PDF version of this report
You must have Adobe Acrobat reader to view, save, or print PDF files. The reader
is available for free

Cloud Platform

by Michael

Docid: 00021062

Publication Date: 2110

Report Type: PRODUCT


Google’s Cloud Computing Platform consists primarily of its Compute Engine, a relatively straightforward
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering designed to run large scale
workloads on virtualized machines,
and Google App Engine, a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Web application development and hosting
environment. App Engine enables customers to develop and deploy Web applications using
Google’s cloud computing infrastructure, the same systems that serve

Report Contents:


[return to top of this report]

The term "cloud computing" generally connotes the ability to access
computing resources, like application programs or infrastructure assets, over a network; in most cases,
the Internet.


Related Faulkner Reports
Cloud Computing Trends Tutorial
Google Company Profile
Google Google Workspace Apps Product Report
Amazon Web Services Product Report
Microsoft Azure Product

Cloud computing is designed to liberate computer users – and developers –
from conventional data center-related resource constraints, delivering on-demand
computing power, storage, and services from the Internet
"cloud." The cloud, of course, is a metaphor for any unseen
computing resources made available free – or for a fee – by services
providers like IBM, HP, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

Google’s principal cloud computing services consist of:

  • Google Compute Engine: Virtual Machines (VMs) – An Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
    offering designed to run large scale workloads on virtualized machines;
  • Google App Engine – A Platform-as-a-Service Web application development and hosting
    environment enabling customers to develop and deploy Web applications using
    Google’s cloud computing infrastructure, the same systems that serve 

The company also offers a selection of related and complimentary services,

  • Compute
    • App Engine – A Platform as a Service (PAAS) offering designed to support both app
      and application backends.

    • Kubernetes Engine – A solution for running containers
      on a GCP framework.

    • Container Registry – A secured private storage locker for the
      storage of app images and other development assets.
  • Storage Classes
    • Standard – Recommended for data used by Web sites,
      streaming services, and mobile apps.
    • Nearline Storage – A "low-cost" service designed
      for data that won't be needed for at least 30 days.
    • Coldline Storage – A "very low-cost" service for
      data that can be stored for at least 90 days. Recommended for disaster
      recover purposes.
    • Archive Storage – A "lowest-cost" service for data
      that can be stored for at least 365 days. Recommended for regulatory


    • Virtual Private Cloud – A managed network for Google Cloud Platform
    • Cloud Load Balancing – Automatic scaling and load balancing of
      compute engine tasks.
    • Cloud CDN – A fairly straightforward content delivery network
      with a global services area and built-in SSL support.
    • Cloud Interconnect – An enterprise-grade tool for connection to
      cloud platform customers with low latencies and high availability.
    • Cloud DNS – A cloud-based domain name system that runs on the
      same infrastructure as Google’s own Web sites.
  • BigQuery: Cloud Data Warehouse
    • BigQuery – A solution capable of analyzing "Big Data"
      scale projects in the cloud with the ability to run "SQL-like
      queries against multi-terabyte datasets in seconds."
    • BigQuery ML – Allows data scientists to "build and
      operationalize ML models on planet-scale structured or semi-structured
    • BigQuery GIS – Combines serverless architecture
      with native support for geospatial analytics.
    • BigQuery BI Engine – An in-memory analysis service
      designed to rapidly process large and complex datasets.
    • Connected Sheets – A service for analyzing
      "billions of rows of live BigQuery data in Google Sheets without
      requiring SQL knowledge."
  • Services
    • Cloud Endpoints – A service for creating RESTful services for
      use by customers on iOS, Android, and Javascript clients. 
  • Developer Tools
    • Cloud SDK – A development kit for creating tools and
      libraries on the Google Cloud platform
    • Android Studio – A method of applying Google’s Cloud Platform
      as a back-end for a developing Android Application
  • Machine Learning
    • AI Platform- A set of scalable machine
      learning tools for cloud-based services with a focus on building machine
      learning models quickly and easily.
    • Cloud Natural Language API – A cloud-based natural language
      analysis tool that is capable of understanding sentiment and intent in
      user-generated statements.
    • Cloud Translation API – A tool for translating between written
      languages via cloud computing.
    • Cloud Vision AI – A tool for analyzing photographs and images
      using Google’s REST API. It can be used for sentiment analysis, the
      detection of inappropriate content, and sentiment analysis.
  • Internet of Things
    • Cloud IoT Core – A secure device connection and
      management platform for IoT deployments of various sizes.
    • Cloud IoT Device SDK – A software development kit designed
      specifically for creating software for use in conjection with IoT
      microcontroller-class devices.

Name: Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
Phone: (650) 623-4000
Fax: (650) 618-1499
Type of Vendor: Internet Search Engine
Founded: 1998
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: GOOG

In addition to the more technically-minded offerings above, Google’s Cloud
Computing Services also include its well-known Google Apps offerings, including
its Webmail and productivity solutions.

