If you have been in the business space for the last couple of years, then you might have an inkling of what Google cloud is all about your company might have apps running on it. If you are not conversant with it, however, then Google cloud is a collection of computing services that Google offers. The services include data storage centers, machine learning facilities, security upgrades or facilities, and data analysis.

These services are grouped into 3 categories: IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), PaaS (Platform as a service), and Serverless computing.

Some of the most popular Google cloud services are:

  • App Engine: Used to deploy client-facing apps and services. It supports many programming languages and is fully serverless and comes with a large variety of extensions to make developers' life and development lifecycle easier.
  • Also comes with a firewall, IAM rules, and managed SSL/TLS certificates.
  • Kubernetes Containers: With the Google cloud Kubernetes engine, deploying your production apps with containers becomes a smooth and easy process. Kubernetes is the most popular container system beating out AWS’s elastic search, cloud foundry, Salt stack, Redhat’s OpenShift, and other containerization technologies to the throne so it makes sense for Google to include it in there cloud offerings. Its key features include pod and cluster auto-scaling which scales your resources according to changing workloads and also network security. Click here to learn more about it and how to manage containerized apps with the Kubernetes engine.
  • Cloud SQL: runs as a cloud database (MySQL and PostgreSQL) for your apps. Fully encrypted and requires just an API call to scale. Click here to learn more about it.
  • Google VPS: is a virtual network used to manage your cloud resources.
  • Cloud CDN: globally distributed storage centers to serve your files at lightning-fast speeds. This is especially great for streaming web and video content. Click here to learn more about it.
  • Cloud Load balancing: suited especially for high traffic sites, this helps distribute and balance traffic and other app services at very high traffic moments. This is especially handy for ecommerce sites on black Friday rushes. Click here to learn more about cloud balancing best practices.
  • And many others.

These apps and services provided by Google cloud exist to make your life easier, your business more responsive and resilient to changes and improve the overall experience for your clients.

Google cloud VPS:

We have touched up Google cloud services in our previous articles but they are worth noting here again.

Google cloud VPS is a private hosting service provides by Google. Typically, there are two tiers of Google cloud infrastructure available for customers: the free tier and the paid, private tier. Most private individuals use the free tier but more and more companies and people are migrating to the private, paid tier because of the myriad advantages it offers. It has been estimated by XXX that as many as 8 out of ten telecommunications companies, 7 out of software and Internet companies, 5 out of the top ten financial services companies, 7 out of the top 10 retail and CPG companies all use Google cloud VPS as their primary cloud hosting system.

People are choosing Google cloud VPS because:

  • Its state of the art multilayered security systems: Using the same security technology used in other Google services (Gmail, YouTube, etc.), Google provides high quality of security with encryption and every other thing needed to keep your data safe and secure while still being easily accessible.
  • It’s global private fiber network which is reportedly 100 times faster than average ISP speeds.
  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Redundant Backups: Redundancy simply means having more than one copy of your data and that’s what /google does, they store your data in multiple regions to prevent data loss and /or hard drive failure.
  • Say, your region is Asia and you are performing redundant backups, Google will spread and replicate your data across Asia-east1, Asia-east2, Asia-northeast1, Asia-northeast2 which are subdivisions in the Asia region.
  • Easy migrations.
  • And other advantages.

Is Google cloud a VPS?

Yes, Google cloud is one of the top VPS providers right now with all the features it provides and other notable attraction (the fact that you can sign up with your Gmail account is a bug plus)

Google cloud provides free cloud hosting for the first 12 months, after that, you have to choose one of their paid plans and proceed to configure it to your tastes.

Other companies that provide cloud hosting include Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure), Oracle Cloud but Google's cloud offerings popular, maybe, because it is bundled with other Google services and uses a single sign-on (SSO) to manage, it is also surprisingly easy to set up, navigate, manage, and optimize.

And while other platforms only provide support for some types of databases (relational and structured databases not included), Google provides support for almost all types of databases including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and other relational and structured databases. It also supports bug data which is highly localized data with high availability especially suitable for high traffic sites.

At the moment, Google is still rolling out updates and more updates to the system so get ready for more exciting features in the days ahead.

Does Google offer VPS?

Yes, Google offers VPS services.

As mentioned above, Google cloud has two modes: the free tier and the paid tier.

Now, if you just want to host a personal or a hobby website, you can host it for free at https://sites,google,com/ but if you need a dedicated VPS you can navigate to http://cloud,google,com/pricing/compute-engine.htm... to check applicable pricing and then select the plan appropriate for you.

