Google Cloud Platform
Compute Engine

What is Google Compute Engine?

Google Compute Engine lets you create and run virtual machines on Google infrastructure. Compute Engine offers scale, performance, and value that allows you to easily launch large compute clusters on Google's infrastructure. There are no upfront investments and you can run thousands of virtual CPUs on a system that has been designed to be fast, and to offer strong consistency of performance.

Compute Engine offers many capabilities.

Create virtual machines with a variety of configurations

Maintain and store data in block storage

  • Mount persistent block storage persistent disk that maintains state beyond the life cycle of the virtual machine. Data on persistent disks are retained even if your virtual machine instance suffers a failure or is taken offline. Persistent disk data is also replicated for additional redundancy.
  • Attach non-persistent local SSD storage for extreme low latency, high IOPS, and high throughput. Local SSD is optimal for scratch data or large, high-performance databases.

Manage network access

  • Use your virtual machines alone or connected together to form a compute cluster.
  • Connect your machines to the Internet with a flexible networking solution that offers static and ephemeral IPv4 addresses for your instances.
  • Use the built-in load balancing service to distribute heavy workloads across many virtual machines.
  • Automatically scale your virtual machines in times of heavy or low traffic.
  • Use easily configurable firewall rules to set up network access to your instances.
  • Create an internal network of virtual machines or set up access to external traffic by setting up customizable firewall rules.
  • Connect your virtual machines to each other and to the Internet with our fully encapsulated layer 3 network. Our network offers strong isolation to help protect your instances from undesired access.
  • Locate other instances in your project using DNS lookup of virtual machine names.

Manage your virtual machines with Google tools

  • Access your virtual machine instances through the Google Cloud Platform Console, through the Google Compute Engine RESTful API, or through the gcloud command-line tool.
  • Take advantage of OAuth 2.0 to authenticate to the RESTful API to create and delete virtual machine instances, disks, and other resources. Also, leverage OAuth 2.0 to seamlessly integrate with other Google Cloud Platform services such as Google Cloud Storage.
  • Use service account identities to authenticate your instances to other services, and remove the need to push keys into virtual machines.

Get Started

  1. Try the Linux Getting Started Guide or the Windows Getting Started Guide.
  2. Read more about Virtual Machine (VM) Instances, and the child topics about the components of a virtual machine instance.
  3. Read the API prerequisites to learn how to start using the API.