I"ve been a big fan of Google Cloud Platform from the beginning, & they aren"t even paying me to lớn say that. A lot of critics place GCP far enough behind AWS & Azure that most people haven"t bothered khổng lồ consider the "third option," but this leaves much of the story untold.

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We engineers love lớn compare hard numbers, & the number we compare the most in the cloud space tends lớn be the number of services. AWS has 10 million services to lớn date, & will always win in this category. AWS also considers SNS, SQS, và Kineses lớn be three separate services, as opposed to, I don"t know, designing a single service that can handle those needs? Picking chất lượng over quantity, in my personal opinion, is Google Cloud"s differentiator. Google Cloud will never offer hundreds of services because it focuses on doing the things it does well, whether that be in terms of performance, ease of use, or flexibility. It"s clear Google hired unique Product people where other cloud providers did not.

Spinning up a VPS is kind of lượt thích a "hello world" for gauging cloud providers. We can learn a lot about the dumb decisions (or lack thereof) embedded in a vendor"s philosophy by how they chose lớn design the most simple task imaginable. Let"s see what we"ve got here.

Performance Comparison

In the xanh corner, weighing in at 1 CPU and 3.75 RAM, we have our challenger: Google Compute Engine. In the opposing corner, weighing in at 4gb RAM and 2 CPUs we have the defending champion: Digital Ocean. If we were going by numbers alone, it would seem lượt thích Digital Ocean has a clear advantage of winning this matchup.

We"re going to lớn deploy the same site on both machines and compare their performance rankings. How will we vày this? With Google"s Lighthouse, of course! Now, using a Google tool lớn benchmark a Google product is hardly fair, but let"s be honest: the load time of a site shouldn"t theoretically change to lớn any degree noticeable by humans just by changing clouds, right? trang web load times are far more dependent on execution than VPS host...

Digital Ocean

Let"s start with Digital Ocean, where we"re hosting aryannations88.com. Not great, but not terrible:

Lighthouse report for aryannations88.com on Digital Ocean.

Compute Engine

Here"s the same site being hosted on Google Cloud, on a machine with theoretically lower specs:

Lighthouse report for aryannations88.com on Compute Engine.

Jesus! 10 points is a lot for no changes whatsoever. All other metrics stayed the same across the board, which reinforces the fact that no other aspects are at play. Ten points also seems like a suspiciously clean bump. I"m not saying the results are rigged, but it"s worth asking whether or not Google silently favors their own customers. If Google does in fact favor sites running on their infrastructure, what are the SEO implications of boosted ratings? Most people would pay a premium to lớn be 10% better in the eyes of Google"s algorithm, so these results are significant regardless.


Let"s bởi our best khổng lồ see how Compute Engine pricing stacks up:

Provider Name # of CPUs RAM HD Price / Month
DO Droplet 2 8 80GB SSD $20.00
AWS t2.medium 2 4 EBS $38.00
GCP n1-standard-1 1 3.75 80GB SSD $38.00
Azure DS1 v2 1 3.75 32GB SSD $51.10

Making these comparisons is difficult to bởi vì accurately. We"ve already seen how the quality of RAM or CPU can vary between cloud providers, so these numbers are not 1-to-1. To lớn make matters worse, AWS considers VPS storage to lớn be a completely separate product (wow).

From what we know, this price chart actually looks pretty strong for Compute Engine. GCP machines are substantially cheaper than their equivalent Azure machines. The EC2 instances would actually cost more than what we see listed after adding disk space, which means we"re essentially paying for an extra CPU.

Does in Fact Compute

Google Cloud gives us a lot of options for customizing our Compute Engine. There are two ways of selecting a machine size: by selecting from the menu of preconfigured VMs, or by tweaking the specs of our machine by using the custom option.

Here are the preconfigured choices we have:

Select a preconfigured Compute Engine.

Picking from a cookie-cutter machine has a notable advantage: when we bởi so, we"re able khổng lồ select which CPU we want. This allows us to explicitly specify that we"d like a Skylake processor:

Select your Compute Engine"s CPU.

When customizing a machine we have the very cool ability to lớn select precisely the number of cores & RAM we want via some nifty sliders. The disadvantage lớn doing this is we chiến bại the ability lớn reserve a CPU type. Thus, we almost certainly get a lower chất lượng CPU than we would otherwise:

Creating a custom sized Compute Engine.

