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Google Cloud Platform (GCP). An exploration

In the world of Cloud computing, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a serious competitor to Amazon and Microsoft. When Eric Gipon, Database Expert at OptimaData, was introduced to GCP in addition to Amazon, he was worried for a while that he would have to learn a lot of new stuff. But fortunately, GCP turned out to be user-friendly, as we have come to expect from Google. In this blog, Eric talks about his experiences with GCP and why it can even be beneficial. A brief exploration.


‘Let me google that for you…’ Google is indispensable in our current society. Whether you want to find out the cause of your physical ailments, fancy some cute cat pictures or wonder what is the best party to solve your database problems (then of course you end up at OptimaData), everyone seeks refuge in Google.

But Google is not only the biggest search engine, they also have their own Cloud environment. That puts the Tech giant at the top of Cloud providers to ellenbow push for the No. 1 position with Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

First login

At my previous employer, I learned to work in AWS. We also encounter AWS at OptimaData, but we also have clients who use GCP. My first thought was, Oh dear, I finally got a good feel for AWS, I have to learn something completely new again.

Now I have to confess, I’ve always been a big fan of Google’s products. It works hand in hand with Android and it has its own password vault. Google Drive was ideal during my education to work on my text and spreadsheet files in the Cloud and store them there as well. So the first time I logged into GCP, I immediately noticed a familiar convenience of Google: logging in with my Google account. After that, I was completely lost in this world that was new to me.

Discovery Tour

After browsing around the platform and exploring the various services offered, it wasn’t all that bad. Fortunately, most Cloud platforms do look similar and both GCP and its competitors offer many cloudnative solutions, but under different names. For example, within AWS the virtual machines are called EC2, within GCP they are called Compute Engine. And for us database experts, GCP also has a tool up its sleeve, CloudSQL. CloudSQL offers serverless database instances where the server is managed by Google in the background.

So you only have to worry about the database instance itself. CloudSQL is offered in the database flavors PostgreSQL, MySQL and MSSQL Server. Although many of the services offered are very similar at first glance, there are some differences at the detail level.

Cloud spend

Every organization likes to keep its costs down, and using Cloud makes less management necessary, and so you can save on that. But the services within the Cloud are more expensive than on-premises. Balancing this can be tricky. GCP is generally cheaper than its competitors AWS and Azure. In fact, when GCP thinks you could save money, they are happy to tell you. For example, there may be an icon behind your Compute Engine:

Cloudspend en tips van google in GCP

So one of the advantages of GCP is the cost. Mar also especially read the comparison we wrote about AWS, GCP en Azure. And my colleague Gerard Zuidweg has written an inspiring series of blogs on Cloudspend and reducing your cloud costs.


There can be different reasons for choosing a particular Cloud provider, such as personal preference, partnerships, technical reasons or different services. For the tech-savvy, there are obviously differences between different Cloud providers. Fortunately, many of the services offered are basically the same. Because they are so similar, learning, discovering and working with another Cloud provider is a relatively small step for us.

Want to know more?

Are you also facing a difficult choice when it comes to the best Cloud provider for your situation? In our earlier blog on Can you see the trees through the cloud forest yet, we already mentioned such choice stress. But don’t be fooled! We have experience with multiple cloud platforms and can help you accurately weigh the pros and cons. A (real-live) demo is of course also one of the options. Feel free to contact us.