Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Hybrid Integration ExpertsGoogle Cloud Platform (GCP) is a leading suite of cloud computing services that includes IaaS and PaaS features. GCP's share of the public cloud sector trails only Amazon AWS and Azure. As with vendors, Google Cloud utilizes the same massive infrastructure that supports its most popular applications. In Google's case, these include Google Search and YouTube. The Google cloud portfolio has more than 100 products that cover processing, storage, database management, networking, analytics, Big Data, machine learning, AI, access management, security, Internet of Things, and centralized tools.

Google Cloud Platform Integration

Google Cloud uses the same global infrastructure as Google Search and YouTube

Progent has experience helping businesses from small offices to enterprises to plan, deploy, test, administer, and maintain IT ecosystems based on a variety of network models such as on-premises data centers, private clouds, one or multiple public clouds, or a hybrid combination of local and cloud infrastructure. Progent can provide quick online or onsite access to top-tier experts to help you to assess the advantages and drawbacks of possible network models and compare the services and pricing structure of Google Cloud vs. other cloud vendors.

Progent's certified Microsoft, Linux, and Cisco experts can assist your organization to expand your current IT resources with the Google Cloud Platform, and Progent's database management consultants can help make your business-critical applications cloud capable so they can take full advantage of GCP services. Progent can assist you to set up virtual machines on GCP Compute Engine, design an efficient storage solution with Google Cloud Storage services, and streamline access management with GCP Cloud Identity. Progent can also help you to utilize GCP's tools to manage and track your Google Cloud ecosystem so it consistently provides maximum business value.

Popular Services Available for the Google Cloud Platform
Google Cloud Platform offers more than 100 IaaS and PaaS services covering nearly all areas of IT including processing, data storage, database management, networking, administration, cybersecurity, web, mobile computing, and development. Google Cloud services are offered on a subscription basis. Like other public cloud services, you pay for the resources you use. Popular Google Cloud products and services for which Progent offers advanced consulting and technical support include:

Google Cloud Compute Engine ExpertsCompute Engine is an IaaS service for running Windows and Linux virtual machines in the cloud, comparable to Amazon EC2 or Azure Virtual Machines. Compute Engine virtual machines have transparent access to Google Cloud block storage and advanced network infrastructure. Google Cloud offers three basic classes of VMs in your choice of pre-defined or custom machine sizes. Google's N2 type virtual machine is value priced and designed for common applications such as web hosting, business apps, and databases. The C2 type virtual machine supports up to 60 virtual CPUs for processor-intensive applications like electronic computer-aided design and simulations. Google Cloud's M2 type virtual machine includes up to 11.5 TB of RAM for RAM-intensive apps like in-memory databases or in-depth analytics. GCP's sole-tenant node option provides a physical Compute Engine machine dedicated to your exclusive use.

Key benefits of the GCP Compute Engine include live VM migration, which lets you keep virtual machines productive even while undergoing system maintenance, and preemptible virtual machines, low-cost virtual machine compute instances which continue for a max of 24 hours and are designed for executing batch jobs that can be paused and resumed intermittently without impacting operations.

Additional available features for Google Compute Engine include:

  • Always-encrypted local SSD block storage for enhanced performance and data security
  • Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) that can be added to VM instances for processor-intense applications like machine learning (ML) and 3D graphics
  • Global load balancing for maximizing speed and availability at low cost
  • Google Kubernetes Engine for managing and orchestrating Docker containers on Compute Engine VMs
Pricing for Google Cloud Compute Engine services is based on per-second usage dependent on to VM instances and types, disks and images, network usage, sole-tenant nodes, GPUs, plus other selected resources and use.

Google Cloud Storage ExpertsGoogle Cloud Storage is object storage that scales to exabytes of data. All data held in Google Cloud Storage are logically organized in containers called buckets. Google Cloud offers four types of cloud storage, distinguished and priced based on the object's anticipated duration and its hot/cold ratio. As you move along Google's storage classes from Standard to Archive, access costs increase, at-rest costs decrease, and required minimum storage duration increases. Google's storage classes allow you to manage costs by planning the optimal price/performance profile for your environment, and GCP's Object Life Cycle Management tool allows you to automate the progression of storage objects from high-access to low-access types as they age. All classes feature global accessibility, unlimited storage (but a size limit of 5 TB for individual objects, no minimum size, low latency, on-request geo-redundancy, and a common suite of cloud security and management tools. One API applies to all Google Cloud Storage classes.

