Google Cloud Platform (GCP), offered by Google, is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search, Gmail, Google Drive, and YouTube. Alongside a set of management tools, it provides a series of modular cloud services including computing, data storage, data analytics and machine learning. Registration requires a credit card or bank account details.
Google Cloud Platform provides infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and serverless computing environments.
In April 2008, Google announced App Engine, a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers, which was the first cloud computing service from the company. The service became generally available in November 2011. Since the announcement of App Engine, Google added multiple cloud services to the platform.
Google Cloud Platform is a part of Google Cloud, which includes the Google Cloud Platform public cloud infrastructure, as well as Google Workspace (G Suite), enterprise versions of Android and ChromeOS, and application programming interfaces (APIs) for machine learning and enterprise mapping services.
Conference presentation on Google Container Engine/Kubernetes
Google lists over 100 products under the Google Cloud brand. Some of the key services are listed below.
- App Engine - Platform as a Service to deploy Java, PHP, Node.js, Python, C#, .Net, Ruby and Go applications.
- Compute Engine - Infrastructure as a Service to run Microsoft Windows and Linux virtual machines.
- Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) or GKE on-prem offered as part of Anthos platform - Containers as a Service based on Kubernetes.
- Cloud Functions - Functions as a Service to run event-driven code written in Node.js, Java, Python, or Go.
- Cloud Run - Compute execution environment based on Knative. Offered as Cloud Run (fully managed) or as Cloud Run for Anthos. Currently supports GCP, AWS and VMware management.
Storage & Databases
- Cloud Load Balancing - Software-defined, managed service for load balancing the traffic.
- Cloud Armor - Web application firewall to protect workloads from DDoS attacks.
- Cloud CDN - Content Delivery Network based on Google's globally distributed edge points of presence.
- Cloud Interconnect - Service to connect a data center with Google Cloud Platform
- Cloud DNS - Managed, authoritative DNS hosting service running on the same infrastructure as Google.
- Network Service Tiers - Option to choose Premium vs Standard network tier for higher-performing network.
- Cloud AutoML - Service to train and deploy custom machine learning models. As of September 2018, the service is in Beta.
- Cloud TPU - Accelerators used by Google to train machine learning models.
- Cloud Machine Learning Engine - Managed service for training and building machine learning models based on mainstream frameworks.
- Cloud Talent Solution (formerly Cloud Job Discovery) - Service based on Google's search and machine learning capabilities for the recruiting ecosystem.
- Dialogflow Enterprise - Development environment based on Google's machine learning for building conversational interfaces.
- Cloud Natural Language - Text analysis service based on Google Deep Learning models.
- Cloud Speech-to-Text - Speech to text conversion service based on machine learning.
- Cloud Text-to-Speech - Text to speech conversion service based on machine learning.
- Cloud Translation API - Service to dynamically translate between thousands of available language pairs.
- Cloud Vision API - Image analysis service based on machine learning.
- Cloud Video Intelligence - Video analysis service based on machine learning.
- Operations suite (formerly Stackdriver ) - Monitoring, logging, and diagnostics for applications on Google Cloud Platform and AWS.
- Cloud Deployment Manager - Tool to deploy Google Cloud Platform resources defined in templates created in YAML, Python or Jinja2.
- Cloud Console - Web interface to manage Google Cloud Platform resources.
- Cloud Shell - Browser-based shell command-line access to manage Google Cloud Platform resources.
- Cloud Console Mobile App - Android and iOS application to manage Google Cloud Platform resources.
- Cloud APIs - APIs to programmatically access Google Cloud Platform resources
Identity & Security
- Cloud Identity - Single sign-on (SSO) service based on SAML 2.0 and OpenID.
- Cloud IAM - Identity & Access Management (IAM) service for defining policies based on role-based access control.
- Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy - Service to control access to cloud applications running on Google Cloud Platform without using a VPN.
- Cloud Data Loss Prevention API - Service to automatically discover, classify, and redact sensitive data.
- Security Key Enforcement - Two-step verification service based on a security key.
- Cloud Key Management Service - Cloud-hosted key management service integrated with IAM and audit logging.
- Cloud Resource Manager - Service to manage resources by project, folder, and organization based on the hierarchy.
- Cloud Security Command Center - Security and data risk platform for data and services running in Google Cloud Platform.
- Cloud Security Scanner - Automated vulnerability scanning service for applications deployed in App Engine.
- Access Transparency - Near real-time audit logs providing visibility to Google Cloud Platform administrators.
- VPC Service Controls - Service to manage security perimeters for sensitive data in Google Cloud Platform services.
- Cloud IoT Core - Secure device connection and management service for Internet of Things.
- Edge TPU - Purpose-built ASIC designed to run inference at the edge. As of September 2018, this product is in private beta.
- Cloud IoT Edge - Brings AI to the edge computing layer.
- Maps Platform - APIs for maps, routes, and places based on Google Maps.
