Why Become a Certified Google Cloud Architect?
by Doug Rehnstrom

The life of a Cloud Architect…

A software architect’s job is to draw rectangles with arrows pointing at them.  

A cloud architect’s job is a little more complicated. First, you draw a computer, a phone, and a tablet on the left. Then, you draw a cloud. Then, you draw some rectangles to the right of the cloud. Lastly, you point arrows at things. Some architects will get fancy and strategically place a cylinder or two on the drawing. They might even draw rectangles within rectangles! Like this:

Sounds easy right? The trick is, you have to label the rectangles.  

If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail.

If you want to start using Google Cloud Platform, you might tell your IT guys to learn about Google Cloud infrastructure. They would likely go off and learn about Compute Engine and Networking. Then, they might fill in the rectangles as shown below:

If you told some programmers, go learn how to program on Google Cloud Platform, they might fill in the rectangles as shown here:

Both drawings might be “correct” in the sense that we could use either to get a system up and running. The question is, are we optimizing the use of the platform if we are only using one or two services?

Platform… what is he talking about?

Google Cloud Platform has many services: Compute Engine, App Engine, Dataflow, Dataproc, BigQuery, Pub/Sub, BigTable, and many more. To be a competent Google Cloud Platform Architect, you have to know what the services are, what they are intended to be used for, what they cost, and how to combine them to create solutions that are optimized. Optimized for what?  Cost, scalability, availability, durability, performance, etc.  

When someone takes the Google Cloud Architect certification exam, they are being tested on their ability to architect optimal systems. They are being tested on whether they know which service to use for which use cases. They are being tested on whether they can design a system that meets application performance requirements at the lowest cost.

Why being certified is important to your company.

Recently, a guy was complaining about his 4 million dollar per year bill for his Hadoop cluster running on GCP. He didn’t have to be spending that much. A bit of architecture training could have saved his company, oh I don’t know, 3.5 million dollars!

Send your IT people and your programmers to my Google Cloud Architect Certification Workshop. I’ll show them the right way to label the rectangles and help them pass the exam. Maybe we can even save you some money.



Preparing for
the Gig Economy
by Steve Blais

The “gig economy”. That is supposedly where we are headed. There are predictions based on a study by Intuit that by 2020 over 40% of the workforce will be working “gigs” rather than full time permanent employment. This is nothing new. Thirty years ago, Tom Peters predicted the “Corporation of One” in which everyone working for a company would be consultants rather than employees.


Porting from Standard GAE to Managed VM: Part I
by Arthur Messenger

It started out so simple. I found this little module, RandomWords, for generating random words or word lists and I wanted to show how to add this package to the Standard GAE environment (GAE). So I modified the GAE HelloWorld app to say "Hello <random_word>".  This did not work. GAE only allows you to import modules that are written in pure Python and RandomWords compiles a C-shared object as part of its install. Now curious, I found a module, names, written in pure Python that generates random first names, last name, or full names based on the 1990 US Census data (http://www.census.gov/main/www/cen1990.html). This blog post covers what I did to make this work.


HUB.DOCKER.COM and Deleting a Repository
by Arthur Messenger


If you have used the registry at hub.docker.com, you already know that the option to delete an individual tagged entry is not available on the interface.

From what I can tell, there isn’t a way to accomplish this, even in the REST interface. The best I have been able to do is to use the REST DELETE command to delete the repository. This means downloading any images I want to save, deleting the repository, recreating the repository, and uploading these saved images back to the repository.

The rest of this blog is what happened when I used the REST DELETE command to delete the repository.


Interesting Reads
by Arthur Messenger

Interesting Reads


Google Cloud Platform Load Balancer

Google shares software network load balancer design powering GCP networking

Very quick introduction to Google’s Load Balancer showing their sophistication in balancing loads. Examine this with a quick reflection on hardware load balancers in the beginning of web servers, noting how every device used to accomplish these and similar tasks is being virtualized.


Comparing Google Cloud Platform with Amazon Web Services
by Doug Rehnstrom

It’s common when talking about cloud computing services to divide them into Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Data as a Service (DaaS). So, let’s do that and compare the offerings of Amazon’s AWS and Google’s GCP offerings in each category.