Standard Storage is Google Cloud's default type and is intended for data used often or stored only briefly. There is no minimum storage duration. To get the highest performance and least network charges, Standard Storage data should reside in the same geographical region as the VM instances or the container clusters that interact with the objects. Standard Storage delivers the top average availability across any regional distribution scheme. Nearline Storage is a low-priced storage type intended for data accessed only occasionally, preferably once per month or less. Examples of suitable use cases are monthly backup and archiving. At-rest costs are lower than with GCP's Standard Storage, but access costs more, availability is slightly less, and storage duration is at least 30 days.

Coldline Storage provides very low storage pricing for dormant data and is intended for scenarios where data are accessed less than once every 90 days Minimum duration is 90 days, availability is slightly lower than with Google's Standard and Nearline Storage classes, and access costs are comparatively high. Google's Archive Storage, which features the least at-rest storage pricing but has a minimum storage duration of one year, is the best storage service for data held exclusively for backup or archive purposes. Data access costs for Archive Storage are the highest of any Google storage type.

Cloud Storage Encryption
GCP Cloud Storage always encrypts data on the server end prior to writing it to disk. In addition to this routine encryption, you can choose other options to encrypt your data. There are two server-side encryption options that cause data to be encrypted after arriving at Google Cloud Storage but before being stored to disk. Google Cloud's Customer-supplied encryption keys allows you to create and manage your own encryption keys. Google's Customer-managed encryption keys option allows you to generate and control your encryption keys via Google's Cloud Key Management Service. Both these server-side encryption options create an extra layer of encryption over and above Google's default Cloud Storage encryption.

If you use client-side encryption prior transporting your data to GCP Cloud Storage, your pre-encrypted data will also be subject to Google's server-side encryption.

Google Cloud IAM ExpertsGoogle Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) is Google's centralized platform for controlling access to network resources and granting permissions for users and services to use network resources for a specified duration. Examples of GCP resources are Compute Engine VM instances and Cloud Storage buckets. Centralized tools offer admins the ability to control access permissions for all services within Google Cloud. Google Cloud IAM offers fine granularity in creating policies to assign groups and users permissions to use task-relevant resources while blocking access to unnecessary resources.

With Google Cloud IAM, policies are based on roles; roles are based on permissions; and permissions are assigned to resources. Users or groups are assigned to policies, and by means of policy they gain access to the specific resources the roles give them. As an example of Google Cloud IAM's role granularity, the Cloud Pub/Sub service can be accessed under a range of permissions depending on whether a user or group has been given the role of Owner, Editor, Viewer, Publisher, or Subscriber.

Cloud IAM policies are hierarchy-based, cascading downward from the organization to projects and then to resources. You can define organization-wide policies, refine them as appropriate for a given project, and tune them further for a specific resource. You can define access policies to individual resources, to a project, or at the organizational level. Policies assigned to an organization cascade down to projects in the organization and then to resources in those projects.

Cloud Identity and Access Management Experts

Cloud IAM's policy hierarchy allows flexibility for assigning access to cloud resources

Further flexibility in managing resource permissions is offered by enabling admins to factor in context like endpoint security status, IP address, resource class, and date/time. You can manage access rights via the GUI interface of Google's web-based Cloud Console tool, via automation by using Google Cloud IAM methods, or through the gcloud command-line feature. Cloud IAM automatically maintains a complete audit trail to simplify compliance.

Cloud Identity and Access Management is included without additional cost to all GCP customers.

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) ConsultantsGoogle Kubernetes Engine (GKE is a container service for running containerized applications. Kubernetes was initially developed by Google to automate Docker container orchestration and was offered as open source at the end of 2014. Since then Kubernetes has grown to be the most popular solution for managing containerized workloads.

Google Kubernetes Engine is powered by Google's Container-Optimized OS and runs Certified Kubernetes, allowing workload portability to other Kubernetes platforms spanning cloud and local networks. To accelerate software development, prebuilt open-source deployment templates for commercial applications are offered on Google Cloud Marketplace.

The Migrate for Anthos service, offered at no cost with GKE, enables you to migrate and convert your workloads easily from your existing environment into Google Kubernetes Engine containers. These workloads can include physical servers and virtual machines located on-premises, in Google's Compute Engine, or in third-party clouds. Google Kubernetes Engine supports pod and cluster autoscaling for ongoing analysis of the processor and memory usage of pods and for automatically adjusting processor and memory requests across multiple node pools.

Other capabilities of GKE include preemptible VMs, persistent storage, always-encrypted local solid-state drive block storage, global load balancing to maximize speed and uptime, compatibility with both Windows Server and Linux nodes, the ability to run stateless serverless containers via the Google Cloud Run service, and usage metering for fine-grained insight into Kubernetes clusters.

