Google Cloud Technology Nuggets — July 1–15, 2022 Edition

Welcome to the July 1–15, 2022 edition of Google Cloud Technology Nuggets.

// Quick Links to few Google Cloud Resources

Keep these links handy if you are tracking what’s new with Google Cloud along with Release Notes. If you prefer podcasts, check out the podcast site that lists 3 of Google Cloud’s podcasts on a variety of topics.

Infrastructure

Arm-based computing is here to stay and Google Cloud has announced a preview of the first Arm-based machine types based on the Tau family of VMs. Tau T2A VMs come in multiple predefined VM shapes, with up to 48 vCPUs per VM, and 4GB of memory per vCPU.

To learn more about Tau T2A VMs or other Compute Engine VM options, check out our machine types and pricing pages.

Several Google Cloud services are also available for use with T2A VMs and these include GKE, Dataflow and the new Batch service. Check out the blog post that talks about running your GKE workloads on Tau T2A VMs.

Batch computing needs no introduction. Google Cloud has made available in preview, a new service named Batch that helps you run your batch workloads using the various compute resources available in Google Cloud.

It manages the job queue, provisions and autoscales resources, runs jobs, executes subtasks, and deals with common errors. Check out the blog post for more details on the service , the concepts that you need to be familiar with and how some customers in the early-access cycle have utilized the Batch service. For more information on the Batch service, check out the product page. There is no additional cost other than the resources needed to run the service that is charged to you.

Google I/O Adventure Cloud Architecture

Hope you had a chance to attend Google I/O 2022 this year in virtual format. There were several key announcements and if you’d like to catch up on the recordings, they are available here.

Google I/O and the online experience titled Google I/O Adventure is something that has been an interesting experiment. Did you know that it is completely powered by Google Cloud services. Most interestingly, we have a writeup now on the Architecture, services and all the details of hosting this experience on Google Cloud.

Security

Moving from on-premise to cloud and trying to build up a security threat model? It’s not an easy task because of different threat landscapes, IT environments and detection methods.

The Cybersecurity Action team has written an excellent blog post that lists down an approach to mitigating threats in the cloud.

Shifting Left on Security is widely advised now and leads to fewer software-related security defects later, or rightwards, in production, due to catching security defects and misconfigurations much earlier in the development cycle.

The key tools within Google Cloud that help to address the above are Security Command Center and Cloud Build. Check out the blog post that discusses two specific use cases : Security Health Checker and Security Pipeline Checker along with a Github repository that help to “shift left” with Google services.

Continuing on security, Post Quantum Cryptography initiatives by standards bodies and organizations is moving at a good pace. The goal is to develop cryptographic systems that are secure against both quantum and classical computers, and can interoperate with existing communications protocols and networks. If you’d like to learn about Google’s efforts in the Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) space and how Google is contributing to the standards, preparing its services and helping customers get ready, check out this post.

Databases, Analytics and Machine Learning

​​The guide to databases on Google Cloud continues with Part 3. In this part, a complete CRUD example with running a Spring Boot Application on Cloud Run interfacing with Google Cloud Spanner. Check out the blog post for more details.

If you are working with Cloud Spanner, here is a detailed blog post that highlights how a discrepancy in terms of performance metrics reported by the client application v/s those reported by Cloud Spanner metrics was debugged with the aid of OpenCensus and Go client library.

Looking to tune and optimize Google Cloud SQL for SQL Server? Check out this article that covers popular performance analysis tools and technologies database administrators can use today.

Continuing with Cloud SQL for SQL Server, you can now keep an up-to-date copy of your database via support for transactional replication feature of SQL Server. Check out the blog post that demonstrates how you can set up a Cloud SQL for SQL Server instance to act as a publisher to another Cloud SQL instance.

When loading data into BigQuery, a typical flow is to take the data that is present in Google Cloud Storage and then load it into BigQuery. There are multiple data formats like Comma Separated Values(CSV), Avro, Parquet, JSON, ORC formats. Which ones should you use? Which of the formats are the most efficient? Should you have the data compressed or uncompressed? Check out this blog post that goes through these experiments to help you make a better choice.

How do you manage experiments done by your Data Science teams? Tracking the process and outcomes of these experiments, being able to rapidly iterate with experiments while developing your models is a significant challenge. To help with this, there is Vertex AI Experiments, the managed experiment tracking service on Vertex AI and it has gone General Availability (GA). As the blog post states, “you can not only track parameters, visualize and compare performance metrics of your models, you will be able to build managed experiments that are ready to go to production quickly because of the ML pipeline and the metadata lineage integration capabilities of Vertex AI.”

Developers and Practitioners

The serverless orchestrator service, Workflows has seen the addition of Parallel execution of flows in preview mode. Think of long-running operations that earlier had to be executed serially one after the other. You can now use the Parallel steps feature, to execute them in parallel. This boosts the execution time significantly and also helps in managing resource requirements more efficiently, rather than boosting them upfront, when doing it serially.

Check out the blog post that shows a series of 5 BigQuery jobs, that are first executed serially and then in parallel.

Native image technology allows you to compile your Java applications upfront and into executable code that can provide significant performance benefits, especially around cold startup times. Java Client Libraries now have support for Native image compilation. The libraries now come with the configuration support needed for the same.

​​Check out the blog post that covers a detailed step-by-step example that you can try out to see the benefits in terms of startup times and memory usage.

Google logging client library for Go has got a new release v1.5. Some key features released include support for structured logging, support for W3C tracing context header, control over batch ingestion of logs via the partial success flag and more. Check out the blog post for more details.

Let’s learn about Google Cloud

First up, if you are a new learner on Google Cloud and would like to get certified, then you have the following offer that’s up for grabs:

  • Get one month of no-cost access to your selected Google Cloud Professional Certificate on Coursera to help you prepare for the relevant Google Cloud certification exam.
  • You can earn a discount voucher on the cost of the Google Cloud certification exam by completing the Professional Certificate on Coursera by August 31, 2022.

To get started, click here.

Let’s talk about Google Cloud Professional Security Engineer Certification next. If you plan to give this exam, start with the solid list of resources listed over here. It includes courses, labs, key topics to focus on and more.

How do you protect your applications against network-based threats? Learn about Network and Application Security via this blog post.

Security Command Center continuously monitors your Google Cloud environment to help you discover vulnerabilities, detect threats and to help be compliant. Check out this article to learn more about this service.

Stay in Touch

Have questions, comments, or other feedback on this newsletter? Please send Feedback.

Looking to keep a tab on new Google Cloud product announcements? We have a handy page that you should bookmark → What’s new with Google Cloud.

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Romin Irani

Romin Irani

My passion is to help developers succeed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