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Buyer's Guide

Download the Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS) Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is Google Compute Engine?

Google Compute Engine delivers virtual machines running in Google's innovative data centers and worldwide fiber network. Compute Engine's tooling and workflow support enable scaling from single instances to global, load-balanced cloud computing.

Compute Engine's VMs boot quickly, come with persistent disk storage, and deliver consistent performance. Our virtual servers are available in many configurations including predefined sizes or the option to create Custom Machine Types optimized for your specific needs. Flexible pricing and automatic sustained use discounts make Compute Engine the leader in price/performance.

Google Compute Engine Customers

Allthecooks, BetterCloud, Bluecore, Cosentry, Evite, Ezakus, HTC, Infectious Media, iStreamPlanet, Mendelics, SageMathCloud, Sedex, Treeptik, Wibigoo, Wix, zulily, Zync

Google Compute Engine Video

Archived Google Compute Engine Reviews (more than two years old)

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IT Support with 51-200 employees
Real User
Offers good scalability but it is has a very arcane and complex security environment and projecting costs can be difficult
Pros and Cons
  • "The initial setup is reasonably straightforward. It's a handful of networks and a handful of computers."
  • "The biggest problem is that it's got a very archaean and complex security environment that has to be very carefully set up and is easy to break."

What is our primary use case?

This is a web application and deployment is moving to GCP for disaster recovery purposes .

How has it helped my organization?

It has dramatically increased our costs over running dedicated hardware.

What is most valuable?

All of the cloud solution providers are basically the same. There's a little bit around the edges that is different. Each provider has its own kind of unique products but for the most part, 90% of the coverage between all of them is the same.

What needs improvement?

The biggest problem is that it's got a very arcane and complex security environment that has to be very carefully set up and maintained. Because GCP has is such a huge attack surface and is so prominent it any security lapses can quickly become fatal.

The problem with good security is that  it more difficult to use the GCP features. Faced with a difficult to use interface people will find ingenious ways to circumvent the security.

Because GCE is tied into the overall Google services security model I do not believe that it can be improved without making the user experience more difficult.

Buyer's Guide
Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS)
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others in Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS). Updated: September 2022.
633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been this solution over the last three or four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

GCP/AWS... have had more downtime in the last 5 years than the current implementation has had.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I have used 4 other cloud providers over the years and have been using one provider for some applications for over 10 years.

The switch from internally managed services to a cloud environment was a management decision.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is reasonably straightforward.

The existing environment is fairly flat and static.

What about the implementation team?

An external firm has been contracted to provide the design and implementation of a DR solution which includes moving existing components to GCP.

They have little understanding of the existing environment and that lack of understanding has caused several roll backs on requirements to keep the operational cost manageable.

What was our ROI?

At this point there is no ROI unless the business model fundamentally changes.

For the foreseeable future this will be a significant budget deficit.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's $60,000 to $70,000 a month to replace about $10,000 a month in data center costs. 

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The choice was not mine so 

What other advice do I have?

The advice that I would give to someone considering this solution is that you have to take a close look at what your costs are, where you want scalability and consider the reliability issues because it's not always obvious where . There are a number of places where commercial cloud applications work very well. There are places where it doesn't. For applications where you have large dynamic changes in load and storage, the cloud environment can be great because you pay for what you use and can take advantage of running up resources on demand. For static environments where you've got a reasonable amount of infrastructure, a cloud solution can be highly expensive and no more reliable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Douglas Augusto - PeerSpot reviewer
Software Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Real User
Completely customized virtual machines with low prices

What is our primary use case?

I used GCE as simple virtual machines to run applications such as sonar and logstash as I also used to create robust clusters to scale applications with kubernetes.

How has it helped my organization?

The GCE, with its versatility, allows us to create virtual machines for any situation. We can either put an application in production, or run software like Sonar to guarantee the quality of the code.

What is most valuable?

Compared to other IaaS providers, I believe that Google Compute Engine (GCE) stands out with the ability to customize the virtual machines. With other providers, these are pre-determined specifications. With this you can create machines specific to your application.

What needs improvement?

The GCE only has virtual machines with processors and video cards of the new generation in the North American region, the GCE has expanded in new areas, like Latin America, but it does not carry powerful hardware.

What other advice do I have?

If the focus is cost reduction, they can migrate to the GCE without the fear that it will not bring results. The migration is simple and fluid, and there is nothing complex about it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
it_user738243 - PeerSpot reviewer
it_user738243Professor de Extensão with 51-200 employees
Vendor

Nice

Buyer's Guide
Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS)
September 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others in Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS). Updated: September 2022.
633,952 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PeerSpot user
Google Certified Professional Data Engineer at a tech vendor with 201-500 employees
Real User
You can use Google Cloud Datalab to explore, analyze, transform and visualize data and build machine learning models using existing data in Google Cloud Storage.