GKE complies with HIPAA and PCI DSS 3.1. standards. For stronger cybersecurity, GKE Sandbox provides an extra layer of defense between containerized GKE workloads. GKE clusters provide integrated support for Kubernetes Network Policy to filter traffic by applying pod-level firewall policies. Private clusters in Google Kubernetes Engine can be confined to a private or public endpoint accessible only to specified address ranges.

Google Kubernetes Engine charges for each GCP Compute Engine instance in a cluster. Use of GCP Compute Engine resources is billed on a per-second basis with a one-minute minimum usage cost.

Google Cloud AI Building Blocks ExpertsCloud AI Building Blocks enable developers, even with little or no machine learning backgrounds, to integrate Google's leading-edge AI technology into their applications. Core capabilities cover sight, language, and conversation. By using Google's APIs, you can take advantage of Google's out-of-the-box models and avoid having to deal with developing your own datasets and training your own AI models. As Google's library of pre-trained models grows in sophistication and size, you can immediately add leading-edge AI technology to your applications. In addition, Google Cloud AutoML products give you the tools required to train, test and deploy your own domain-specific ML models. You can use any Google Cloud AI Building Block individually or in any combination with other AI Building Blocks according to your requirements.

Google Cloud AI Building Blocks Consultants

Google GCP Cloud AI Building Blocks add vision, language, and speech technology to applications

For AI-enhanced imaging, Google Cloud AI Building Blocks offer the AutoML Vision and Vision API products that allow you to derive insights from image libraries. Both services include REST and RPC APIs and enable your app to discern objects and their location inside the image. AutoML Vision simplifies training for your home-grown machine learning (ML) models by providing an easy-to-use graphical interface. Once you refine your models for accuracy, latency and size, you can send them to the Google Cloud or to various edge devices.

Google Cloud's Vision API offers integration with Google's pre-trained machine learning models. Developers can quickly classify images via Google's extensive collections of predefined labels. Vision API uses OCR tools to detect text, in over 50 languages, contained within images. Combined with Google's Document Understanding AI feature, you can use the same ML technology that powers Google Search to derive actionable insights from masses of unstructured documents. You can detect web objects and pages, distinguish a face from other items and detect facial attributes, and identify product logos and famous landmarks. You can also detect adult or violent content within images.

Google GCP's AutoML Video Intelligence and Video Intelligence API services, which provide a comparably extensive range of capabilities as Google's Vision products, make it simpler to mine information from videos.

Language Products
Language is Google's strong suit, and Google's stack of AI Building Blocks understandably includes a potent suite of products. Google GCP language products include:

