Part I of a Cloud☁️ Journey

“On a cloud☁️ of sound 🎶, I drift in the night🌙”

Hi All -

Happy Hump 🐫 Day!

The last few weeks we spent some quality time visiting with Microsoft SQL Server 2019. A few weeks back, we kicked the tires 🚗 with IQP and the improvements made to TempDB. Then week after we were fully immersed with Microsoft’s most ambitious offering in SQL Server 2019 with Big Data Clusters (BDC).

This week we make our triumphant return back to the cloud☁️. If you have been following our travels this past summer☀️ we focused on the core concepts of AWS and then we concentrated on to the fundamentals of Microsoft Azure. So, the obvious natural progression of our continuous cloud☁️ journey✈️ would be to further explore the Google Cloud Platform or more affectionately known as GCP. We had spent a considerable amount time 🕰 before learning many of the exciting offerings in GCP but our long awaited return was overdue. Besides we felt the need to gives some love❤️ and oxytocin 🤗 for our friends from Mountain View

“It starts with one☝️ thing…I don’t know why”

Actually, Google has 10 things when it comes to their philosophy but more on that later. 😊

One of Google strong 💪 beliefs is that in “in the future every company will be a data company because making the fastest and best use of data is a critical source of competitive advantage.”

GCP is Google’s Cloud Computing☁️ solution that provides a wide variety of services such as compute, storage🗄, big data, and machine learning for managing and getting value from data and doing that at scale⚖️. GCP offers over 90 products and Services.

“If you know your history… Then you would know where you coming from”

In 2006, AWS began offering cloud computing☁️ to the masses, several years later Microsoft Azure followed suit and shortly right after GCP joined the Flexible🧘‍♀️, Agile, Elastic, Highly Available and scalable⚖️ party 🥳. Although, Google was a late arrival to the cloud computing☁️ shindig🎉 their approach and strategy to Cloud☁️ Computing is far from a “Johnny-come-lately “ 🤠

“Google Infrastructure for Everyone” 😀

Google does not view cloud computing☁️ as a “commodity” cloud☁️. Google’s methodology to cloud computing☁️ is of a “premier💎 cloud☁️”, one that provides the same innovative, high-quality, deluxe set of services, and rich development environment with the advance hardware that Google has been running🏃‍♂️ internally for years but made available through GCP.

In addition, Google who is certainly no stranger to Open Source software promotes a vision🕶 of the “open cloud☁️”. A cloud☁️ environment where companies🏢🏭 large and small 🏠can seamlessly move workloads from one cloud☁️ provider to another. Google wants customers to have the ability to run 🏃‍♂️their applications anywhere not just in Google.

“Get outta my dreams😴 … Get into my car 🚙

Now that I extolled the virtues of Google’s vision 🕶 and strategy for Cloud computing☁️, it’s time to take this car 🚙 out for a spin. Fortunately, the team at Google Cloud☁️ have put together one of the best compilations since the Zeppelin Box Set 🎸in there Google Cloud Certified Associate Cloud Engineer Path on Pluralsight.

Since there is some much to unpack📦, we will need to break our learnings down into multiple parts. So to help us put our best foot 🦶forward through the first part our journey will be Googler Brice Rice and former Googler Catherine Gamboa through their Google Cloud Platform Fundamentals — Core Infrastructure course.

In a great introduction, Brian expounds on the definition of Cloud Computing ☁️ and a brief history on Google’s transformation from the virtualization model to a container‑based architecture, an automated, elastic, third‑wave cloud☁️ built from automated services.

Next, Brian reviews GCP computing architectures:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) — provide raw compute, storage🗄, and network organized in ways that are familiar from data centers. You pay for what you allocate

Platform as a Service (PaaS) — binds application code you write to libraries📚 that give access to the infrastructure your application needs. You pay for what you use.

