No IT system could exist without a database. It is not uncommon for the most efficient ones to be in the cloud. Let's find out what a database is and what Google Cloud Platform has to offer in this area.

What's in this article

    What is Google Cloud Platform?

    Google Cloud Platform is a platform with cloud services, a combination of many functionalities running in the cloud provided by Google, including, but not limited to, vitrual machines, cloud storage and databases.
    The services are launched on an on-demand model and can be switched on as quickly as they can be switched off, with costs charged on a per-second or per-minute basis. The calculation of the cost of Google Cloud Platform services takes into account factors such as the location of the data, the specification of the machines or the level of consumption.

    You can find out more about Google Cloud Platform on the FOTC website – a Google Cloud partner company.

    What is a database?

    A database is a collection of information organised in a way that it can be easily accessed and managed. Organisations build applications using databases to answer business needs such as buying tickets, completing an expense report, storing photographs or keeping medical records. Computer applications run databases to get quick answers to questions such as:

    • What is the name of the user? How to display their name if we have their login details?
    • What is the cost of a product? How should it be displayed on a website?
    • What is the next ad that should be shown to a user browsing a website?

    These applications must be able to write data and read it from databases. When a database is used, it is usually handled by a computer application. So when we say that 'a database is useful for doing X', it is usually because it has been designed to make answering a question simple, fast and efficient for the application.

    Google Cloud Platform databases

    GCP provides cloud database services that are managed, scalable, reliable and easy to use. It offers Cloud Spanner or Cloud SQL service for PostgreSQL, MySQL and SQL Server. It also provides non-relational databases or NoSQL, such as Cloud Datastore, Cloud Firestore or Cloud BigTable. Google has been a leader in data storage for years, as evidenced by the development of BigTable or Spanner, to operational excellence in storing massive amounts of data for advertising and consumer services.

    Google Cloud SQL

    Cloud SQL is a fully managed database service that makes it easy to configure, maintain, manage and administer MySQL and PostgreSQL relational databases in the cloud. It is accessible from almost any application, anywhere, as long as it is compatible with MySQL or PostgreSQL.

    Google Cloud Spanner

    Cloud Spanner is the only globally distributed and highly consistent managed enterprise-class database service specifically designed for the cloud to combine the advantages of a relational database structure with non-relational horizontal scalability.

    Google Cloud Bigtable

    Cloud Bigtable is a high-performance NoSQL database service designed for large analytical and operational workloads. It offers enterprises a fast, fully managed, almost infinitely scalable database service that works well for Internet of Things projects, analysing data and user behaviour, running financial data analysis, time series data or graphs.

    Google Cloud Datastore

    Cloud Datastore is a fully managed NoSQL document database that scales from zero to global without any downtime or configuration changes. It is ideal for fast and flexible web and mobile application development. It is a proven production system that has served GCP users for more than 10 years.

    Google Cloud Firestore

    Cloud Firestore is a flexible, scalable NoSQL database for client-side and server-side data storage and synchronisation. Cloud Firestore is a good choice for mobile and web applications that do not want to achieve high operational load and demanding server support.

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