GCP This Month

GCP This Month: Chrome OS Flex & PromQL for Cloud Monitoring

Episode description

Jean Tunis is here with the biggest GCP news this month. This month, we look at Chrome OS Flex, now ready for full scale deployment; the heatwave in the UK causing Google Cloud cooling failures; Cloud Monitoring metrics with PromQL; the new Google Cloud Batch processing and a new region in Mexico.

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Quick jump to the Google Cloud news:
Introduction (0:00)
UK heatwave cooling failures (0:33)
First Google Cloud region in Mexico (1:39)
Google Workspace DOD IL4 authorization (2:03)
Metrics with PromQL (2:48)
Google Cloud Batch (3:41)
Tau VMs on Arm (4:19)
Chrome OS Flex (5:10)

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Series description

Welcome to GCP This Month! We've created this new show to let you all know about the awesome news, happenings, events and analysis on what Google is doing in the cloud space.In each episode, join our hosts Mattias Andersson and Tim Berry as they go through GCP quick bites to give you rapid-fire updates on various releases. We'll then move into the GCP Gems segment, and mention ACG's hand-picked releases from GCP, which are the releases we've found to be most interesting. We'll then finish up with any other notable news from Google or GCP. Finally, we'll end off with our GCP edition of Guru of the Month!

Hi, I'm Jean Tunis coming to you from sunny Florida. And this is GCP This Month for July, 2022. Coming up in this episode, we're talking about the summer heat and its impact on GCP services, a new region coming to North America, and new GCP services for batching and monitoring. All that and more on GCP This Month. Right now, first up, let's get started with some quick bites.

It's obviously July and while we're in the middle of what's usually one of the hottest months of the year, in many countries this July seems to be on another level of hot. Because of that, one of the zones in Google Cloud's europe-west2 region suffered an outage this month and it took them over 36 hours of troubleshooting to fix it. A 40 degree Celsius or 100 degree Fahrenheit heatwave in London caused the redundant cooling systems to fail in one of the buildings that houses Google Clouds europe-west2-a zone infrastructure. This outage that caused Google Compute Engine, App Engine, and Cloud Storage, among other services, to be unavailable is yet another reminder not to neglect zone and region redundancy in GCP. Speaking of regions, Google Cloud has announced that they will be opening up a new region in Mexico.

This will be their first in Mexico and third in Latin America, along with Brazil and Chile. There isn't yet a timeline for where and when the new region will be operational, but Google is targeting enterprises and public sector organizations in Mexico, ready to make the move to the cloud. Okay. Sticking with this public sector theme in this next story, Google Cloud announces that it's Google Workspace offering has received the United States Department of Defense impact level four authorization, or IL4. Now what this authorization does for Google Workspace is that government agencies and educational institutions can use it across all of the Google Cloud Platform with the same security assurances of non-public sector customers. Some other cloud providers have separate government specific regions, but with this authorization, Google Cloud doesn't have to build out another region just for public sector customers who want to use Google Workspace.

I think I'm outta segues. So I'll just move on to the next quick bite. And it's querying Cloud Monitoring metrics with PromQL. So earlier this year, Google Cloud introduced managed services for Prometheus. Now, while you might be free from maintaining your own Prometheus deployment with this service, you might also have metrics stored in Cloud Monitoring coming from all of your GCP infrastructure that you're either not watching, or you have to view separately from Prometheus. Well, this month you can celebrate because Google Cloud has announced that PromQL, Prometheus's query language, is supported within Cloud Monitoring.

So if you already know PromQL from using Prometheus, there's no need to learn yet another query language to get metrics out of Cloud Monitoring. Next, Google announces the preview release of a new jobs-as-a-service service called Batch. Batch processing has been around since the early days of the IBM mainframes and batch jobs run to transfer data for further processing and long term storage. As more companies move to the cloud, they want to bring those jobs with them. So Google Cloud introduced Batch to help these organizations to continue running their batch jobs in GCP, either through the cloud console, the API workflow engines. Or the G Cloud CLI. Okay,

let's finish up these GCP quick bites with VMs running on Arm. Last year, Google introduced the Tau VM family of instances that customers can use to help with building scale out applications more efficiently and less costly. That was implemented using AMD processors and are known as the Tau T2 DVMs. Now Google Cloud is announcing the preview release of Tau T2A instances with Arm-based processors. Aside from building your own applications that take advantage of these high performance, lower cost VMs, Google is also integrating T2A instances with other Google Cloud services like Batch, which I just talked about.

So you can run specific batch jobs, more cost effectively. Now I have what I think is a great gem for you this month. Google Cloud announced that it was making its ChromeOS Flex ready for full scale deployment. Now, many years ago, I came across a company called Neverware that had developed a software product, turning your old hardware into something useful again using Google's Chromium OS. Since Chromium OS is opensource, they were installing and testing it on old hardware and making the necessary tweaks so that their users and customers could do the same.

They called that product CloudReady, and an organization could pay up to $100 a year per device for admin and support. Fast forward a few years and they're bought out by Google in 2020, and now CloudReady has basically been rebranded as ChromoOS Flex. So for organizations that use mostly cloud apps and services from GCP or other providers, or utilize a virtual desktop infrastructure in GCP, you can use ChromeOS Flex to get users up and running relatively quickly. ChromeOS Flex can install on old hardware that's running MacOS or windows. Google currently has a list of about 295 devices that they've certified ChromeOS Flex to run on without much issue. Now,

there are two things that make this announcement interesting to me. First, it's the potential to extend the life of enterprise desktops and laptops and avoid hardware refreshes. These refreshes can cost companies a lot of money in both direct and indirect ways through the obvious payments, but also disrupting employee productivity. But with ChromeOS Flex, a company that's not so concerned about the look of a PC or Mac can get an updated OS for free. Oh, and that's the other thing. ChromeOS is free if you support it yourself.

The second reason this announcement is interesting is the sustainability angle. The announcement mentions planet and business sustainability as a benefit for customers considering ChromeOS Flex. So not only can extending the life of enterprise hardware just a little bit longer help reduce cost. It can also help reduce waste and energy consumption. Google's push to operate completely on carbon-free energy by 2030 and Google Cloud billing itself a as the cleanest cloud in the industry, all tie into what Google Cloud is doing here with ChromeOS flex. Now,

does this mean that hardware OS manufacturers need to worry? Maybe not. At least not yet. And that's what makes it interesting. Who knows how they'll respond and what Google Cloud will do in return. I think you should watch this space. And that's it for this episode of GCP This Month. Join us next month for more news updates and announcements.

Don't forget to subscribe to the channel. If you haven't already to get notified of future episodes until then, I'm Jean Tunis and take care.

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