Service area

Figure 1. Google Cloud Platform Service Map

Google currently offers its cloud platform services in a total of 28 regions
and 85 zones. This includes 146 edge locations spread across over 200
countries around the globe. Google's newest expansions include new holdings
Doha, Qatar; Paris, France; Milan, Italy; Santiago, Chile; Madrid, Spain; Turin,
Italy; Columbus, Ohio (US); and Berlin, Germany.

Google Workspace

Google Workspace, formerly G Suite, is a Web-based hosted solution, which means customers can access
their applications at any time, anywhere they have an Internet connection.

With Workspace, both the user data and the Google applications are served from
Google data centers. As illustrated in Figure 1, this model differs from
the conventional client/server approach in which data and applications are
served from company servers. Companies can thus offload the infrastructure costs, and the effort it takes to maintain an
on-premises solution – focusing those savings on more strategic IT initiatives.

Figure 2. Conventional Company vs. Google Workspace Infrastructure

Figure 2. Conventional Company vs. G Suite Apps Infrastructure

Source: Google

Google Workspace comes in three editions: Starter, Standard, and Plus.
Features include:

  1. Gmail for Business. In addition to
    personal accounts with an "" extension, Google also hosts
    business email accounts that use the domain name of the business as the
    extension. It includes anti-virus and anti-spam software and offers 30GB of
    storage for each account. There is, however a limit of 2000 outgoing emails to
    external recipients per day with this type of account. The limit was created
    as an anti-spam measure, and email addresses within the sender’s own company
    do not count towards this limit. 

  2. Google Calendar. Google Calendar offers the same basic features as Outlook Calendar, which
    is already widely used in the enterprise. These features include meeting
    requests, event invitations, scheduling, shared calendars, and room
    reservations. Data can be imported from other calendar applications, and
    can be synchronized from mobile devices via Google Sync.

  3. Google Docs and Google Drive. Google Docs provides
    many of the most commonly used features of the Microsoft Office suite,
    enabling users to create text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. It
    also includes document management features such as integrated searching,
    revision tracking, and collaborative editing. Thanks to its direct
    interactivity with Google Drive, the company’s cloud-based storage service
    for everyone from private individuals to enterprise customers, users can also upload their
    own documents (e.g., in Word format) and share them with colleagues, including
    the ability to attach them to Gmail messages directly from the Google Drive

  4. Google Meet. Google Meet provides a way for co-workers
    to connect via private messages, voicemail, and video conferencing. It is compatible with Google’s Chromebox hardware, also making it possible to
    use the service as a video-conferencing solution for group meetings. 
  5. Google Keep. A collaboration and note taking service
    for team-based pursuits.
  6. Google Admin – A user account control front-end for all of the
    aforementioned services and apps. It provides a company’s IT or HR
    departments with individual device management, as well as user-by-user
    security settings and permission controls. 
  7. Other productivity applications – This includes Google
    Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, and other collaboration tools designed to
    compete with the likes of Microsoft's Office 365 Suite.

Google Compute Engine

Google Compute engine is an "Infrastructure as a service (IAAS)" offering
that allows customers to run
large-scale workloads on virtual machines hosted on Google’s infrastructure. The
company’s offers a variety of VM types to suit customer needs, all of which run
over its worldwide fiber network. Features include:

  • "Performant, scalable, highly secure and
    reliable" Linux-based VMs.
  • Minute-level billing to prevent customers from
    paying for compute time they are not actually using.
  • Load-balancing to better handle incoming
    network traffic.
  • Encryption using the AES-128 or AES-256 algorithms. 
  • Certification under ISO 27001, SSAE-16, SOC 1,
    SOC 2, and SOC 3 standards. 

Google App Engine

Google App Engine enables customers to build Web applications that run
even under heavy load. The application environment features:

  • Dynamic Web serving, with full support for common Web technologies.

  • Automatic scaling and load balancing.

  • Persistent, i.e., permanent, and temporary storage space.

  • A distributed data storage service complete with a query engine.

  • Application programming interfaces (APIs) for authenticating users, and sending
    e-mail using Google Accounts.

Customers can serve their application using a free domain name on the domain, or use Google Apps
to serve it from their own domain. Also, customers can share their app with the world,
or limit access to members of their organization.

App Engine provides a variety of support services to facilitate application
development, including:

  • URL Fetch – Applications can retrieve resources on the Internet, such as
    Web services or
    other data.
  • Mail – Applications can send e-mail messages.
  • Memcache – Applications can access a
    high-performance memory cache for high-speed data access.
  • Image Manipulation – Applications
    can resize, crop, rotate, and flip images in JPEG and PNG formats.

Applications run in a secure environment that provides
limited access to the
underlying operating system:

  • An application can only access other computers on the Internet through the
    provided URL Fetch and Mail services. Other computers can only
    connect to the application by making HTTP (or HTTPS) requests on the
    standard ports.

  • An application cannot write to the file system. An app can read files, but
    only files uploaded with the application code. The app must use the App
    Engine data store for all data that persists between requests.

  • Application code only runs in response to a Web
    request, and must return
    response data within 30 seconds. A request handler cannot spawn a
    sub-process or execute code after the response has been sent.

