Compute Engine is Google’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, they are the Virtual Machines behind GCP, you can think of them as the computers Google starts up and maintains when you want to run a cloud computer.
They’re completely scalable, high performance entities which you can configure to suit your needs. There are a few different types of Compute Engines on offer from Google listed below:

  • General purpose (E2, N1, N2, N2D) machines – balance of price and performance
  • Compute optimized (C2) machines – high-end vCPU performance, ideal for compute-intensive workloads
  • Memory optimized (M2) machines – memory optimised, for in-memory databases
  • Accelerator optimized (A2) machines – are based on the A100 GPU, for very demanding applications

Compute Engine

This is your standard Virtual Machine and there are no upfront costs – you just pay for what you use. Google allows you to configure VM resources however there are some limitations depending upon which region you’re launching the VM in, click here for detailed configuration options based on regions. Also Compute Engine prices vary based on the region you want launch in – here’s Google’s best practice guide for Compute Engine

You have a choice over the following when configuring your Compute Engine instance.

  • Operating Systems
  • CPU
  • RAM
  • Hard Disk
  • Networking

In the next instalment it’s time to run through migrating from a local server based set up to GCP… along with a look at all of the different solutions and resources.