How to set up Google VPS

Setting up a free Google VPS

Setting and spinning up a free Google VPS is a relatively simple task when compared to setting up an ec2 instance on AWS or other cloud providers.

It’s almost like Google went out of their way to make everything easy and stress-free for everyone.

It’s important to note, however, that the operating system provided with the free version is always a Linux Operating system (if you want more specific environments you have to upgrade to the paid plans or customize it later on).

Now you have to navigate to https://cloud,google,com to create a free account; to create a free account will require you to enter your debit or credit card details and a token of $1 or less will be withdrawn from your account to confirm that it’s valid ( not to worry though, Google will refund you the money almost instantly).

The credit or debit card is provided to make sure you’re not creating new accounts all the time and/or to verify you’re not a robot. Google will not debit you without your explicit consent provided by you purchasing paid services.

After signing up, Google provides free $300 credit to help you test put the platform and this is what you’ll be using for the free tier and for initially setting up your compute instance.

Now click on COMPUTE ENGINE and navigate to VM INSTANCES. If you are not familiar with VMs, a VM is a virtual machine that runs in the cloud. Just imagine a computer and a server but instead of being a physical computer, this one is maintained by Google and runs in their data centers and you can just customize it to your tastes. Want a 1TB space with a 20 GB ram? You just customize it and it runs flawlessly.

Now, you must choose a machine type when you create a VM instance, machine types are subdivided into families and there are 3 distinct machine type families: memory-optimized, compute-optimized, and general-purpose families. If you still want something more custom, then there’s an option to customize your machine according to your needs.

Google bills you for the CPU and memory space of each machine you select, prices are determined by their resource-based pricing model as described here. The prices are deducted from your $3000 free credit.

How to choose machine type

  • General-purpose machines: this handles a variety of loads. If you're just looking to get your instance up and running without any special requirements then you can set it up with this.
  • Memory-optimized machines: If your app or service is a memory-intensive application, then it is best to go with this type of machine as they offer more memory than others.
  • Compute-optimized machines: Perfect for high-performance apps and services, the compute-optimized comes built with Intel scalable processors which can be scaled up or down depending on your app needs.

Now, choose a name for your new, shiny VM instance or if you want you can leave it generic, then choose an area or region. Then select the type of disk storage you want; you can choose either an HDD or an SSD though their costs vary.

The next stage consists of you navigating to the Management, security, disks, networking, sole tenancy section for entering your SSH keys. You can use putty, Google’s SSH client (runs in the browser), or any other key generation software to generate the SSH and paste it in the space provided for it.

But with all this, your website or web app still won’t be available for the public view so you have to set a Network tag to be able to apply firewall rules and access the website publicly.

The next step is to select a network Service tier; Google offers 3 options when it comes to network service tiers. They are the Premium and Standard Tiers.

Key Differences:

PREMIUM TIER

STANDARD TIER

Ideal for building globally accessible sites

Used for building regionally accessible websites

Uses Google’s premium networks to deliver traffic leading to very fast connections

Uses regular ISPs to deliver traffic. The network might be slower than that of Premium.

High Reliability and Performance

Not much difference between its performance and from regular ISPs

Low network Latency

Regular network latency rates

Global Load balancing

Regional Load balancing

High Costs

Low costs

And your VM Instance is now created, you will be redirected to a list of your VMs and you can choose to make changes or delete them completely.

Navigate to Firewall Rules and then Create Firewall Rule, under Direction of Traffic, select Ingress (If your website is expecting outside traffic then select ingress else select egress ). Input 0.0.0.0/0 as the Source IP range as this will allow your website to be accessible all over the world.

Then under Target tags, Input your previously selected network tag.

Click the Create Button to finalize everything and you’re good to go.

Congratulations, you now have a Google VPS instance running. You can upload your web sites now and customize other settings that you glossed over previously. Your $300 can last for a week or, if used judiciously, can last you for a few months

To login and manage your Google Cloud VPS, use the Google cloud console either the web-based version or the smartphone app (iOS and Android).

Here’s a video explaining this in full detail.

Upgrading to Paid Tier

I am assuming that you have used Google cloud VPS and have found out that you love it or maybe your free credits have finished or even both and you want to upgrade your account to the paid tier.

According to the documentation, you have to log in to your Google Cloud account via the Console (Google Cloud Console), then click the upgrade button at the upper right of the home page.

However, if you want to increase your quota for GPUs after upgrading,

Click on the IAM menu, then navigate to Quotas, then scroll to the filter type and select metric as GPUs, set location as Global, then set New Quota limit to 1 0r the number of new quotas you want.

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