Cloud services simply refer to those services which provide infrastructure, software, hardware, or even different platforms via the internet. Their cloud technology services include providing servers, databases, storage space, intelligence etc, to a client, through a third-party format. Here the Internet in itself forms the “cloud” in Cloud services.
Google Cloud Platform or GCP is one of the leading public cloud vendors that provide products and services like cloud storage, compute engine, data analytics etc.
In 2020, Google Cloud accounted for approx 7% of Google’s total revenue with a revenue of 13 Billion US dollars. In 2021, 23% of global businesses make use of GCP and its different products and services.  With such huge numbers, it is apparent that cloud services are only going to flourish more.
In this article, we shall learn more about GCP and its various services and also about the different certificates made available by Google for learning more about GCP. So, read on if you are interested in knowing more about the cloud services provided by the Tech Giant.
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What is Cloud Computing Technology?
Before we go on to explain more about the Google Cloud Platform, it is important that we understand what cloud computing technology is all about.
As the world continues to become highly digitsed by the day, the data that is being generated each passing day is seeing new heights. In fact, the volume of data being generated worldwide, the “Big Data” as it is now known, was projected to touch a staggering amount of 79 zettabytes.  This is even considered to be doubled by 2025.
Cloud computing services provide a better resolution to companies without them having to make hefty and expensive changes to their entire IT infrastructure. It offers IT services like storage, network, and some newer services even provide software like natural language processing and artifiical intelligence. It is remote and companies do not even need stacks of in-house data servers and a huge team to maintain these said servers.
Cloud computing technology has a pay-as-you-go model so you need not pay for services that you do not even need. It has a monthly subscription amount and an alternative that only bills you according to your usage.
It’s the same as having a Netflix or Hulu subscription instead of spending money in renting movies or buying DVDs. In fact, Netflix itself makes use of cloud services to store its mammoth film library.
Importance of Cloud Computing Technology
The cloud services are managed by a cloud service provider. As data analytics becomes increasingly important for any organisation, Big Data is needed for these analytics to glean valuable insights. In such cases, Cloud Computing turns out to be a great alternative for taking data remotely and performing analytics on them and storing in a remote site as well.
As such, around $125 billion were spent in availing cloud infrastructure services by different companies. While around 89 billion US Dollars were used in maintaining the hardware and software aspects of places that keep the “cloud” or the data centres. 
Cloud Computing technology helps to create a business that is scalable. Cloud Computing technologies provide solutions that are instantaneous in nature to issues faced by their customers. Instead of applying a complex and tedious update to the infrastructure, services can be provided by cloud technology in minutes. This increases the flexibility and efficacy of a business.
Now that we are familiar with what is Cloud Computing Technology all about, let us understand more about the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and the services it provides.
What is GCP?
Google Cloud Platform or as it is popularly known with its abbreviated form GCP, is one of the Pioneers when it comes to Cloud Computing Technology. A brainchild of the search engine giant Google, it is a public cloud vendor platform. It offers computing resources ranging from hardware to software as services that can be accessed through Google’s data centres worldwide.
It has a host of computing resources that run on the same infrastructure with which Google had also created its most well-known range of end-user products like Gmail, Google Search, YouTube and even Google Drive.
GCP offers Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and also serverless computing services.
It also offers cloud services, in addition to managerial services, like cloud storage, machine learning and even data analytics.
Google Cloud is actually the name of the entire console that Google offers to its users, while Google Cloud Platform is a subset of it. It consists of all the services offered by Google that helps their customers to digitise their business. While the google cloud platform is an infrastructure-based service that offers a platform to the developers to build their web-based applications.
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History of Google Cloud Platform
GCP is one of the largest cloud computing platforms in the world. Second, to only Amazon’s AWS, it has come a long way since it started more than a decade back in 2008. Now, the roster of GCP’s customers includes big names like Twitter, Nintendo, PayPal, eBay, etc.
The first cloud service offered by Google was the product named “App Engine”. Launched in 2008, App Engine was a tool for developers to create their web applications on a google infrastructure. This was only a preview release and the first step by Google into the cloud business.
The aim that Google had in mind then with App Engine was to help developers in creating applications that were easy to operate and scalable. They wanted to provide them relatively easier building blocks in making an application and then also help them to scale the business once the app rakes in significant traffic and reaches about a million users.
As this was only a preview release, they offered the App Engine to 10,000 developers. Feedback from these developers was crucial in improving the product. They provided them with 500 MB space for their apps, 10 GB of bandwidth per day and 200 million megacycles of CPU per day.