Software as a Service (SaaS) — applications in that they’re consumed directly over the internet by end users. Popular examples: Search🔎, Gmail📧, Docs 📄, and Drive💽

Then we had an overview of Google’s network which according to some estimates carries as much as 40% of the world’s 🌎 internet traffic 🚦. The network interconnects at more than 90 internet exchanges and more than 100 points of presence worldwide🌎. One of the benefits of GCP is that it leverages Google’s robust network. Allowing GCP resources to be hosted in multiple locations worldwide🌎. At granular level these locations are organized by regions and zones. A region is a specific geographical🌎 location where you can host your resources. Each region has one or more zones (most regions have three or more zones).

All of the zones within a region have fast⚡️network connectivity among them. A zone is like as a single failure domain within a region. A best practice in building a fault‑tolerant application, is to deploy resources across multiple zones in a given region to protect against unexpected failures.

Next, we had summary on Google’s Multi-layered approach to security🔒.

  • Server boards and the networking equipment in Google data centers are custom‑designed by Google.

Rounding out the introduction was a sneak peek 👀 into the Budgets and Billing 💰. Google offers customer-friendly 😊 pricing with a per‑second billing for its IaaS compute offering, Fine‑grained billing is a big cost‑savings for workloads that are bursting. GCP provides four tools 🛠to help with billing:

Budgets can be a fixed limit, or you can tie it to another metric, for example a percentage of the previous month’s spend.

Alerts 🔔 are generally set at 50%, 90%, and 100%, but its customizable

Billing export🧾 store detailed billing information in places where it’s easy to retrieve for more detailed analysis

Reports📊 is a visual tool in the GCP console that allows you to monitor your expenditure. GCP also implements quotas, which protect both account owners and the GCP community as a whole.

Quotas are designed to prevent the overconsumption of resources, whether because of error or malicious attack. There are two types of quotas, rate quotas and allocation quotas. Both get applied at the level of the GCP project.

After a great intro next Catherine kick starts🦵 us with GCP. She begins with a discussion around resource hierarchy 👑 and trust🤝 boundaries.

Projects are the main way you organize the resources (all resources belong to a project) you use in GCP. Projects are used to group together related resources, usually because they have a common business objective. A project consists of a set of users, a set of APIs, billing, quotas, authentication, and monitoring 🎛 settings for those APIs. Projects have 3 identifying attributes:

  1. Project ID (Globally unique)

Projects may be organized into folders 🗂. Folders🗂 can contain other folders 🗂. All the folders 🗂 and projects used by an organization can be put in organization nodes.

Please Note: If you use folders, you need to have an organization node at the top of the hierarchy 👑.

Projects, folders🗂, and organization nodes are all places where the policies can be defined.

A policy is a set on a resource. Each policy contains a set of roles and members 👥.

Please note IAM provides finer‑grained types of roles for project that contains sensitive data, where primitive roles are too generic.

Another role made available in IAM to control the billing for a project without the right to change the resources in the project is billing administrator role.

A service account is a special type of Google account intended to represent a non-human user that needs to authenticate and be authorized to access data in Google APIs.

Resources inherit policies from the parent.

Identity and Access Management ( IAM) allows administrators to manage who (i.e. Google account, a Google group, a service account, or an entire G Suite) can do what (role) on specific resources There are four ways to interact with IAM and the other GCP management layers:

When it comes to entitlements “The principle of least privilege” should be followed. This principle says that each user should have only those privileges needed to do their jobs. In a least privilege environment, people are protected from an entire class of errors. GCP customers use IAM to implement least privilege, and it makes everybody happier 😊.

For example, you can designate an organization policy administrator so that only people with privilege can change policies. You can also assign a project creator role, which control who can spend money 💵.

Finally, we checked into Marketplace 🛒 which provides an easy way to launch common software packages in GCP. Many common web🕸 frameworks, databases🛢, CMSs, and CRMs are supported. Some Marketplace 🛒 images charge usage fees, like third parties with commercially licensed software. But they all show estimates of their monthly charges before you launch them.

Google Compute Engine

Please Note: GCP updates the base images for these software packages to fix critical issues and vulnerabilities, but it doesn’t update the software after it’s been deployed. However, you’ll have access to the deployed system so you can maintain them.