- Apigee API Platform - Lifecycle management platform to design, secure, deploy, monitor, and scale APIs.
- API Monetization - Tool for API providers to create revenue models, reports, payment gateways, and developer portal integrations.
- Developer Portal - Self-service platform for developers to publish and manage APIs.
- API Analytics - Service to analyse API-driven programs through monitoring, measuring, and managing APIs.
- Apigee Sense - Enables API security by identifying and alerting administrators to suspicious API behaviours.
- Cloud Endpoints - An NGINX-based proxy to deploy and manage APIs.
- Service Infrastructure - A set of foundational services for building Google Cloud products.
Regions and zones
As of Q3 2022, Google Cloud Platform is available in 34 regions and 103 zones. A region is a specific geographical location where users can deploy cloud resources.
Each region is an independent geographic area that consists of zones.
A zone is a deployment area for Google Cloud Platform resources within a region. Zones should be considered a single failure domain within a region.
Most of the regions have three or more zones. As of Q3 2022, Google Cloud Platform is available in the following regions and zones:
GCP Regions & Zones
||The Dalles, Oregon, US
||Los Angeles, California, US
||Salt Lake City, Utah, US
||Las Vegas, Nevada, US
||Council Bluffs, Iowa, US
||Moncks Corner, South Carolina, US
||Ashburn, Virginia, US
||São Paulo, Brazil
||St. Ghislain, Belgium
||Jurong West, Singapore
||Changhua County, Taiwan
Similarity to services by other cloud service providers
For those familiar with other notable cloud service providers, a comparison of similar services may be helpful in understanding Google Cloud Platform's offerings.
Google Cloud Summit in 2017
- April 2008 - Google App Engine announced in preview
- May 2010 - Google Cloud Storage launched
- May 2010 - Google BigQuery and Prediction API announced in preview
- October 2011 - Google Cloud SQL is announced in preview
- June 2012 - Google Compute Engine is launched in preview
- May 2013 - Google Compute Engine is released to GA
- August 2013 - Cloud Storage begins automatically encrypting each Storage object's data and metadata under the 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-128), and each encryption key is itself encrypted with a regularly rotated set of master keys
- February 2014 - Google Cloud SQL becomes GA
- May 2014 - Stackdriver is acquired by Google
- June 2014 - Kubernetes is announced as an open source container manager
- June 2014 - Cloud Dataflow is announced in preview
- October 2014 - Google acquires Firebase
- November 2014 - Alpha release Google Kubernetes Engine (formerly Container Engine) is announced
- January 2015 - Google Cloud Monitoring based on Stackdriver goes into Beta
- March 2015 - Google Cloud Pub/Sub becomes available in Beta
- April 2015 - Google Cloud DNS becomes generally available
- April 2015 - Google Dataflow launched in beta
- July 2015 - Google releases v1 of Kubernetes; Hands it over to The Cloud Native Computing Foundation
- August 2015 - Google Cloud Dataflow, Google Cloud Pub/Sub, Google Kubernetes Engine, and Deployment Manager graduate to GA
- November 2015 - Bebop is acquired, and Diane Greene joins Google
- February 2016 - Google Cloud Functions becomes available in Alpha
- September 2016 - Apigee, a provider of application programming interface (API) management company, is acquired by Google
- September 2016 - Stackdriver becomes generally available
- November 2016 - Qwiklabs, an EdTech company is acquired by Google
- February 2017 - Cloud Spanner, highly available, globally-distributed database is released into Beta
- March 2017 - Google acquires Kaggle, world's largest community of data scientists and machine learning enthusiasts
- April 2017 - MIT professor Andrew Sutherland breaks the record for the largest ever Compute Engine cluster with 220,000 cores on Preemptible VMs.
- May 2017 - Google Cloud IoT Core is launched in Beta
- November 2017 - Google Kubernetes Engine gets certified by the CNCF
- February 2018 - Google Cloud IoT Core becomes generally available
- February 2018 - Google announces its intent to acquire Xively
- February 2018 - Cloud TPUs, ML accelerators for Tensorflow, become available in Beta
- May 2018 - Gartner names Google as a Leader in the 2018 Gartner Infrastructure as a Service Magic Quadrant
- May 2018 - Google Cloud Memorystore becomes available in Beta
- April 2019 - Google Cloud Run (fully managed) Beta release
- April 2019 - Google Anthos announced
- November 2019 - Google Cloud Run (fully managed) General availability release
- March 2020 - Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Google Cloud postponed the online streaming version of its Google Cloud Next mega-conference, two weeks after it cancelled the in-person version.
- October 2020 - Google Cloud announced that it will become a block producer candidate for the EOS network and EOS.IO protocol. Currently the top block producers are cryptocurrency exchanges like OKEx and Binance.
- February 2021 Google Kubernetes Engine Autopilot introduced. 
- April 2022 - MobiledgeX acquired and joins Google Cloud.