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What the new Google Cloud Platform means for manufacturers

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article image The cloud platform can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of large-scale data handling solutions

The new Cloud Platform services recently introduced by Google allow almost anyone to build applications and websites, and store and analyse data using Google’s infrastructure. This is an exciting development for those looking to implement a scalable Internet-of-things system at a minimal cost. 

With the introduction of the Cloud Platform, users can harness the researched information, computing power and infrastructure available for Google’s myriad of services for use with their own Internet-of-Things projects.

Large-scale, high-speed, distributed cloud storage and computation with large amounts of data is at the heart of everything that makes Google what it is, so it’s clear that they have substantial opportunities to offer external cloud-computing customers.

Whilst Google is not the first major player in the cloud computing market, their substantial infrastructure and ‘Big Data’ experience represent a significant source of potential competition with other established cloud computing providers such as Amazon Web Services. The capability to use Google’s data centre infrastructure for cloud storage and computation, data tools such as BigQuery to process very large scale data sets and integration with Google’s data, services and apps are increasingly attractive.

The Google Cloud Platform is made up of a couple of different core components, Compute and Storage being two of the most important. The Compute component includes the Google Compute Engine, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service platform designed to run any application on top of Google’s infrastructure to offer fast networking, scalable processing and storage, and the App Engine, a platform for developing and hosting web applications. The Storage component includes Google Cloud Storage and the BigQuery large-scale query system.

Similar to most cloud computing platforms, end users access cloud-based applications and infrastructure through a relatively lightweight local computer via a web browser, lightweight desktop software, or a mobile device application, with the data and most of the software stored on remote servers in the cloud. Hardware requirements for the user to leverage the power of applications and data on Google Cloud Platform-hosted applications and services are minimal as a result.

Many components of the Google Cloud Platform support open standards and protocols such as REST-based APIs. The Google Compute Engine is built atop a JSON RESTful API, which can be accessed via numerous different libraries, command-line utilities and GUI front-end tools. Google’s BigQuery, a cloud-based fully managed interactive query service specifically designed for work with massive datasets, is operated via an SQL-like query language.

Google Cloud Storage complements the Compute component of the Google Cloud Platform and serves to glue together all Google Cloud Services. An HTTP service that serves data directly over HTTP with high performance and resumable transfers of objects up to the terabyte scale, Google Cloud Storage offers support for two different APIs – one that is compatible with the XML standard used by competing providers such as Amazon Web Services, and another built around JSON and OAuth, consistent with the Google Compute Engine’s API.

The Google App Engine is a ‘Platform-as-a-Service’ cloud computing platform for the development and hosting of web applications in Google’s managed data centres, with applications sand-boxed and distributed across multiple servers. One of the major benefits of using the Google App Engine is that it can offer automatic scaling for web applications to handle the increased demand of requests for any particular application.

The question however remains about why an organisation would use the Google Cloud Platform. Though an initial investment is involved to import data into the cloud, this is offset by the substantial advantages offered by the platform. By offering fully managed services that eliminate the requirement for upfront capacity planning, provisioning, constant monitoring and planning software updates, the cloud platform can significantly reduce the total cost of ownership of large-scale data handling solutions.

Another advantage of the Google Cloud Platform is the network that connects the company’s data centres so data can be processed and delivered where it is needed in milliseconds. Google has a private distributed backbone between all its data centres – any data being moved around within Google’s cloud, even within geographically diverse data centres will travel over Google’s backbone, and not over the Internet, providing substantially improved performance.

LX Group has the experience and expertise in the IoT field to help clients develop new or modify existing hardware and software to integrate their systems with the Google Cloud Platform. 

As a partner, LX group will discuss and understand the client’s requirements and goals, and help them navigate the various hardware and other options available to help solve their problems.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia specialising in embedded systems design and wireless technologies.

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