Google Cloud Review

A cloud service that will please more technically-minded users which is making strides with ease-of-use

What is our primary use case?

We are using GoogleCloud for hosting a SaaS platform.  

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the product is that it has a very powerful command line.  

What needs improvement?

It is difficult to say what should be improved because, obviously, they have made some major improvements in the organization of how you do things — such as the way you set up a server. Google has made a lot of effort to try and catch up to the competition in the area of ease-of-use because that would have been my one complaint: that you have got to be quite technical to understand some of the ways that things are done. Azure and Heroku are number one in ease-of-use and they make it very easy. Google has done a lot of work to alleviate that objection and to catch up with Heroku and Azure. But the people that have the most to say about the ease-of-use would be the guys using it. For the developers we have, they like the power and the control that Google gives them.  

So I can not actually answer what exactly has to improve for developers to be more satisfied at this point because they seem quite satisfied with it already. I do not get any complaints from the guys. They are the ones using it every day and I do not use it on a daily basis so I really can not comment in that sense.  

I could say that it can be easier to use for people that do not have the same level of technical skills, but even that has improved a lot with their upgrade to the user documentation.  

For how long have I used the solution?

I have experience with Google Cloud for about two years now.  

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is extremely stable. I have no negative feedback and no complaints.  

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Google Cloud is very scalable. The use of Docker and Kubernetes has really made it extremely scalable. Google's implementation of Kubernetes is excellent.  

At this stage mainly we have developers and dev-ops using the product and it is a team of about 25 guys. We could expand that at any time.  

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is somewhat more complicated than competing products. I was not directly involved in that capacity so I can not provide details. But also complexity sometimes leads to opportunity as far as customizing performance. The people who are working with the product directly like the ability to fine-tune more than they want simplicity.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Initially, I was just doing research. I was keeping an open mind and looking at all of the possibilities. I do not think it is quite right to call it "evaluate" when you just do a feasibility study. We did take a closer look at a few solutions like Azure, Heroku, and Google Cloud. We dabbled a little bit with some of them. We eliminated Azure because we were concerned about the support for Mongo DB which is part of our technology stack. Obviously Azure has changed a lot since.  

We trimmed that group to Heroku and Google Cloud which are technically both platforms of high-quality. Heroku is easier to deal with. Using Google Cloud, you have to build a bit of experience with the product because it is not easy if you do not understand how to do things. Heroku makes it a lot easier for you.  

The reason we went with Google Cloud had to do with two things. Number one was cost, and number two is that Google supported everything we use. We had to control the costs initially, so Heroku was pretty much out the door almost immediately. It was a competitive product but it was too expensive. An end-user would not know where a platform is hosted, and they would not care. For an end-user, they go on your website or on your SaaS platform and there is no difference in the experience whether you are hosted with Google or Heroku or AWS. It makes no sense for them to worry about that. But the cost ends up being an important component of the decision for the service company.  

I think the point is that it is very difficult for companies these days to decide between Heroku, Azure and Google Cloud. They all have data centers in the right places in the UK. There is very little that differentiates any of them. Heroku obviously stands out because they are a very stable platform and they do all the hard work for you. If you do not have the expertise to go with a less expensive more labor-intensive solution, then you would go with Heroku and pay more.  

We have a development center in Manila with very experienced guys and they love Google Cloud. It gives them everything they need and everything that is required for a big, fast platform — like the ability to use clustering. I think all of the solutions support Java and ATC (Advanced Analytics Technology). But we have not had any issues since we started on Google Cloud, so we are happy with the direction we have taken.  

What other advice do I have?

The lesson I learned from adopting Google Cloud is that you should do more training before you commit to it.  

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate Google Cloud as an eight-out-of-ten. You can not have a perfect platform. There is always room for improvement and something to add.  

That rating is really because of the feedback I get from the team. I get good feedback from the guys. But it is not really fair of me to give any product a ten if I am not more intimate with it in daily use. I could just as well give it a one if I were totally ignorant of the product, but that would not mean anything.  

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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