Among the many benefits of Google App Engine are:

  • Ease of Adoption and Use – App Engine uses familiar technologies to build
    and host Web applications. With App Engine customers can write application
    code, test it on their local machine, and upload it to Google with a simple
    click of a button or command line script.
  • Automatic Scalability – Application resources automatically expand to
    accommodate any resource requirements.
  • Google Infrastructure – Applications are hosted on the same infrastructure
    that serves


[return to top of this report]

Google Apps allows users to invoke common office productivity tools "in
the cloud," enabling anyone with access to a Web browser to create, store,
and e-mail documents.

Google Compute Engine provides customers with a way to handle computing
workloads that their own systems would never be able to process, without having
to pay for and maintain the expensive hardware necessary for such jobs. 

Google App Engine

enables customers to develop and deploy Web applications using Google’s Internet
infrastructure. App Engine is ideal for:

  • Web developers on a budget.
  • Small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to establish a Web
    presence without incurring increased costs.


[return to top of this report]

Google Apps for Business

Table 1 details the processing and support environment provided by
Workspace for

Table 1. Google
Workspace for Business Environment

Messaging apps: Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Groups for Business

Gmail storage

GB / account

Interoperability with Microsoft Outlook email and calendar


Easy contacts management


Mobile email, calendar and IM access


Gmail ads can be disabled


Resource scheduling in Google Calendar


Mailing list functionality and easy content sharing with groups


Collaboration apps: Google Docs, Sites, and
Video for Business

Google Drive

30 GB per user for
storage of Docs, Files, etc.

Sites storage

30 GB plus 500 MB per user for shared storage

Apps Script


and reliability

phone and email support


99.9% uptime guarantee SLA


Synchronous replication


Self-service online support


Increased security

enforcement for secure HTTPS access


spam filtering


password strength requirements


routing and email gateway support


Customizable policies to filter email
containing sensitive information


Email encryption using standard TLS


and integration tools

Manage multiple domains from one Google
Apps account


migration tools and API


Directory sync with LDAP systems


Email routing and email gateway support


Single sign-on API


User and group provisioning API


Google Compute Engine

Google Compute Engine runs on a variety of
Linux-based virtual machines with access to Google’s global fiber network.
Customers of the service can interface with it via the company’s deployment and
provisioning front-end, which includes support for a RESTful API, command-line
interaction, and a Web-based console.

Google App Engine

Google App Engine supports three runtime
environments: Java, Python, and Go.

The Go programming language is the product of an open source project to make
programmers more productive. The language is concise while expressive, and
features concurrency mechanisms that enable programs to exploit multicore and
networked machines.

Each runtime environment, Java (and other JVM languages), Python, and Go, provides standard protocols
and common technologies for web application development.


[return to top of this report]

Support for all aforementioned products is available online (via searchable FAQ
lists), via e-mail, and via phone – all 24/7.


[return to top of this report]

Although Google formerly offered a free edition of its Google Workspace services (then
known as Google Apps) to the public, it has since discontinued this tier. It does,
however, still offer free access to educational institutions, and certain
non-profit organizations. These, include all of the same features as the former
standard edition, and are known as Google Workspace for Education and Google
Workspace for
Non-profits, respectively. The company also offers several individual components of
its services (Gmail, Google Docs, etc.) as free products on an
individual basis.

Google Workspace:

  • Business Starter – $6 per user, per month. This edition includes a
    "" email address, video and voice calls, an
    integrated calendar, 30GB of total online storage, and access to Google’s full
    Docs suite of apps. 

  • Business Standard – $12 per user, per month. This version includes all of the same features as the above
    edition, but adds unlimited storage for Apps and Google Vault, as well as
    admin controls and the ability to audit and generate reports on usage. 
  • Business Plus – $18 per user, per month. This version includes
    all features of the two aforementioned editions, but adds additional controls
    and capabilities catering to enterprises, such as data loss prevention for
    multiple services, third-party archiving tools, and more.

Google Compute Engine uses a complex, per-hour
pricing system based on numerous factors about the type of instance
being used by the customer. These variables include the instance type, the
number of deployed virtual cores, the amount of virtual memory, the geographic
location, and the
networking functionality. Prices range from $0.032 for the simplest, least
powerful type of virtual machine, up to $1.200 for the most powerful, fastest VM
the company offers. Additional fees also apply to peripheral services, such as
Internet egress, load balancing, protocol forwarding, persistent disk storage,
and static IP addresses. A full price
is available at Google’s site.

Google App Engine customers can
create an account and publish an application that people can use right away at
no charge, and with no obligation. An efficient application on a free account
can use up to 1GB of storage and up to 5 million page views a month. When
customers are ready for more, they can enable billing, set a maximum daily budget, and
allocate their budget for each resource according to their needs based on
Google’s current
pricing models


[return to top of this report]

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Infrastructure

  • Microsoft Windows Azure Platform

[return to top of this report]

About the Author

[return to top of this report]

Michael Gariffo is an editor for Faulkner Information Services. He
tracks and writes about enterprise software and the IT services sector, as well
as telecommunications and data networking.

[return to top of this report]