Google Cloud Platform Updates include Cloud Shell

October has been a busy month for Google Cloud Platform. The focus was clearly on ensuring that developers spend their time working on their application rather than setting up infrastructure. Key announcements this month include Cloud Security Scanner going GA, a brand new tool Datalab that makes working with data easier, and Cloud Shell, a ready VM available at your fingertips to work with the platform.

For developers building out Big Data solutions on Google Cloud Platform, Google Cloud Datalab could be handy tool. The tool announced in beta allows you to analyze and visualize your data across various Google Cloud Platform services in an interactive fashion. It is built on top of Jupyter (iPython), which is well known in the data science community, and its strength lies in its integration with services like Google Cloud Storage, BigQuery and more. You could use a combination of Python, SQL and even JavaScript via the recently announced support for User Defined Functions in BigQuery. Check out the Getting Started page. 


It is interesting to note that developers can share and get access to Notebooks via a Git hosted repository. This repository is the one that comes along with every Google Cloud Platform project or even external repositories like GitHub.

Google Cloud Security Scanner, which is now GA, is a security testing tool for your web applications. If you are running App Engine applications, you should definitely check out this service to ensure that your app is following security best practices. The tool is available free of charge and you can get started here.

The next tool which is definitely a great addition to the developer's toolset is Google Cloud Shell. This is a curated VM that is available to you right from the Developer Console. This VM comes pre-installed with all the tools and libraries that you need to work with the rest of the resources that you have deployed. The VM comes with 5GB of disk space and is regularly updated for you automatically with the latest versions of the libraries. Usage is free till end of 2015.


If you are working with Big Data on Google Cloud Platform and have experienced the tedious task of setting up a Hadoop/Spark cluster, you should definitely look at Google Cloud Dataproc, which provides us with a Hadoop/Spark cluster all provisioned and setup for you in under 90 seconds. Check out Graham Polley’s writeup on how he validated that claim.

Google Cloud Platform definitely wants to target developers and give them environments that are easy to setup and get going with the task. The true power of internal tools that Google has access to and which gives them the agility is now being provided to developers at a fraction of the cost. If you are into Big Data processing, you should definitely take a look at the suite of products available under the Big Data umbrella of Google Cloud Platform.

Be sure to read the next Cloud article: Not All Clouds Created Equal for Social API Access


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