Introduction to Cloud Asset Inventory

Cloud Asset Inventory provides inventory services based on a time series database. This database keeps a five-week history of Google Cloud asset metadata. Cloud Asset Inventory allows you to:

  • Search asset metadata by using a custom query language
  • Export all asset metadata at a certain timestamp or export event change history during a specific timeframe
  • Monitor asset changes by subscribing to real-time notifications
  • Analyze IAM policy to find out who has access to what


Search assets

The Cloud Asset Inventory search service allows you to search asset metadata within a project, folder, or organization using a custom query language.

See Search Resources Guide and Search IAM Policies Guide for more information.

Export asset history and metadata

The Cloud Asset Inventory export service allows you to export all the asset metadata at a given timestamp to a Cloud Storage file or a BigQuery table. You can also export the event change history of multiple assets during a given timeframe. The exported event change history shows you all the create, delete, and update events for the specified assets over time.

See Exporting assets to BigQuery Exporting assets to Cloud Storage and Viewing asset history for more information.

Monitoring asset changes

You can use Cloud Asset Inventory to monitor resource and policy changes you're subscribed to through real-time notifications. By creating and subscribing to an asset feed, you'll receive immediate updates about any changes for the desired asset names or asset types.

See Monitoring asset changes for more information.

Analyze IAM policies

The Cloud Asset Inventory analysis service allows you to analyze IAM policies within a folder or organization.

See Analyzing IAM policies, Writing results to Cloud Storage and Writing results to BigQuery for more information.

Key Concepts


An asset refers to a Google Cloud resource or policy. Cloud Asset Inventory supports two main asset content types:

  • Resource: Metadata of a Google Cloud resource. Examples include:
    • Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs)
    • Cloud Storage buckets
    • App Engine instances
  • Policies: Metadata of one of the following policies set on a Google Cloud resource. Examples include:
    • IAM policy
    • Organization Policy policy
    • Access Context Manager policy
  • Runtime Information: Metadata of one of the following runtime information set on a Google Cloud resource. Examples include:
    • OSConfig os inventory (Provides information on the operating system, installed packages, and available package updates for a Compute Engine VM instance. Learn more about OS inventory management.)

See Supported asset types for more information.

Asset snapshot

An asset snapshot is the set of available assets under a Resource Manager project, folder, or organization at a specific timestamp.

Asset history

For a given asset, asset history includes all metadata create, delete, and update events between timestamp T1 and T2. See Viewing asset history for more information.


Cloud Asset Inventory keeps a five-week history of Google Cloud asset metadata. This includes all asset creation, update, and deletion history in the five weeks. If an asset was created five weeks ago but wasn't updated or deleted in the past five weeks, Cloud Asset Inventory keeps its most recent status.

Next steps