  • Cloud Translation API
    This cloud service enables developers to enrich web sites and programs with dynamic language translation capability powered by Googleís neural machine translation technology. Google Cloud provides a Basic and an Advanced release of the Translation API. Both options are based on Google's pre-trained, general-purpose model and offer automatic language detection, an integrated REST API, seamless HTML support, and the ability to translate between more than 100 language pairs. The Advanced option of Cloud Translation API includes an extensible glossary to reflect your branding in translated copy, batch translation support in GCP Cloud Storage, the ability to utilize custom AutoML Translation models, and an integrated gRPC open source API. The Cloud Translation service is priced per character.
  • AutoML Translation
    This machine learning platform allows developers to create a custom translation model by training it with your own dataset. The dataset consists of matching pairs of sentences in the source and target languages. AutoML Translation applies statistical analysis to the items from your custom dataset to train the model, validates it, and scores its accuracy. After you assess the effectiveness of your custom model, you can tune your dataset and train a new model until you are satisfied with the outcome. You can build your own translation models in over fifty language pairs. Costs for using AutoML Translation are calculated based on the hours of training used and the volume of characters you submit for translation.
  • Cloud Natural Language API
    Google Cloud's Natural Language API uses a suite of standard machine learning models to help you to grasp the meaning and structure of documents. A content classification model discerns content categories in a document, like civil engineering, finance, or sports; an entity analysis model identifies and tags familiar entities referred to within the document, such as country, organization, or athlete); a sentiment analysis model evaluates the author's attitude suggested by the document and the strength of emotion; an entity sentiment analysis model integrates entity and sentiment analysis by identifying familiar entities in a document and estimating the positive or negative attitude and the magnitude of feeling expressed in relation to those entities; a syntactic analysis model exposes structural information by deconstructing text into sentences and tokens (words), which are then broken down into parts of speech and roots. Each API detects the language of the text being analyzed if it is not specified. Google's Natural Language API is a REST API and uses JSON requests and responses. Target text can be included in the request or resident in Google Cloud Storage.
  • AutoML Natural Language
    Google Cloud's AutoML Natural Language product enables you to create and refine custom Natural Language models for classification, entity extraction, and sentiment analysis. As an example, a custom sentiment analysis model created by an airline could be taught that a mention of misplaced baggage in social media reflects a negative rather than positive sentiment. Google's AutoML Natural Language product makes it simple to build a dataset, utilize the dataset to train a model, test the resulting model, and tune your dataset until the model is ready to deploy.
  • Dialogflow
    GCP's Dialogflow is a platform that uses the natural language understanding technology that powers Google Assistant to help you to create a conversational interface so your product or service can interact with your customers by voice. You can add this capability to a smartphone app, website, voice response system, or any other scenario that could be enhanced with natural voice conversation. Google's Dialogflow service can analyze text or voice inputs and can respond via text or synthetic speech. Dialogflow can detect a userís intent and extract prebuilt entities including time, date, and numbers. You can train your Dialogflow agent to recognize your custom entity types by providing small sample datasets, or you can utilize over 40 tested agents as templates. Professional editions of Dialogflow are priced based on audio/phone time and the volume of characters and queries.
  • Cloud Text-to-Speech
    Google Cloud's Text-to-Speech API transforms text or Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) to high-quality, natural-sounding speech in more than 30 languages and more than 180 voices. Google's Cloud Text-to-Speech platform works with any application or device capable of sending REST or gRPC requests. This includes smartphones, PCs, tablets, and IoT devices like autos, televisions, and speakers. Accepted audio formats include mp3, Linear16, and Ogg Opus. You can use Speech Synthesis Markup Language tags to insert pauses, numbers, calendar and time formatting, and other instructions. Cloud Text-to-Speech is priced per million characters submitted.
  • Speech-to-Text
    GCP's Speech-to-Text API provides access to advanced automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology powered by Google's constantly evolving deep-learning neural network algorithms. Google Cloud's Speech-to-Text can translate audio in real time and can be optimized to support various sampling frequencies for phones, video, or voice commands and search. Google's API works with 120 languages and can recognize what language is being used from a list of as many as four languages. You can identify up to 5,000 words or phrases that pertain to your organization, like brand or stakeholder names. Google's technology can automatically capitalize proper names and convert spoken numbers into addresses, dates, phone numbers, and currencies. Video transcription can add punctuation, and speaker diarization technology can distinguish among multiple speakers in a conference. Noise cancellation is included, and for some languages you have the ability to block offensive expressions. Supported encodings include FLAC, AMR, PCMU, and Linear-16. Billing is time based.
How Progent Can Assist You with Google Cloud Platform Integration
If you plan to integrate your IT network with Google Cloud Platform (GCP), whether to build a cloud-based ecosystem or as a hybrid on-premises/cloud environment, Progent can help you to evaluate the advantages of GCP vs. other public cloud vendors or to other network models. Progent can help you with any stage of a move to Google Cloud including requirements planning, system design, pilot testing, deployment, centralized management, performance tuning, license management, disaster recovery strategies, and security and compliance review.

Progent can assist you to determine which of your applications are appropriate for GCP and can help you make your legacy apps cloud ready. Progent has experience helping clients assess the value of migrating to Google Cloud SQL, using Google Dataproc for local Hadoop, adopting Google Kubernetes Engine as a virtualization substitute, and deploying MongoDB Atlas on Google Cloud vs. on-premises MongoDB. Progent can provide on-demand online consulting support for short-term tasks to help you rapidly overcome occasional technical hurdles or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management outsourcing services to make sure your Google Cloud deployment initiative is successfully carried out on time and on budget.

Some of most frequently encountered technical problems organizations face when integrating with Google Cloud or other public cloud platform is reconfiguring firewalls and VPN connections to provide users with easy but secure access to cloud resources. Progent offers the services of Cisco-certified CCIE network consultants and firewall specialists for security appliances from major suppliers such as Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Barracuda, WatchGuard, and Fortinet to assist you to set up or troubleshoot firewalls for accessing Google Cloud. To accommodate mobile computing, Progent's iPhone and iPad technology consultants and Android integration consultants can help you to integrate and administer secure mobile devices for your GCP users. Progent can work in conjunction with your in-house technical team and Google's support engineers to resolve Google Cloud integration problems quickly and affordably.

