GCP Digest Issue 3

29 June 2020
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I probably jumped the gun a bit too early in the previous newsletter, announcing the Jakarta region. The Jakarta region was officially launched last Wednesday on June 24! But you could have started using it much earlier :)

In this issue, we highlight committed use discounts for Cloud SQL, as well as the announcement of Open Match, an open source game matchmaking platform (by Google Cloud and Unity).

Incidentally, I finally launched my first GCP course, Deploying Node.js on GCP! It is available on Gumroad or Udemy. Also available as a bundle with my book, but Gumroad only.

Happy reading!
- Jonathan

Cloud SQL committed use discounts, and lower list prices


Cloud SQL is not known for being cheap (but have you heard of cheap managed RDBMS anywhere?). However, Cloud SQL committed use discounts were introduced this week, giving 25% discount off of on-demand pricing for a 1-year commitment and a 52% discount off of on-demand pricing for a 3-year commitment.

Commitment does not mean "pay upfront". You commit to a certain usage (measured in USD per hour of equivalent on-demand spend), and Google Cloud will bill you that usage every monthly billing cycle (minus the discount), regardless of whether you used Cloud SQL that month. You can share the commitment between MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server instances (so if you migrate from SQL Server to MySQL next month, your discount is intact). The discount only applies to CPU and memory usage, in a particular region (but does not apply to shared CPU machine types).

On-demand pricing is also now simplified. Cloud SQL previously offered sustained use discounts, but sustained use discounts in Cloud SQL are now removed in favor of lower list prices fixed at the previous sustained use discount price. That means you get the best on-demand price regardless of your Cloud SQL usage (no need for continuous usage to get the sustained use discount).

This is great news. Personally I just hope to see db-e2-micro instances that provide more bang for buck compared to db-g1-small instances (expensive). Anyone from Google Cloud reading this?

Open Match – Game matchmaking at scale


Now, this is genuinely exciting and interesting. Open Match is an open source project cofounded by Google Cloud and Unity, created to help game developers solve the difficult problem of matchmaking – the art of matching a set of players together to maximize their enjoyment of the game. Developers provide the actual matching algorithm via code using a pluggable Match Function. Open Match helps to handle the scaling issue of calling multiple match functions at the same time, while preventing the match functions from creating multiple matches with the same player. See blog post for details. 

I am playing Sonic Racing now on Apple Arcade, and I keep getting matched to beginner racers, which is boring. Hopefully Sumo Digital (the developer) will consider using Open Match :) 

Next ‘20 OnAir Resources and Session Guides available now


As highlighted here, you can now browse the session catalog and create your own playlist to customize your Next OnAir experience (happening in two weeks). And if you're lost you can simply choose from curated Session Packages that group together sessions by topic. There are also Cloud Study Jams to help you develop skills and get some hands-on lab experience, while interacting with expert Googlers.

15000-node GKE clusters


Vanilla Kubernetes can only scale up to 5000-nodes per cluster. In this (self-congratulatory) blog post that has been going around (thus forcing me to make a honorable mention here), GKE has managed to scale a cluster to up to 15000 nodes, and this capability will be made available to both you and me soon.

Can we see a show of hands here of who in the GCP Digest audience needs a Kubernetes cluster of 15000 nodes? None? That's what I thought. 

reCAPTCHA Enterprise to block Web Scraping


reCAPTCHA Enterprise helps to identify web scraper bots and continues to identify them as their methods evolve, while enabling human users to access. It gives tools and visibility to prevents such bots from accessing valuable web content, and reduces the computational overhead necessary to serve bots, while letting security admins spend less time writing manual firewall and detection rules.

This is probably not a new product but it was highlighted in a blog post this week, and I found it interesting. However, I do have crawler products and services (past, present, and future) and I selfishly hope that people won't use this product :) 

Pub/Sub notification channel in Cloud Monitoring


For the longest time, Cloud Monitoring (previously Stackdriver) only supported the following notification channels: email, Cloud Console mobile app, PagerDuty, SMS, Slack, and webhooks. Pub/Sub is now available as an additional notification channel. Pub/Sub seems to overlap with webhooks, but with Pub/Sub you get a durable queue that ensures that your notification will eventually be handled by the subscriber. With webhooks, it's pretty much just best effort. Also, if you trigger a Cloud Function from Pub/Sub, you can potentially dynamically fix the issue, e.g. Cloud Function code to handle a failing load balancer alert by switching to a failover load balancer. Check out the blog post.

Apigee: API Management for Envoy


Envoy is a high-performance pluggable proxy for improved networking and observability in microservice environments. Apigee Adapter for Envoy is now in beta, and enables you to extend Envoy's capabilities to include API management, so that developers can expose services behind Envoy as APIs. Specifically, it helps with verifying OAuth tokens or API keys, checking API consumer quota, and collecting API usage analytics. Needless to say, you need to use Apigee, which I am sure is amazing for enterprises and larger companies, but out of reach for smaller shops like myself.

Network threat detection with Packet Mirroring


Packet Mirroring is now in GA, and it offers full packet capture capability, allowing you to identify network anomalies. Once Packet Mirroring is enabled, you can use third-party tools to collect and inspect network traffic at scale. You can deploy intrusion detection solutions (IDS), network traffic analysis (NTA), and also gain visibility into network health. There is an extensive ecosystem of partners which you can use to deploy IDS and NTA. See the blog post.

As an aside, I really like how Google Cloud doesn't try to kill off their partners, like some other clouds. Instead, they treat them like real partners. I hope this trend continues.

Beta? GA?


The list below is best-effort and not meant to be exhaustive.

Entered GA
Entered Beta
For more product updates, visit Google Cloud release notes

Events

More

See you next time!
 

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