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By Evan Woodard, Software Engineer II
Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is a suite of tools provided by Google to help deploy and run applications on “the cloud.” At TSI, we leverage many of these tools to help make new applications a reality. Our primary goal is getting high quality products out to customers quickly and efficiently, with small, nimble teams. We aim to connect customers with their devices and their data quickly and easily.
One tool that we use is called IoT Core. It is an easy way to connect devices to the cloud. We configure devices to communicate with IoT Core, sending device health and telemetry information to “the cloud.” From there, the GCP Pub/Sub takes that data to our data storage. GCP has many options for how data can be stored; when we have a highly regular format of our data, we rely on their Cloud SQL solution. Setting up and maintaining VMs to run MySQL can take up valuable engineering time that we would rather spend delivering value to our customers. Cloud SQL can be a great solution, because it can scale automatically and there is very little setup involved.
We sometimes use Google App Engine (GAE) to deploy our backend systems. Like Cloud SQL, GAE is a serverless solution; it can host applications written in a variety of programming languages with only a few lines of set up, and subsequent deployments are a simple command line call. That means that throughout development of applications, we are able to quickly deploy updates, upgrades, and bug fixes. This means that our applications can get better all the time.
While engineers love to create as much as possible from scratch, it can be a great boon to productivity to leverage solutions like what GCP provides. These solutions allow engineers to spend their time providing value, and making their own product better.