As more companies are turning to the Cloud for their application development needs, a new challenge emerged. The physical dedicated servers were proving to be slow, expensive, and required a lot of maintenance to keep up with the growing speed of the market as a whole. The emergence of Agile methodologies was a step in the right direction. However, even these Agile methodologies fell short in keeping up with the increased demand.
This is where DevOps came into the picture to change the culture to a more efficient, reliable, and secure way to develop, manage, and monitor applications. With that said, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a collection of cloud computing services from Google. It runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as:
- Google Search
- Google Drive
Google Cloud Platform aims to streamline this process with high quality, flexible, and simple to manage services, which cover just every necessity of its users while providing them with top-of-the-line security. It is important to note that Google came into the cloud computing market behind giants Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure as the go-to cloud computing offering in the market.
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What is GCP DevOps?
Working with GCP means being part of Google's vast ecosystem, which comes with many advantages. Google offers many services and features aimed to help DevOps engineers have everything they need to adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety while automating the majority of the process.
Google offers some of the best cloud computing offerings. Working with GCP DevOps means you have access to its;
- Database tools
- Big data services
- Networking solutions
- Internet of Things (IoT) services
- machine-learning solutions
Furthermore, you get to work with efficient GCP DevOps tools that not only increase the quality of applications but also improve the speed of the development cycle. These DevOps tools speak directly to software engineers since they allow quick, straightforward configuration, with an intuitive interface that facilitates efficient usage of Continuous Delivery and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) tools and methodologies.
GCP DevOps Security and Best Practices
The Google Cloud Platform comes with significant security offerings that will assist GCP DevOps Security Engineers in mitigating security threats, scanning the entirety of the cloud environment and its containers for vulnerabilities, and finding issues with configurations that open the client for attacks.
Essentially, GCP comes equipped with a complete security command center. It's the hub for all the tools and services Google provides to improve security, identify issues with virtual machines, applications, networks, and a lot more. It also provides a complete and comprehensive log of all the changes and vulnerabilities found, providing security updates and recommendations.
Google also ensures that the best practices are enforced. For example, practices such as The Principle of Least Privilege (PoLP) are encouraged by Google, giving just enough access to a user, employee, application, or service to perform their assigned tasks.
Using GCP IAM allows certain users to directly interact with specific cloud resources such as a storage bucket, compute instance, and network services. Furthermore, this entire process can be configured and automated, granting temporary credentials with enough access to users using GCP's REST API, command-line tool, or client libraries.
Kubernetes and GCP DevOps
As the original creator, Google has the edge over the competition by providing quicker access to new updates, features, and patches for its GKE offer.
Google not only provides features quicker due to its extensive ecosystem but also great log monitoring capabilities by default. When compared to Amazon's EKS or Microsoft's AKS, GKE comes ahead by allowing your nodes to be automatically upgraded, increasing the efficiency of the GCP DevOps workflow.
There are many GCP services, we'll discuss which services we believe to be essential for any GCP DevOps Engineer needs to be familiar with, as they're widely used and necessary.
While GKE deals with containers, Binary Authorization ensures that their contents are safe and controlled. This service will enforce security policies within GKE, ensuring that only previously authorized container images are accessible and deployable.
By automating this process in GCP DevOps, a CI/CD pipeline can be made safer by only allowing images that pass a rigid set of policies to be run, integrated, or deployed within your environment.
Cloud Deployment Manager is Google's solution for Infrastructure as Code (IaC) when working with GCP. It aims to simplify allocating, managing, and scaling every cloud resource such as databases, compute, IAM, storage, and more. It also allows the usage of Python, allowing for quick reuse of scripts to resize the entire infrastructure quickly.
However, this service isn't always the recommended solution to deal with IaC on GCP. Instead, using GCP's Terraform provider often proves to be the most efficient solution. In addition, it supports multiple cloud platforms, allowing for greater flexibility and being an excellent choice for DevOps Engineers dealing with multiple cloud providers. Nonetheless, choosing between Terraform and Cloud Deployment Manager is usually a project-by-project decision.
This is Google's offering of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Primarily, Google provides users with deeply customizable virtual machines that can be managed with instance templates.
Google offers small prices for those willing to pay one or three-year commitment plans alongside attractive prices by billing vCPU and GB per hour.
Container Registry is GCP's solution to host and manage Docker images, configure access permissions, scan for vulnerabilities in images, and be easily integrated with CI/CD pipelines for streamlining purposes. This aspect makes it a core GCP DevOps service.
In an effort to improve their services and make dealing with images even better, Google is slowly transitioning to their new way to deal with container images and non-container artifacts. The Artifact Registry is the next step in evolution, and using it early may give you an advantage in the Cloud DevOps market.
Cloud Build is essential for any GCP DevOps Engineer looking to make their CI/CD on Google Cloud Platform as efficient as possible. It's secure and supports deep vulnerability scans that can be integrated into a CI/CD pipeline. You don't have to use YAML to build your pipeline as it supports Java, Node.JS, Python, Go, and other programming languages.
Access to all these capabilities on top of the advantage of working with Google's ecosystem allows for a vast amount of third-party plugins and applications support while satisfying security, compliance, and speed needed in GCP.
This GCP service provides infinitely scalable storage, with low latency, 99.99% reliability. It also comes with Google's multi-regional redundancy backups, ensuring that your data is safe even in the event of a physical malfunction. With GCP's bucket storage technology, you can set either a dual region or a multi-region bucket. This technology allows for several redundant backups for all your storage.
Cloud SQL is the fully managed GCP database service offered by Google. It's known for its;
- High efficiency
- Easy integration
- Quick scalability
Primarily, Cloud SQL simplifies several maintenance tasks such as building highly available databases, querying specific data using SQL, and building deployment management scripts.
At the same time, it is affordable, fast, and with nearly zero overhead databases. It also integrates seamlessly with the entirety of Google's ecosystem, such as Google Analytics and BigQuery, allowing for easy monitoring, control, and analysis of all your data.
VPC is at the foundation of your entire structure. If you're using Kubernetes or want to start deploying compute instances, this is one of the main services when working with GCP. It offers in-depth configuration options that will fit even the most complex network needs.
GCP comes with many benefits as Google's sprawling ecosystem and community make several tasks seamless or quicker due to the highly integrated system. In addition, Google does an excellent job of keeping most of its services and offerings up-to-date, guaranteeing a smooth workflow for any GCP DevOps Engineers.
Suppose you want to work as a DevOps Engineer with GCP, in that case, Google offers an GCP DevOps certification exam to test your abilities in the form of the Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification.
While the exam is challenging, there are several courses and great instructors online willing to help you prepare for the exam and solidify your career. So we will be compiling a list of the Best GCP DevOps Courses to help you have everything you need to ace the exam. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog posts for carefully curated recommendations.
We hope that now with a better understanding of the fundamental GCP services and offerings, what makes them essential, you have a better understanding of what GCP DevOps looks like and what you can expect when working with it.
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