Last night I attended a Docker London meet up at Campus London, a free event arranged by the Google Developer Group (GDG) London.
Although I went to learn more about Docker and hoped to find out about security aspects of the containerisation method, as things turned out, I learnt a lot more about Google's cloud services, as well as how to use Docker in Compute Engine. Not so much about security, but I can now investigate that further myself. And the evening meet up was very useful to compare Google's platform with the much more popular alternatives from Amazon Web Services.
The main presentation, provided by Marc Cohen, described the various cloud computing services that form the Google cloud platform.
Marc delved deeper into using Compute Engine, the equivalent of AWS EC2, describing its properties, billing, locations, resilience and four methods of access (web console, command-line utility, Rest API and partner tools/services). He also described how live migration can automatically move the running VMs and persistent disks during periodic data centre maintenance, avoiding downtime. He promised to subsequently answer a question via the meet up comments, about whether the global availability of snapshots meant that data is moved outside the primary host locations (e.g. from Europe to the United States).
A description of the network capabilities was given including how projects are isolated on private networks, and how there can be multiple private network groups and firewalls. He described load balancers as "native implementation on the network" rather than being separate VMs, and provided some data on throughput capabilities.
Marc gave demonstration of powering up live persistent disks and VMs, and also how to create and set up Docker machine images. This fell in the "very straightforward but could be simpler" category.
Sharif Salah continued with a presentation about getting started with the Google cloud platform.
He suggested beginning with trying the OAuth 2.0 playground, API Explorer and the cloud platform playground. He also mentioned the various community resources, examples (demo suite and image packages), build resources and expert help available. He especially suggested reading articles on this page.
Sharif also mentioned free cloud coding workshops coming up in London, Paris, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Stockholm.
Attendees were provided with a special promotional URL and code giving a $2,000 credit (valid for six months) to use against Google cloud services, $1,000 for Google Compute Engine and $1,000 for Google App Engine. That's enough to get started.
The presentations are available here and here. The promotional URL and code seem to be in the former slide deck too.