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What is Google’s Cloud Platform?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a suite of public cloud computing services offered by Google. The platform includes a range of hosted services for compute, storage and application development that run on Google hardware. Google Cloud Platform services can be accessed by software developers, cloud administrators and other enterprise IT professionals over the public internet or through a dedicated network connection.

The GCP resources consist of physical hardware infrastructure?—?computers, hard disk drives, solid state drives, and networking?—?contained within Google’s globally distributed data centers, where any of the components are custom designed using patterns similar to those available in the Open Compute Project.

This hardware is made available to customers in the form of virtualized resources, such as virtual machines (VMs), as an alternative to customers building and maintaining their own physical infrastructure.

As a public cloud offering, software and hardware products are provided as integrated services that provide access to the underlying resources. GCP offers over 50 services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings in the categories of Compute, Storage & Databases, Networking, Big Data, Machine Learning, Identity & Security, and Management & Developer tools.

These services can be used independently or in combination for developers and IT professionals to construct their own, custom cloud-based infrastructure.

GCP is hosted on the same underlying infrastructure that Google uses internally for end-user products including Google Search and YouTube.

Google Cloud Platform pricing options

Like other public cloud offerings, most Google Cloud Platform services follow a pay-as-you-go model in which there are no upfront payments, and users only pay for the cloud resources they consume. Specific terms and rates, however, vary from service to service.

Google Cloud Platform certification

Google offers training programs and certifications related to Google Cloud Platform, including programs for cloud infrastructure, data and machine learning, application development and G suite administration, as well as an introductory program for its cloud platform. There are three Google cloud certifications an IT professional can earn: a Certified Professional Cloud Architect, a Certified Professional Data Engineer and a Certified Professional G Suite Administrator.

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