“Look at this stuff…🤩 Isn’t it neat? Wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete 🤷‍♂️?”

Now with basics of GCP covered it was time 🕰 to explore 🧭 some the computing architectures made available within GCP.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) — manage a networking functionality for your GCP resources. Unlike AWS (natively), GCP VPC’s are global 🌎 in scope. They can have subnets in any GCP region worldwide. And subnets can span the zones that make up a region.

  • Provides flexibility🧘‍♀️ to scale⚖️ and control how workloads connect regionally and globally🌎

Much like physical networks, VPCs have routing tables👮‍ and Firewall 🔥 Rules which are built in.

  • Routing tables👮‍♂️ forward traffic🚦from one instance to another instance

Cloud DNS managed has low latency and high availability DNS service running on the same infrastructure as Google

Cloud VPN securely connects your peer network to your Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network through an IPsec VPN connection.

Cloud Router lets your other networks and your Google VPC exchange route information over the VPN using the Border Gateway Protocol.

VPC Network Peering enables you to connect VPC networks so that workloads in different VPC networks can communicate internally. Traffic🚦stays within Google’s network and doesn’t traverse the public internet.

  • Direct Peering -Private connection between you and Google for your hybrid cloud☁️

Dedicated Interconnect which allows direct private connections providing highest uptimes (99.99% SLA) for their interconnection with GCP

to store data of permanent value somewhere else because local SSD’s content doesn’t last past when the VM terminates.

Google Compute Engine (IaaS) delivers Linux or Windows virtual machines (VMs) running in Google’s innovative data centers and worldwide fiber network. Compute Engine offers scale⚖️, performance, and value that lets you easily launch large compute clusters on Google’s infrastructure. There are no upfront investments, and you can run thousands of virtual CPUs on a system that offers quick, consistent performance. VMs can be created via Web 🕸 console or the gcloud command line tool🔧.

For Compute Engine VMs there are two kinds of persistent storage🗄 options:

If your application needs high‑performance disk, you can attach a local SSD. ⚠️ Beware

Compute Engine offers innovative pricing:

  • Per second billing

Currently, N2D standard and high-CPU machine types have up to 224 vCPUs and 128 GB of memory which seems like enough horsepower 🐎💥 but GCP keeps upping 🃏🃏 the ante 💶 on maximum instance type, vCPU, memory and persistent disk. 😃

Sample Syntax creating a VM:

$ gcloud compute zones list | grep us-central1$ gcloud config set compute/zone us-central1-c$ gcloud compute instances create "my-vm-2" -machine-type "n1-standard-1" -image-project "debian-cloud" -image "ebian-9-stretch-v20170918" -subnet "default"

Compute Engine also offers auto Scaling⚖️ which adds and removes VMs from applications based on load metrics. In addition, Compute Engine VPCs offering load balancing 🏋️‍♀️ across VMS. VPC supports s everal different kinds of load balancing 🏋️‍♀️:

Cloud CDN -accelerates🏃‍♂️ content delivery in your application allowing users to experience lower network latency, the origins of your content will experience reduced load, and cost savings. Once you’ve set up HTTPS load balancing 🏋️‍♀️, simply enable Cloud CDN with a single checkbox.

Next on our plate 🍽 was to investigate storage🗄 options that are available in GCP

Cloud Storage🗄 is fully managed, high durability, high availability, scalable⚖️ service. Cloud Storage🗄 can be used for lots of use cases like serving website content, storing data for archival and disaster recovery, or distributing large data objects.

Cloud Storage🗄 offers 4 different types of storage🗄 classes:

  • Regional

Cloud Storage🗄 is comprised of buckets 🗑 which create, and configure, and use to hold storage🗄 objects.

“Big wheels 𐃏 keep on turning”

Buckets 🗑 are:

Cloud☁️ Storage🗄supports several ways to bring data into Cloud Storage🗄.

  • Use gsutil Cloud SDK.

