Illustration what is Google Cloud Platform (GCP)?
January 25, 2021

What Is Google Cloud Platform?


Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is one of the many cloud options that organizations will need to evaluate to determine which one is the most beneficial for their remote and global teams. Here, we take a look at what is Google Cloud Platform, what Google Cloud Platform is used for, and how it performs against its peers.

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➡️ Easily Deploy Helix Core in the Cloud

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What Is Google Cloud Platform?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a public cloud offering by Google. GCP is used internally to support products like Google Search and YouTube. It contains a suite of cloud computing resources as services.

Google Cloud Platform’s wide range of services including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) options. Google separates these services into categories. For example: compute, storage & databases, networking, and more. You can combine services to customize your cloud environment.

Each service and resource offered by GCP can be managed in a zone/region, or across multiple regions.

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What Is Google Cloud Platform Used For?

Google Cloud Platform offers virtual machine (VM) deployments, similar to AWS and Azure. Because Google invented Kubernetes, GCP is often seen as forefront of containerized applications. It is a first-class citizen when it comes to newer versions, integrations, etc. GCP resources are able to support a component-based or microservices model. This works well for cloud enterprise deployments for backend, mobile, and web applications.

Because GCP tracks resources and charges you based on a per-second basis, it is often the cloud of choice for small teams looking to get started quickly.

📘 Related Resource:  What Is Kubernetes

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Google Cloud Platform Benefits for Your Team

GCP data centers allow your web application to reach users around the globe. You can use their analytics functionality to manage your overall cost. Paying for only the resources your machine uses, rather than the machine itself, allows you to spend resources to optimize your application.

Automate Deployments

Kubernetes helps organize applications and all their moving parts. With GCP, you can track each component as it runs.

Competitive Pricing

Moving to the cloud is an investment for any team. The cost of your application is based on several other factors — total storage, processing speed, etc. But what Google does differently is it can optimize your container infrastructure, deleting objects that are no longer in use. This streamlines your overall application.

Resources for First Time Users

Deploying anything in the cloud means learning an entire new language. It can be confusing for many. GCP provides instructions that walks new users through setting up their machine.

Use GCP architecture diagram tools to visualize services and resources your team needs to deploy.

📘 Related Resource: Testing in the Cloud: Benefits, Best Practices, & Examples

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Google Cloud Platform Options

To get the most out of GCP, teams need to use services. These are hosted and run by Google. Here are some of the most popular.

Google Service

Google Service Description


Compute Engine

Host your virtual machine in Google’s IaaS.

  • Handles large scale.
  • Easy and fast.
  • Balances loads for optimum performance.

App Engine

Provides a PaaS model that includes tools for building and deploying in the cloud. It’s set up to work with containerized applications and includes SDKs to get started.

  • Variety of development tools.
  • Built-in services.
  • Options for storage.
  • Supports popular services and languages.

Container Engine

Orchestrate Docker containerized applications using Kubernetes. This service offers single-click clusters and integrated monitoring.

  • Leverage multi-zone and regional clusters.
  • Auto-updates.
  • Integrates with monitoring solutions.

Cloud Storage

Store objects and files. This service accepts massive amounts of data and offers a wide range of storage options, including:

  • Geo-Redundant: Deliver assets to users across regions.
  • Regional: Workloads in a specific area.
  • Nearline: Cold storage data that needs to be accessed less frequently (once a month).
  • Codeline: Archival data that needs to be accessed annually.
  • Variety of access options.
  • Simple API provided.
  • Safe and secure.


Other options include Cloud SQL and Cloud Datastore.

Learn more about all of the computing, storage, database, networking, big data, and machine learning services GCP offers.

📕 Related Resource: Learn more about How to Experiment With Google Cloud LDAP

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The Cost of Google Cloud Platform

When utilizing the cloud, it is important to balance speed and services with cost. GCP instances are pre-defined with a specific amount of RAM, CPUs, and file storage available. Tailoring your instance type can allow you to save money over time.

Just like all of the cloud competitors, Google offers a pricing calculator to estimate your investment. You need to analyze what you may need when it comes to processing power, memory, storage, and connectivity options.

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GCP vs. Azure vs. AWS

Although each cloud provider offers similar options, what you choose depends on the needs of your product.

Google Cloud Platform vs. Microsoft Azure

Azure was built by and for developers. Visual Studio is one of the most popular IDEs. And with the acquisition of GitHub, Microsoft continues to focus on how developers build.

GCP focuses more on deploying software. It offers integrations for building but is often used to run components and microservices. The services GCP offers focus on containers, big data, and machine learning. This makes sense considering GCP was originally created to handle the distributed software orchestration necessary for Google.

Google Cloud Platform vs. AWS

AWS is the cloud leader. When it comes to hosting VM instances, it optimizes every step. But hosting VMs is not at the core of GCP’s model.  What GCP does have is alternative custom instances and pricing models that can give certain customers a better offer.

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Your Guide to Cloud Version Control

Google Cloud Platform has been focused on making their deployments easier, especially for people with minimal software knowledge. But how can you get the most out of the cloud? Learn more in our guide to version control in the cloud.


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Scale Google Cloud Platform with the Right Tools

One of the biggest benefits of moving to the cloud is scale. Teams can store large files, work on bigger projects, deploy complex products, and get feedback and files faster. As you start building a tool stack, it is important to build a strong foundation.

Version control (VCS) is that foundation. Whether you deploy a monolith or microservices model, your VCS needs to scale be able to handle your application and team as it grows.

Version Control for the Cloud

Just like the cloud, there are a lot of VCS options available. Helix Core — version control from Perforce — delivers the speed and scale teams need. Deploying Helix Core on GCP gives you the best of both worlds: the performance of Helix Core and the ease of deployment on GCP.

📘 Related Resource: Learn More About Perforce in the Cloud

Scalable Deployments

Whatever deployment method you implement, Helix Core seamlessly integrates to maximize developer/designer efficiency. You can automate and enforce workflows with Perforce Streams — the branching mechanism in Helix Core.

When it comes to how you develop your application, Helix Core helps you scale to support 10s of thousands of users. 10s of millions of daily transactions, 100s of terabytes of data. And 10,000+ concurrent commits.

Ease of Use

If you are working on an application, your front end could contain a wide range of digital assets. Helix Core versions everything, making it easy to pull everything together. And for backend systems, Helix Core can manage and version the configuration files for your application just like code.

Features — like Perforce Streams — provide the automated building blocks you need. This makes it easier to pull related codelines together for a build. And it enables IP reuse because files are easier to locate.

There’s also a lot to consider when looking to the cloud. Topologies. Storage options. Instance types. Services. And so much more. This is just the start.

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Get Started with Google Cloud Platform + Helix Core

Ready to try out Helix Core version control on GCP?

Get started today for free. You can download Helix Core for free, for up to 5 users and 20 workspaces. And get it set up on GCP.

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