Google Cloud Definition & Meaning
Google Cloud is Google, LLC's platform for cloud computing and storage. It offers multiple cloud infrastructures from which businesses can choose. Businesses that use Google Cloud services have access to machine learning and analytics to manage their data and gain useful insights from it. Google launched its cloud services in 2008. However, its best known and most accessible cloud service is Google Drive, which every Google account user can use, but which is not part of Google Cloud officially.
Google's cloud computing services are also flexible: users can store data in multiple cloud environments, and Google allows them to use other cloud vendors jointly. Google aims to offer a connected environment for all of its devices, applications, and services, and the Cloud offers businesses a way to manage and connect their data in an organized, secure, and insightful way.
Google Cloud services
This is not an exhaustive list of cloud services that Google provides but rather a highlight of just a few:
- Google Cloud offers data lakes for storing all forms of unstructured data. Businesses can then perform analyses on that data within the lake.
- Google Kubernetes Engine offers container management for running applications in the cloud. Containerizing applications provides greater flexibility for transferring them between environments.
- Google Cloud SQL provides a database management system through its cloud, based on SQL database management programming.
- Cloud IoT Edge is Google's edge computing service, operating on Internet of Things devices and using machine learning to analyze data from a network of devices. It offers services such as location intelligence, which allows businesses to track devices using their real-time locations.
- Google Cloud offers object storage with four different price options depending on storage needs.
As noted earlier, Google Drive is not part of Google Cloud services: it accesses a different cloud environment. Google Drive allows users to create documents, sheets, and presentations that are automatically saved to cloud storage. Google Docs and Google Sheets can work with other software for increased productivity and collaboration within a business, and they also are backed up in the cloud. Google Workspace includes Docs, Drive, Sheets, and ten other applications that make up an office productivity suite based in the cloud.
Google data centers
Google hosts twenty-one data centers across four continents as of late 2020. It specifically chooses locations with a good natural atmosphere and economy to host a data center. To manage security within its data centers, Google practices:
- Disaster recovery
- Risk management training
- Authentication for workers entering the center
- Hard drive tracking and destruction (when needed)
- Multiple layers of security
Google's data centers power its impressive cloud. Google also works to reduce its environmental footprint by relying more on the cloud rather than on mainly physical servers. It has also committed to reduced energy use and reports its energy data for the data centers.
Additional Resources: Google Cloud Database Services
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