Cloud Bigtable is afully managed, scalable⚖️ NoSQL database🛢 service for large analytical and operational workloads. The databases🛢 in Bigtable are sparsely populated tables that can scale to billions of rows and thousands of columns, allowing you to store petabytes of data. Data encryption inflight and at rest are automatic

GCP fully manages the surface, so you don’t have to configure and tune it. It’s ideal for data that has a single lookup key🔑 and for storing large amounts of data with very low latency.

Cloud Bigtable is offered through the same open source API as HBase, which is the native database🛢 for the Apache Hadoop 🐘 project.

Cloud SQL is a fully managed relational database🛢 service for MySQL, PostgreSQL, and MS SQL Server which provides:

Cloud Spanner is a fully managed relational database🛢 with unlimited scale⚖️ (horizontal), strong consistency & up to 99.999% high availability.

It offers transactional consistency at a global🌎 scale⚖️, schemas, SQL, and automatic synchronous replication for high availability, and it can provide petabytes of capacity.

Cloud Datastore is a highly scalable⚖️ (Horizontal) NoSQL database🛢 for your web 🕸 and mobile 📱 applications.

  • Designed for application backends

Comparing Storage🗄 Options

Cloud Datastore is the best for semi‑structured application data that is used in App Engine applications.

Bigtable is best for analytical data with heavy read/write events like AdTech, Financial 🏦, or IoT📲 data.

Cloud Storage🗄 is best for structured and unstructured binary or object data, like images🖼, large media files🎞, and backups.

Cloud SQL is best for web🕸 frameworks and existing applications, like storing user credentials and customer orders.

Cloud Spanner is best for large‑scale⚖️ database🛢 applications that are larger than 2 TB, for example, for financial trading and e‑commerce use cases.

“Everybody, listen to me… And return me my ship⛵️… I’m your captain👩🏾‍✈️, I’m your captain 👩🏾‍✈️”

Containers, Kubernetes☸️, and Kubernetes Engine☸ ️

Containers provide independent scalable⚖️ workloads, that you would get in a PaaS environment, and an abstraction layer of the operating system and hardware, like you get in an IaaS environment. Containers virtualize the operating system rather than the hardware. The environment scales⚖️ like PaaS but gives you nearly the same flexibility as Infrastructure as a Service

Kubernetes☸️ is an open source orchestrator for containers. K8s☸️ make it easy to orchestrate many containers on many hosts, scale⚖️ them, roll out new versions of them, and even roll back to the old version if things go wrong 🙁. K8s☸️ lets you deploy containers on a set of nodes called a cluster.

A cluster is set of master components that control the system as a whole, and a set of nodes that run containers.

K8s deploys a container or a set of related containers, it does so inside an abstraction called a pod.

A pod is the smallest deployable unit in Kubernetes.

Kubectl starts a deployment with a container running in a pod. A deployment represents a group of replicas of the same pod. It keeps your pods running 🏃‍♂️, even if a node on which some of them run on fails.

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)☸️ is Secured and managed Kubernetes service☸️ with four-way auto scaling⚖️ and multi-cluster support.

  • Leverage a high-availability control plane including multi-zonal and regional clusters

GKE is like an IaaS offering in that it saves you infrastructure chores and it’s like a PaaS offering in that it was built with the needs of developers 👩‍💻 in mind.

Sample Syntax building a K8 cluster:

$gcloud container clusters create k1

In GKE to make the pods in your deployment publicly available, you can connect a load balancer🏋️‍♀️ to it by running the kubectl expose command. K8s☸️ then creates a service with a fixed IP address for your pods.

Imperative commands

A service is the fundamental way K8s ☸️ represents load balancing 🏋️‍♀️. A K8s☸️ attaches an external load balancer🏋️‍♀️ with a public IP address to your service so that others outside the cluster can access it.

In GKE, this kind of load balancer🏋️‍♀️ is created as a network load balancer🏋️‍♀️. This is one of the managed load balancing 🏋️‍♀️ services that Compute Engine makes available to virtual machines. GKE makes it easy to use it with containers.