Popular online consulting services offered by Progent to assist organizations expand their networks with Google Cloud include:

  • Review hybrid system plan for Google Compute Engine VMs and Google Cloud Storage
  • Create and verify virtual machine images for Windows or Linux
  • Configure, deploy and debug VPN tunnels for access to Google Cloud
  • Design configuration solutions for firewalls from Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Barracuda, WatchGuard, and Fortinet and others
  • Set up and troubleshoot mobile endpoints
  • Create and implement security policies based on leading practices
  • Fix IP addressing issues
  • Define cost-managed plan for GCP Cloud Storage
  • Tune query performance on Cloud SQL
  • Automate license management
  • Fix certificate problems
Other Cloud Integration Services Available from Progent
A growing selection of public cloud services are in competition or work together with Google Cloud Platform. For a variety of motives, many enterprises deploy a network model that includes multiple public cloud platforms as well as local or private cloud IT assets. Progent can help you to assess the comparative benefits of top public cloud offerings and can help you to design, integrate and manage network environments that incorporate a combination of public and private clouds and on-prem data centers.

Other leading cloud platforms supported by Progent include:

Azure Integration ConsultantsProgent's Azure cloud integration experts can assist you with any phase of Microsoft Azure integration including needs definition, readiness assessment, solution design, pre-production testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance tuning, license management, disaster recovery preparedness, security policy enforcement, and compliance validation. Progent can assist you to set up and troubleshoot firewall appliances and VPN connections so that your clients can safely access to Azure-based resources, and Progent's Microsoft-certified consultants can help you set up key Microsoft technologies to work in Azure including Windows Server, Exchange Server, SQL Server and Skype for Business. Progent can also help you to create a hybrid ecosystem that transparently combines on-premises datacenters with Azure services.

Office 365 Integration with On-premises ExchangeMicrosoft has made a strong effort to enable transparent hybrid ecosystems that combine Office 365 Exchange Online and on-premises Exchange deployments. This permits you to have specific Exchange mailboxes hosted on your physical datacenter or private cloud and other mailboxes resident on Office 365. Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team can help you with any facet of planning, integrating and debugging your hybrid Office 365/Exchange solution. Progent's Exchange consultants can deliver as-needed expertise to help you resolve challenging technical problems and also can provide comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to make sure your hybrid Office 365 initiative is successfully completed on time and within budget. For more information about Progent's online consulting expertise for integrating Office 365 and on-premises Exchange environments, go to Office 365 Exchange Online integration with on-premises Exchange.

Microsoft Office 365 Integration ExpertsProgent's Office and Office 365 consultants can help businesses of any size to incorporate Microsoft Office desktop and Microsoft Office 365 apps including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Microsoft Outlook, Access, Project and OneNote into a seamless solution that provides fast return on investment and promotes improved business results. Progent can help you to integrate Office or Office 365 apps with one another and with other key Microsoft technologies including SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange Server and Microsoft SQL Server deployed locally or in the cloud. Progent can also help you to resolve compatibility problems with different releases of Microsoft Office desktop and can provide live online Office and Office 365 training to individuals or teams.

Amazon AWS Integration ExpertsProgent's Amazon AWS planning and integration consultants offer affordable remote consulting to help companies of any size to integrate Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services such as Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) for virtual server hosting, Amazon S3 for expandable low-latency storage, and Glacier for value-priced long-term archiving. Progent can help your IT team with every phase of Amazon AWS integration including requirements analysis, preparedness evaluation, architectural design, testing, deployment, centralized administration, performance optimization, software license management, disaster recovery mechanisms, and security and compliance. Progent offers advanced expertise with firewall configuration and VPN technology and can help you create cloud-based or hybrid networking models that efficiently incorporate Amazon AWS services. Progent offers occasional expertise or Progent can deliver comprehensive project management outsourcing to help you move efficiently to the Amazon AWS cloud.

Amazon MWS Integration ConsultingAmazon Marketplace Web Service is a library of APIs that allows Amazon sellers to improve the efficiency of their business processes by automating crucial sales activities such as listings, orders, shipments, inbound and outbound fulfillment, and reports. By leveraging Amazon's extensive online ecosystem and automating their sales processes, vendors can expand their market, lower their operating costs, improve reaction time to customers, and add to their bottom line. Progent's Amazon Marketplace Web Service consultants can collaborate with your development staff and provide application programming, workflow integration, project management support, and training to help you cut development time and costs and expedite your ROI.

Contact Progent for Google Cloud Platform Integration Expertise
If you need help with any phase of integrating your IT system with Google Cloud Platform or other public cloud platform, call Progent at 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.