After three years of trial runs, App Engine was finally released as an official product of the Google Cloud Platform, in late 2011. Since then, Google Cloud has branched out into many services including its most famous service, GCP.
Let us have a look at the different services offered by GCP.
Google Cloud Platform Services
A few notable services offered by GCP are
Compute Engine (GCE) is a service that provides virtual machines (VM). It is a type of IaaS service. It is the most basic feature of GCP and stands in competition with a similar product from AWS, which is Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud.
In data centres of GCP, the workload consisting of web applications and services are software-based. They might get shifted from one physical machine to another physical machine. More than one Virtual Machine (VM) can be hosted on a single physical server, thus it increases the efficiency also. VMs promotes the portability of data from one server to another within the data centres.
Customers are charged on the basis of the resources that VM uses.
The type of cloud services offered by App Engine is Platform-as-a-service based. It is used for building web applications and mobile backends. It makes use of container instances preconfigured with an available runtime. The service which is considered to be a competition of this product is Amazon Elastic Beanstalk and Microsoft Azure Web Sites 
One of the most notable services of GCP is Google Cloud Storage. It offers a really vast variety of storage options. It includes Geo-redundant services which have low latency, high QPS, Regional Cloud Storage for the workload concentrated in a particular region. Other storage options are Nearline and Coldline. The former is for data that is accessed less than once a month and the latter is for data that is accessed only once in a year.
This service offered by GCP is used for storing MySQL databases on Google’s Infrastructure.
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Cloud Machine Learning
This is a service that is used for support in building models for Machine Learning using the TensorFlow Framework.
Natural Language API
It is a type of REST API. This is used for processing natural language and gleaning insights about people, places, sentiments, food etc through the text that it is supplied with.
Cloud Vision API
This is a REST API that is used for analysing content in images. It identifies faces, letters, objects in the images and then categorises them accordingly.
Cloud Speech API
This converts audio into text. It recognises over eighty languages and their variants. This Cloud Speech API is currently in open beta mode.
Google Cloud Certifications
Google also offers a bunch of certifications to educate people more about their GCP products and services.
These certificates aim to help individuals with scaling their careers and also get a better understanding of how to navigate through the plethora of services offered by Google Cloud Platform.
They have different levels of certificates based on your knowledge about the technology related to cloud services. You can choose your certification based on your experience in technical job roles and also your familiarity with GCP.
There are primarily three types of certifications:
1. Foundational Certificates
This one is for individuals with non-technical job roles who wish to learn more about GCP and its cloud services. It is similar to having a certification for beginners.
It includes lessons on the broad umbrella of cloud services. It also provides information about the different google cloud platform products, services, benefits, etc.
2. Associate Certificates
This certification is suited for those who have some prior knowledge about cloud services and are just beginning a new project on GCP. It is a good beginning point for those who further want to collect professional level certificates.
It is focused on the skills of “deploying, monitoring, and maintaining projects on Google Cloud.” 
3. Professional Certificates
These certificates are recommended for those who already have industry experience in technical job roles and have previously handled Google Cloud products and services.
As it is a professional-level certification, it includes key responsibilities of technical job functions and aims to assess the advanced skills of the individual in implementation, design and management.
These certificates also provide hands-on knowledge through various training projects. Students also get $300 worth of free credits that can be availed to explore GCP and get a better understanding and also a practice of the various products and services.
Apart from this, they also offer 20+ free products including popular services like Compute Engine and Cloud Storage. Although these free products have a monthly limit, they are completely free for their basic models unless you ask for an upgrade.
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With Cloud Computing services gaining more and more tractions with each day, it is emerging to become one of the most used services in tech in the near future.
Although Amazon was the first player in the market with its Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft’s Azure have also gained their own footing.
With regular new updates in its GCP suite, Google wished to bring more businesses into a digital space. It therefore also offers certificate courses to educate technical as well as non-technical people more about the different services offered by GCP.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the USP of Google Cloud Platform?
GCP provides its users with data protection from spam, fraudulent activity, applications, software resources and infrastructure with the same security services as Google. Its repertoire of end-user products consisting of Google Drive, Gmail, etc is enough proof of its competency.
2. Is Google Cloud Private or Public?
The Google Cloud Platform started as a public cloud vendor but now also offers a hybrid cloud model along with a private cloud model. Users can choose between the different types of cloud-based on their workload.
3. Is Gmail PaaS or SaaS?
Gmail is a SaaS-based mail provider.
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 Meier, R. (2019, March 13). What are the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Services? – Google Cloud – Community. Medium.
 Google Cloud Certifications. (n.d.). Google Cloud.