Google Cloud Platform Technology Nuggets | June 16–30, 2022
Welcome to the June 16–30, 2022 edition of Google Cloud Technology Nuggets.
New Region, Home Page and a new location for Podcasts
Did you know that Google Cloud has 3 podcasts : Google Cloud Reader Podcast, Kubernetes Podcast and Google Cloud Platform Podcast. Check out the new Google Cloud Podcast site — it’s a one stop shop for all of Google’s Cloud’s podcasts, as the blog post says.
Google Cloud has a new home page. Visit the Google Cloud console and the new home page (sample shown below) comes up. The page is designed to get you the relevant information quickly, access to quick actions for key services and easy access to the product pages. Check out the blog post for more details.
Most importantly, Google Cloud Platform is now called Google Cloud and if you are using the mobile app, which is called Cloud Console app. It has been renamed to Google Cloud app.
Spot VMs are an excellent way for Google Cloud to better utilize the idle capacity when it is available and for customers, who get deep discounts on the list price. It is often recommended that the best uses for Spot VMs are flexible, stateless workloads that can handle preemption. Check out this blog post that highlights key use cases that Customers have utilized Spot VMs for. These range from Media Rendering, CI/CD Pipelines, Financial modeling and more.
Containers and GKE
Confidential GKE Nodes are now in General Availability. This is built on top of Compute Engine Confidential VMs and it encrypts the memory contents of VMs in-use. Two new features have been added to the GA Release: mixed node pool support and PersistentVolumes. Check out the blog post for more details.
Cloud Armor is a key service that is used to encounter security threats to Web Applications and other services running on Google Cloud. Cloud Armor has released new features in General Availability (new rules for per-client rate limiting, Bot Management with reCAPTCHA Enterprise, ML-based protection to counter Layer 7 attacks) and a few in Preview mode (WAF rules based on CRS 33 and network-based threat intelligence). Check out the blog post for more details.
CISO Perspectives for June 2022 is out. The bulletin covers key topics discussed by Google at the recent RSA conference. The bulletin also summarizes security features/services across Google Cloud that have seen updates, key of which include confidential GKE Nodes, capturing password leaks via reCAPTCHA and more. If you are interested in the CISO perspectives to be delivered to your email, subscribe here.
Databases, Analytics and Machine Learning
Twitter is often a great source of information for brands to understand what is being talked about them. Not just brands but even if you are looking to analyze a particular trend, say “Crypto”, then it would be great to harness the data that is generated on Twitter.
Twitter has made this task (surface valuable insights) easier by publishing detailed step-by-step instructions along with sample code/applications that you can deploy via your Google Cloud projects:
- Twitter API Toolkit for Google Cloud Filtered Stream
- Twitter API Toolkit for Google Cloud Recent Search
You can set up these applications on Google Cloud and filter through Tweets, understand trends and more, all within an hour. Check out the blog post for more details.
If you are building Machine Learning applications, two key areas that you need to plan for are advances in ML algorithms (you should be able to apply the right / new algorithms) and changes in your machine learning to adapt along the way. What if you could also build a pipeline to automate a series of steps to do that. Check out the blog post for more details on how to build out such a MLOps system.
Database Auditing feature has arrived in Cloud SQL for SQL Server. Database auditing allows you to monitor changes to your SQL Server databases, like database creations, data inserts, or table deletions. Check out the blog post for more details.
Cloud Spanner has seen the release of Query Insights, a set of visualization tools that provide an easy way for developers and database administrators to quickly diagnose query performance issues on Spanner. Check out this blog post that goes through the entire journey of setting up an alert for CPU Utilization, identifying where the problem is coming from (Query Insights helps you there) and then understanding the cause and fixing it.
When it comes to observability, Prometheus is fast becoming the standard. Developers are familiar with PromQL and one of the key requests has been to use the query language that they are familiar with and possibly use it across other monitoring systems too, for e.g. Google Cloud Monitoring. What if you could use PromQL from within Google Cloud’s own interactive monitoring console or within Grafana and query Google Cloud Monitoring metrics. This is now possible via the support announced for the same. Check out the blog post for more details.
Developers and Practitioners
What is a Mobility Dashboard? How do you build one using Google Cloud services like Cloud Run, Firestore and some additional libraries? Check out this detailed blog post that builds out a sample mobility dashboard to track vehicles in real-time on a map. The architecture uses:
- Cloud Run — Hosting a web app (dashboard).
- streamlit — a library to visualize data and to make web applications.
- pydeck — a library to plot geospatial data.
- Firestore — a fully managed database that keeps your data in sync.
Cloud Run Jobs, a recently released feature, takes the applicability of Cloud Run to a lot of applications that could not have been suited to Cloud Run services, which had to be invoked via a Web Request. Cloud Run Jobs can be run in the background and is well suited for long running jobs, administrative tasks and more. Check out this blog post that highlights how you can utilize multiple Google Cloud Serverless technologies like Cloud Run Jobs, Workflows and EventArc to take screenshots of web pages.
Speaking of tools, here is an interesting tool : gcpdiag, released as open source, that can help to detect issues in Google Cloud projects. The tool will run automated checks, called rules and create a report with detected issues. The rules can be checks for best practices, security issues, common configuration issues and more. The project is available on Github and you can contribute to the same. Check out the blog post for more details.
Let’s learn about Google Cloud
Securing the Software Supply Chain has received significant attention in recent times and rightly so. If you have been looking for an introduction to the topic, different ways in which your final artifact can be compromised and what Google Cloud has in terms of securing the process, check out this article.
Networking is a key area of any cloud provider. Google Cloud Networking can be overwhelming to understand due to the large number of services and flexibility that it provides in terms of key building blocks, connectivity options and more. Check out this Networking 101 guide that helps you navigate and understand Google Cloud Networking.
Finally, when Google Cloud talks about layered security, what does it mean? How do you take a big picture view of Google Cloud Security and the various services that it provides? Just like the Networking 101 guide above, read up this article for Google Cloud Security Controls.
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