Google Cloud is a suite of cloud services hosted on Google’s infrastructure. From computing and storage, to data analytics, machine learning, and networking, Google Cloud offers a wide variety of services and APIs that can be integrated with any cloud-computing application or project—be it personal or enterprise-grade.
A Google Cloud Project is an organizing entity for your Google Cloud resources. It often times contains resources and services—for example, it may hold a pool of virtual machines, a set of databases, and a network that connects them with one another. Projects also contain settings and permissions, which specify security rules and who has access to what resources.
The Navigation menu is an important component of the Cloud Console—it offers quick access to the platform’s services and also outlines its offerings. If you scroll through the menu, you will see that there are seven categories of Google Cloud services:
- Compute: houses a variety of machine types that support any type of workload. The different computing options let you decide how involved you want to be with operational details and infrastructure amongst other things.
- Storage: data storage and database options for structured or unstructured, relational or non relational data.
- Networking: services that balance application traffic and provision security rules amongst other things.
- Cloud Operations: a suite of cross-cloud logging, monitoring, trace, and other service reliability tools.
- Tools: services for developers managing deployments and application build pipelines.
- Big Data: services that allow you to process and analyze large datasets.
- Artificial Intelligence: a suite of APIs that run specific artificial intelligence and machine learning tasks on Google Cloud.
Roles and Permissions
Earlier we mentioned that besides cloud computing services, Google Cloud also houses a collection of permissions and roles that define who has access to what resources. We can use the Cloud Identity and Access Management (Cloud IAM) service to inspect and modify such roles and permissions.
If closed, open up the navigation menu. Then near the top click IAM & admin. This will take you to a page that contains a list of users, which specifies permissions and roles granted to certain accounts.
APIs and Services
Google Cloud APIs are a key part of Google Cloud. Like services, the 200+ APIs in areas that range from business administration to machine learning all easily integrate with Google Cloud projects and applications.
APIs are “Application Programming Interfaces” that you can call directly or via our client libraries. Cloud APIs use resource-oriented design principles as described in our API Design Guide.
When Qwiklabs provisions a new Google Cloud project for a lab instance, it enables most APIs behind the scenes so you can work on the lab’s tasks right away. Be aware that when you create your own Google Cloud projects outside of Qwiklabs, you will have to enable certain APIs yourself.
Most Cloud APIs provide you with detailed information on your project’s usage of that API, including traffic levels, error rates, and even latencies, helping you to quickly triage problems with applications that use Google services. You can view this information by opening the navigation menu and clicking on APIs & Services > Library:
Now that you understand the key features of Google Cloud and the Cloud Console, you will get hands-on practice with Cloud Shell. Cloud Shell is an in-browser command prompt execution environment that allows you to enter commands at a terminal prompt to manage resources and services in your Google Cloud project.
Cloud Shell lets you run all of your shell commands without leaving the console and comes with pre-installed command line tools.