OS & Boot Disk

There are no shortage of Linux distros to pick from on GCP (and Windows, if you"re into that):

Select your distro.

The size and type of our instance"s boot disk are always up to you, which is a great feature. I highly suggest taking this chance to lớn create an instance with more than 10GB... I learned the hard way that maxing out a server"s boot disk bricks your machine.

Firewall Stuff

In case you"re following along, make sure you kiểm tra Allow HTTP traffic and Allow HTTPS traffic before continuing (assuming you want public traffic). You could change this later, but save yourself the headache of troubleshooting this later.

Simple firewall configuration.

Once your instance is created, you should immediately be able lớn SSH into your vps via GCP"s browser client.

Point DNS to Your Instance

Let"s see what"s involved in pointing a domain to Compute Engine. Edit the hệ thống you just created & go khổng lồ the network interface section to địa chỉ a static IP:

Adding an external IP.

A massive advantage that GCP has over AWS is the ease with which we can configure important network stuff. We"re able to vị things lượt thích assigning IP addresses without jumping between multiple screens, configuring security groups, navigating subnets, creating CIDR blocks, or whatever. Even though all of that is possible, Google surfaces the things we want in the places we might expect them lớn be, lượt thích directly on our VPS edit screen.

Cloud DNS

Google handles DNS via its "product" Cloud DNS, which handles all the things you"d expect to vị with tên miền name records. Lớn set up a domain name we need to create a DNS zone for the tên miền we"ll be pointing lớn Google Cloud"s nameservers:


With a DNS zone created, you"ll be able khổng lồ see Google"s nameservers lớn point your domain name to (look for the Registrar setup link up in the upper right-hand corner). The nameservers should look like this:

Name Type TTL Data
memegenerator.io. NS 21600 ns-cloud-b1.googledomains.com.

Adding DNS Records

Now we can địa chỉ cửa hàng some DNS records! Create an A record & point it to lớn the static external IP of your Compute Engine:

Adding DNS records to a Cloud DNS zone.

VPC & Firewall Settings

The last thing worth highlighting is the way Google handles VPC settings. Find the Firewall Rules page to get a taste of how easy it is to manage incoming & outgoing traffic rules:

Managing firewall rules.

Selected Create a Firewall Rule and kiểm tra out the process for setting this up:

Targets - This will be where our traffic routes. We want khổng lồ route to our instance, which is a specified service account.Target service account - Referring to lớn the above, this is where we select the computer instance we want khổng lồ hit.Target service account scope - Select "in this project".Source Filter - Once again, select the specified service account.Source service account scope - Select "in this project"Source service account - This is where we say where the traffic is coming from. It"s coming from the App engine, as this is where we specified our DNS.For IPs & ports, well, do what you want. It"s your server.

The process of setting up a firewall rule is so straightforward that you probably missed an important fact: we did all of this painlessly on a single screen. Streamlining this process can be considered an achievement when we look at the horrendously low bar phối by other cloud providers when it comes khổng lồ networking configuration. As much as I"d love khổng lồ rip into AWS on this, insulting Amazon"s horrendous UX almost seems distasteful at this point.

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Bigger Picture

Having laid out these comparisons, there are actually more advantages of hosting with GCP than I expected. Compute Engine offers arguably the most competitive và transparent pricing of the three major cloud providers. We also have way more power to lớn customize our machine as we see fit. Lastly (and perhaps most important), the GCP ecosystem offers powerful simplicity for users. We shouldn"t underestimate the impact that comes with user experiences - we"d likely have fewer devastating hacks on enterprises if cloud providers were less convoluted.

GCP isn"t completely miễn phí of its own redundancies. As much as I love to hate on AWS, it seems almost inevitable at this point that any enterprise cloud service will maintain a certain màn chơi of complex processes. This flexibility is great for enterprises scaling quickly, but let"s be honest: if these platforms were easy lớn use, who would pay for the certifications?

Cheekiness aside, I"ve become a strong tín đồ of GCP. Google seems khổng lồ have hit a middle ground between being user-friendly & powerful, which fills a niché we"ll realize was desperately needed. For a fair reviews of the platform itself, I find myself agreeing mostly with this stranger from the internet: https://www.deps.co/blog/google-cloud-platform-good-bad-ugly/