Google Cloud Platform

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Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a cloud computing service by Google that offers hosting on the same supporting infrastructure that Google uses internally for end-user products like Gmail, Google Search, Maps, and YouTube.


  • Google Compute Engine – IaaS service providing virtual machines similar to Amazon EC2.
  • Google App Engine – PaaS service for directly hosting applications similar to AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
  • BigTable – IaaS service providing map reduce services. Similar to Hadoop.
  • BigQuery – IaaS service providing Columnar database. Similar to Amazon Redshift.
  • Google Cloud Functions – Currently in alpha testing FaaS service allowing functions to be triggered by events without developer resource management similar to Amazon Lambda or IBM OpenWhisk.


Note: All of the following are as of February 2017.

  • Compute
    • Compute Engine vs. EC2
    • App Engine vs. Elastic Beanstalk
    • Container Engine vs. EC2
    • Container Registry vs. ECR
    • Cloud Functions vs. Lambda
  • Identity & Security
    • Cloud IAM vs. IAM
    • Cloud Resource Manager vs. n/a
    • Cloud Security Scanner vs. Inspector
    • Cloud Platform Security vs. n/a
  • Networking
    • Cloud Virtual Network vs. VPC
    • Cloud Load Balancing vs. ELB
    • Cloud CDN vs. CloudFront
    • Cloud Interconnect vs. Direct Connect
    • Cloud DNS vs. Route53
  • Storage and Databases
    • Cloud Storage vs. S3
    • Cloud Bigtable vs. DynamoDB
    • Cloud Datastore vs. SimpleDB
    • Cloud SQL vs. RDS
    • Persistent Disk vs. EBS
  • Big Data
    • BigQuery vs. Redshift
    • Cloud Dataflow vs. EMR
    • Cloud Dataproc vs. EMR
    • Cloud Datalab vs. n/a
    • Cloud Pub/Sub vs. Kinesis
    • Genomics vs. n/a
  • Machine Learning
    • Cloud Machine Learning vs. Machine Learning
    • Vision API vs. Rekognition
    • Speech API vs. Polly
    • Natural Language API vs. Lex
    • Translation API vs. n/a
    • Jobs API vs. n/a
  • Compute Services (GCP vs. AWS):
    • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Compute Engine vs. EC2
    • Platform as a Service (PaaS): App Engine vs. Elastic Beanstalk
    • Containers as a Service: Container Engine vs. EC2
Compute IaaS comparison
Feature Amazon EC2 Compute Engine
Virtual machines Instances Instances
Machine images Amazon Machine Image (AMI) Image
Temporary virtual machines Spot instances Preemptible VMs
Firewall Security groups Compute Engine firewall rules
Automatic instance scaling Auto Scaling Compute Engine autoscaler
Local attached disk Ephemeral disk Local SSD
VM import Supported formats: RAW, OVA, VMDK, VHD Supported formats: AMI, RAW, VirtualBox
Deployment locality Zonal Zonal

Networking services comparison
Networking Load Balancing CDN On-premises connection DNS
AWS VPC ELB CloudFront Direct Connect Route53
GCP Cloud VirtualNetwork1 Cloud LoadBalancing2 Cloud CDN Cloud InterConnect Cloud DNS

1GCP allows for 802.1q tagging (aka VLAN taggin). AWS does not.
2GCP allows for cross-region load balancing. AWS does not.

Storage services comparison
Object Block Cold File
AWS S3 EBS1 Glacier EFS
GCP Cloud Storage Compute Engine Persistent Disks2 Cloud Storage Nearline ZFS/Avere

1An EBS volume can be attached to only one EC2 instance at a time. Can attach up to 40 disk volumes to a Linux instance. Available in only one region by default.
2GCP Persistent Disks in read-only mode can be attached to multiple instances simultaneously. Can attach up to 128 disk volumes. Snapshots are global and can be used in any region without additional operations or charges.

Database services comparison
RDMS NoSQL (key-value) NoSQL (indexed)
AWS RDS DynamoDB DynamoDB
GCP Cloud SQL1 Cloud Bigtable2 Cloud Datastore

1MySQL only.
2100 MB maximum item size. Does not support secondary indexes.

Big Data services comparison
Streaming data ingestion Streaming data processing Batch data processing Analytics
AWS Kinesis Kinesis EMR Redshift
GCP Cloud Pub/Sub Cloud Dataflow Cloud Dataflow / Cloud Dataproc BigQuery

Cloud Pub/Sub 
GCPs offering for data streaming and message queue. It allows for secure communication between applications and can also serve as a de-coupling method (a good way to scale).
GCPs managed service offering for batch and streaming data processing. Apache Beam under-the-hood.
GCPs offering for data processing using Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark. It is a massively parallel data processing and transformation engine.
Supported services: MapReduce, Apache Hive, Apache Pig, Apache Spark, Spark SQL, PySpark, and support for parallel jobs with YARN.
GCPs offering for a fully managed, massive data warehousing and analytics engine, allowing for data analytics using SQL.
Application services comparison
GCP Cloud Pub/Sub

Cloud Pub/Sub (publisher/subscriber)
Management services comparison
Monitoring Deployment
AWS CloudWatch CloudFormation
GCP Stackdriver Deployment Manager

See also

External links