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UWB Hacks the Cloud Documentation

All the essential information needed to create an amazing cloud-based application at the UW Bothell 2020 hackathon.

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Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Product Overview

Before Getting Started…

This page covers some of the core services Google Cloud Platform offers.

Before getting started, register for a GCP account. Each new user gets $300 in account credits to spend in the first 12 months.

Common Products

Virtual Machines

GCP offers virtual machines for general use; the most commonly used service is Compute Engine.

GCP also has specialized offerings for specific types of workloads. This includes services which have dedicated GPUs and can perform computationally intensive tasks. A complete look at the VM product suite is available here.


Cloud Functions are used to run custom code when asked, without having to provision, maintain, and pay for the infrastructure it runs on. It is a close analogue to AWS Lambda.


GCP has many database solutions for different needs, and the most common ones are summarized below:

For a full list of database offerings in GCP, see the GCP Databases Overview page.

File Storage

Object Storage

Cloud Storage is used to store, back up, and retrieve files, videos, logs, and anything else you can imagine. It is a close analogue to AWS Simple Storage Service (S3).

You can serve a static website via Cloud Storage in a similar fashion to S3; check out the GCP static website tutorial for more information.

Block Storage

Dedicated file storage for one or more virtual machines is provided through Persistent disk.

Application Development

Mobile Apps

Firebase is the seminal GCP service for creating, deploying, and managing mobile applications. It includes features like:

Web Apps

App Engine is a fully-managed, highly scalable service which deploys an application you write (in any common language) to the web.

App Engine is particularly useful for writing web applications and supporting an API-based backend for mobile applications. App Engine integrates tightly with Firebase for seamless developer and user experiences.

For more information about setting up App Engine, check out the how-to guides in the App Engine documentation.

Security and Permissions

Read about GCP permissions management with IAM on our documentation page.

Power User Products

GCP has a product suite for common needs for large businesses and enterprise shops. The most notable product families and their core services are listed here for reference.

Machine Learning

GCP offers general-purpose and specialized services for machine learning applications.

View the full suite of machine learning offerings on the GCP website.

Data Analytics

For large-scale data analytics, GCP offers several key services which are purportedly more cost-effective than many competing options.