Service groups a set of pods together and provides a stable end point for them

$kubectl get services shows you your service's public IP address$kubectl scale - scales⚖️ a deployment $kubectl expose - creates a service $kubectl get pods watch the pods come online

Introduction to Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Computing (Anthos)

The real strength of K8s☸️ comes when you work in a declarative of way. Instead of issuing commands, you provide a configuration file (YAML) that tells K8s☸️ what you want your desired state to look like, and Kubernetes figures out how to do it.

When you choose a rolling update for a deployment and then give it a new version of the software it manages, Kubernetes will create pods of the new version one by one, waiting for each new version pod to become available before destroying one of the old version pods. Rolling updates are a quick way to push out a new version of your application while still sparing your users from experiencing downtime.

“Going where the wind🌬 goes… Blooming like a red rose🌹

Modern hybrid or multi‑cloud☁️ architectures allows you to keep parts of your system’s infrastructure on‑premises, while moving other parts to the cloud☁️, creating an environment that is uniquely suited to many company’s needs.

Modern distributed systems allow a more agile approach to managing your compute resources

  • Move only some of you compute workloads to the cloud☁️

Anthos is Google’s modern solution for hybrid and multi-cloud☁️ systems and services management.

The Anthos framework rests on K8s☸️ and GKE deployed on‑prem, which provides the foundation for an architecture that is fully integrated with centralized management through a central control plane that supports policy‑based application life cycle🔄 delivery across hybrid and multi‑cloud☁️ environments.

Anthos also provides a rich set of tools🛠 for monitoring 🎛 and maintaining the consistency of your applications across all of your network, whether on‑premises, in the cloud☁️️ K8s☸️, or in multiple clouds☁️☁️.

Anthos Configuration Management provides a single source of truth for your cluster’s configuration. That source of truth is kept in the policy repository, which is actually a Git repository.

“And I discovered🕵️‍♀️ that my castles🏰 stand…Upon pillars of salt🧂 and pillars of sand 🏖

App Engine (PaaS) builds a highly scalable⚖️ application on a fully managed serverless platform.

App Engine makes deployment, maintenance, autoscaling⚖️ workloads easy allowing developers 👨‍💻to focus on innovation

GCP provides an App Engine SDK in several languages so developers 👩‍💻 can test applications locally before uploaded to the real App Engine service.

App Engine’s standard environment provides runtimes for specific versions of Java☕️, Python🐍, PHP, and Go. The standard environment also enforces restrictions🚫 on your code by making it run in a so‑called sandbox. That’s a software construct that’s independent of the hardware, operating system, or physical location of the server it runs🏃‍♂️ on.

If these constraints don’t work for a given applications, that would be a reason to choose the flexible environment.

App Engine flexible environment:

  • Builds and deploys containerized apps with a click

App Engineflexible environment apps use standard runtimes, can access App Engine services such as

  • Datastore

Cloud Endpoints — Develop, deploy, and manage APIs on any Google Cloud☁️ back end.

Cloud Endpoints helps you create and maintain APIs

  • Distributed API management through an API console

Developing in the Cloud☁️

Apigee Edge is also a platform for developing and managing API proxies.

Apigee Edge focus on business problems like rate limiting, quotas, and analytics a

Deployment: Infrastructure as code

  • A platform for making APIs available to your customers and partners

Cloud Source Repositories — Fully featured Git repositories hosted on GCP

“Follow my lead, oh, how I needMonitoring 🎛: Proactive instrumentation … Someone to watch over me”

Cloud Functions — Scalable⚖️ pay-as-you-go functions as a service (FaaS) to run your code with zero server management.

  • No servers to provision, manage, or upgrade

Deployment Manager — creates and manages cloud☁️ resources with simple templates

  • Provides repeatable deployments

“Whoa oh oh oh oh… Something big I feel it happening”

Stackdriver is GCP’s tool for monitoring 🎛, logging and diagnostics. Stackdriver provides access to many different kinds of signals from your infrastructure platforms, virtual machines, containers, middleware and application tier; logs, metrics and traces. It provides insight into your application’s health👨🏽‍⚕️, performance and availability. So, if issues occur, you can fix them faster.

