Getting started with Google Compute Engine: a guide to all the guides

Happy holidays from all of us on the Google Cloud team. As we move into the final days of 2017, many people (myself included) reflect on the year, enjoy some downtime, and think about their goals and ambitions for the new year. Does this sound like you?

When the pace of family gatherings and social obligations begins to slow, I intend to use my downtime to learn about a few technologies. What will you do with your downtime? Have you ever wondered about Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and what you could do with cloud computing? Ever wondered about Google Compute Engine?

Compute Engine is a type of IaaS. It takes most of the work out of procuring and setting up a VM. Compute Engine provides practically unlimited computing power using VMs in the cloud.

Below you'll find a collection of resources designed to help fast-track your learning journey with Compute Engine. Use them to quickly get up to speed on concepts, launch a virtual machine (VM) instance and use how-to guides to configure and manage your VM. You can also run through tutorials aimed at more interesting and sophisticated use cases, such as running PostgreSQL, a LAMP stack or even a Minecraft server.

These Compute Engine learning resources are neatly organized to help you quickly find what’s most interesting and relevant to you. If you’re a cloud novice, you’ll benefit from reading through the concepts section, and using the Quick Start Guides to launch a VM. If you’re already comfortable with Compute Engine, you may wish to skip to tutorials, or even the APIs and References section.

The Concepts page introduces topics such as VMs, storage, networking, access control, regions and more. This is a great place to start if you want to develop a foundational understanding of the basics. Learn the fundamentals here:

Quick Start Guides provide you with step-by-step instructions for creating and accessing either a Linux or Windows virtual machine instances. Launch one now:

How-to Guides dive into VM instance-configuration, access and management topics. These guides do a great job of answering the question of what to do after you launch a VM. Try adding storage to your VM, or fine-tuning your firewall rules here:

Tutorials explore more sophisticated use cases, such as installing and running application and web services on your VMs. If you are interested in machine learning, check out the tutorial on running distributed TensorFlow.

The APIs and References section provides you with developer resources for programmatically interacting with GCP and Compute Engine. This page is organized by resource type. Each resource type has one or more data representations and one or more methods. Try adding a persistent disk to an existing project.

The Additional Resources section provides information about the service, and acts as a kind of catch-all. If you aren’t finding the information you're looking for in the other sections, be sure to check out this section. It contains information on pricing, quotas, release notes, third-party software and much more.

Hopefully you found enough content to satisfy your curiosity about Compute Engine, and maybe you even learned something new. We’ll be publishing additional resources in the new year, so you can learn and do even more. If you’re ready to get started, sign up for your free trial today and get a $300 GCP credit!