What is most valuable?

One of the most valuable features that Cloud Datalab has is that it integrates seamlessly with other Google Cloud Platform products. You can use Google Cloud Datalab to explore, analyze, transform and visualize data and build machine learning models using existing data in Google Cloud Storage or BigQuery. Cloud Datalab is interactive, so you can run portions of your code and see the results immediately as you work through your Datalab notebook.

How has it helped my organization?

Google Cloud Datalab has made it really easy for me to perform data exploration and analysis. Previously, I would have to wait for my data to transfer to a local server with a SQL database before beginning exploration. With larger data sets, the entire data transfer and analysis process could take hours if not days. With Google Cloud Datalab and Google Cloud Platform, I can receive processed results in seconds, not hours or days, without significant delays transferring data, since my data is already in Google Cloud Storage and easily accessible for consumption in Google Cloud Platform. In addition, I am starting to leverage the Google Cloud Machine Learning APIs built into Google Cloud Datalab to receive better insights on my data.

What needs improvement?

You can already run BigQuery SQL queries in Google Cloud Datalab but one thing I would like to see improved is the user experience when constructing these SQL queries, similar the tools that the Big Query web console offers. For example, I would like to see improved support for automatically formatting SQL queries. It would also be helpful to have a button that will check a query for SQL syntax errors before running the query which is also available in the BigQuery web console.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used Google Cloud Datalab for about 18 months. In February 2016, I ran into an issue while configuring Datalab and opened a new issue on the Datalab Github page. I received a response on the same day from a Google employee on the core Datalab development team. After resolving my issue with the help of a Cloud Datalab development team member on Github, I became more interested in Cloud Datalab to the extent that I decided to download the source code and build Datalab locally. I learned a lot in the process.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been a few (rare) instances where I've encountered a stability issue during the beta pre-production stage of the product. I should mention that it was pretty easy to revert back to a previous stable build. The stability issues are even more rare with the production version and since there is a very large user base the development team is very quick to fix regressions and troubleshoot performance issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, and I don't expect any issues with scalability as the Datalab Kernel is running in a Google Compute Engine (GCE) virtual machine which can be scaled according to the developer's needs. In addition, Google Cloud Platform is designed around scalability at the Petabyte-scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

10/10. The Datalab development team is very responsive on both StackOverflow and Github. I encourage you to make use of the free support that is available from the online Datalab Community. You can even build/run Datalab from source code if you have the interest to tinker around and learn more about Datalab on your own. If you prefer Google specific support, there are three support tiers available. You can also submit feedback directly from the Datalab user interface.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Previously I used Jupyter (formerly IPython) as a tool for interactive data analysis. My primary reason for switching is that Datalab has built-in integration and high level magic commands for certain Google Cloud Platform products, such as Google Cloud Storage and Google BigQuery. In addition, Datalab has built in charting capabilities.

How was the initial setup?

Yes, the initial setup is very straightforward because the Datalab kernel is installed on a virtual machine in the cloud rather than on your local machine. In addition, the quick start documentation was very easy to follow. Google Cloud Datalab is installed using Google Cloud Shell which is accessible from a web browser which means that you can have access to the full Google Cloud Datalab user interface from a light-weight laptop such as a Chromebook.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Google Cloud Datalab is an open source product (Apache 2.0 License). There are costs associated with having the Datalab Kernel running in a Compute Engine Virtual Machine, however you will only pay for the cloud resources you use. To save on costs, you can stop the GCE Virtual machine and start it when it is needed again. There may be other costs for additional resources that you decide to use, such as Google BigQuery or Google Cloud Storage.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, previously I used Jupyter Notebook. Google Cloud Datalab is built on Jupyter (formerly IPython) so it was easy to transition to Google Cloud Datalab.

What other advice do I have?

Don't hesitate to try Google Cloud Datalab if you are in need of an interactive data visualization tool. Follow the quick start documentation and don't be afraid to get your feet wet. If you prefer a structured learning environment, there are also Google Approved paid courses available.

I could not have found a better product to perform interactive data analysis and begin my career as a Data Engineer. The are so many sample Datalab notebooks which makes it really easy for someone new to run and modify a Datalab notebook regardless of their level of knowledge of big data or python. After launching Datalab, simply click on the help icon in the navigation bar and then click the "Samples and Tutorials" link. Google Cloud Datalab is an open source project so reporting bugs and submitting feature requests is easy. If you're feeling brave, you can even submit a pull request in the GitHub project to fix a bug or modify Datalab functionality. The project maintainers are really welcoming and encourage participation from new contributors. In addition, the Cloud Datalab community is very responsive on StackOverflow.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS) Report and find out what your peers are saying about Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and more!
Updated: September 2022
Buyer's Guide
Download our free Infrastructure as a Service Clouds (IaaS) Report and find out what your peers are saying about Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and more!