Here are the core components of Stackdriver;

Stackdriver Monitoring 🎛 checks the end points of web🕸 applications and other Internet‑accessible services running on your cloud☁️ environment.

Stackdriver Logging view logs from your applications and filter and search on them.

Stackdriver error reporting tracks and groups the errors in your cloud☁️ applications and it notifies you when new errors are detected.

Stackdriver Trace sample the latency of App Engine applications and report per URL statistics.

Stackdriver Debugger of connects your application’s production data to your source code so you can inspect the state of your application at any code location in production

GCP Big Data Platform — services are fully managed and scalable⚖️ and Serverless

Cloud Dataproc is a fast, easy, managed way to run🏃‍♂️ Hadoop 🐘 MapReduce 🗺, Spark 🔥, Pig 🐷 and Hive 🐝 Service

  • Create clusters in 90 seconds or less on average

Cloud Dataflow 🚰 — Stream⛲️ and Batch processing; unified and simplified pipelines

  • Processes data using Compute Engine instances.

“Domo arigato misuta Robotto” 🤖

BigQuery 🔎 is a fully‑managed, petabyte scale⚖️, low‑cost analytics data warehouse

Cloud Pub/Sub — Scalable⚖️, flexible🧘‍♀️ and reliable enterprise messaging 📨

Pub in Pub/Sub is short for publishers

Sub is short for subscribers.

  • Supports many-to-many asynchronous messaging📨

Cloud Datalab 🧪 is a powerful interactive tool created to explore, analyze, transform and visualize data and build machine learning models on GCP.

  • Interactive tool for large-scale⚖️ data exploration, transformation, analysis, and visualization

Cloud☁️ machine‑learning platform🤖 provides modern machine‑learning services🤖 with pre‑trained models and a platform to generate your own tailored models.

TensorFlow 🧮 is an open‑source software library that’s exceptionally well suited for machine‑learning applications🤖 like neural networks🧠.

TensorFlow 🧮 can also take advantage of Tensor🧮 processing units (TPU), which are hardware devices designed to accelerate machine‑learning 🤖 workloads with TensorFlow 🧮. GCP makes them available in the cloud☁️ with Compute Engine virtual machines.

Generally, applications that use machine‑learning platform🤖 fall into two categories, depending on whether the data worked on is structured or unstructured.

For structured data, ML 🤖can be used for various kinds of classification and regression tasks, like customer churn analysis, product diagnostics, and forecasting. In addition, Detection of anomalies like fraud detection, sensor diagnostics, or log metrics.

For unstructured data, ML 🤖can be used for image analytics, such as identifying damaged shipment, identifying styles, and flagging🚩 content. In addition, ML🤖 can be used for text analytics like a call 📞 center log analysis, language identification, topic classifications, and sentiment analysis.

Cloud Vision API 👓 derives insights from your images in the cloud☁️ or at the edge with AutoML Vision👓 or use pre-trained Vision API👓 models to detect emotion, understand text, and more.

  • Analyze images with a simple REST API

Cloud Natural Language API 🗣extracts information about people, places, events, (and more) mentioned in text documents, news articles, or blog posts

  • Uses machine learning🤖 models to reveal structure and meaning of text

Cloud Speech API 💬 enables developers 👩‍💻 to convert audio to text.

  • Transcribe your content in real time or from stored files

Cloud Translation API🈴 provides a simple programmatic interface for translating an arbitrary string into a supported language.

  • Translate arbitrary strings between thousands of language pairs

Cloud Video Intelligence API📹 enable powerful content discovery and engaging video experiences.

  • Annotate the contents of videos

“Fly away, high away, bye bye…” 🦋

We will continue next week with Part II of this series….

Thanks -

-MCS

Originally published at https://sqlsquirrels.com on October 9, 2020.

A Passionate Technologist. Blogging about my journey in learning exciting technologies

A Passionate Technologist. Blogging about my journey in learning exciting technologies