Let’s start with an confession; I’m not the most technologically gifted. When I started my Qwiklabs tutorial on Google Cloud Platform’s essential tools and services, I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to keep up with all the Cloud has to offer.
But there was no reason to worry. The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Essentials quest requires no prerequisites or background knowledge in the field of cloud computation. (There’s a pop-up that asks for a code when you click the link – guess you’ll have to read to the end of the article to get it!) Everyone starts somewhere, and Qwiklabs is excited to help you take that first step. This series of hands-on labs offered in this beginner’s course are accessible, easy to navigate, and pretty fun to complete – no matter how novice a learner might be, you can finish the GCP Essentials quest and earn your first Google Cloud badge in one day!
- First, an introduction to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Users are given plenty of time to learn the ins and outs of operating the platform’s console. A Tour of Qwiklabs and the Google Cloud Platform includes an introduction of basic features like Admin, Project Info, and Billing. It’s a stylish homebase for all your GCP learning. The heft of the learning is done in the Cloud Shell, which lets users work out any coding they’re learning in an easy-to-use (and easy to correct!) application.
- Cloud Shell is a major help in learning how to Create a Virtual Machine. This lab lets you run a plethora of different operating systems (five different types of Linux alone!) as you create and deploy web servers. Grow confident in connecting your cloud with other external resources online, and stake a claim on their own corner of the internet with the Google Cloud Marketplace, which teaches our learners to build operating systems and databases of their own.
- Need to review monitor how your virtual machine is running? Use Stackdriver! Google’s own CMS service makes it easy to sign up and view the performance of your work, as well as run diagnostics on anything that doesn’t seem quite right.
It was thrilling to finish a lab and feel the satisfaction of building something both useful and user-friendly – I even got a cool badge out of it.
Want to earn your own? Use this link and enter code 1q-gcpe-976 to get a one month pass for everything in the Qwiklabs catalog at no charge. Hurry, code expires Feb. 10, 2019. Hope to see you there!
Want to make your life easier by moving from on-prem to the cloud, but don’t know where to start? There’s a Quest for that. The Baseline: Infrastructure Quest gives you hands-on practice with GCP’s core infrastructure services like Cloud IAM, Kubernetes, and Stackdriver. Enroll in the Quest by Monday, September 24th you’ll get a 1-month pass (free of charge, no CC required) to earn the badge and show your “flight time” with Google Cloud.
Even better, each lab in the Quest has 1-minute videos to walk you through key concepts for each lab. Here are some of the labs in the Quest:
- Cloud Storage: Qwik Start – Console: Use the Google Cloud Platform Console to create a storage bucket, upload objects, create folders & subfolders, and then make those objects publicly accessible.
When you’ve created a bucket & uploaded an object into the bucket, you can check your progress:
Ensure that you’ve understood each concept by answering multiple choice questions:
How did you do? Share your results @Qwiklabs. Need extra help? Watch Jenny as she walks you through this lab.
- Cloud IAM: Qwik Start: Cloud IAM unifies access control for GCP services into a single system and presents a consistent set of operations. Learn to create and manage permissions with this lab. You’ll assign and remove roles associated with Identity and Access Management (IAM).
When you’ve removed project viewer access for a user with IAM, you should see a similar permission error:
If not, let Jenny come to your rescue in this video!
- Kubernetes Engine: Qwik Start: After you’ve created a cluster, you’ll execute kubectl run command to create a new Deployment, hello-server, using the hello-app container image. Before you can inspect the hello-server service, you’ll need to expose your application to external traffic:
If you’re unable to view the application from your web browser using the external IP address with the exposed port, let Jenny help you!
- Deployment Manager: Qwik Start: Since Deployment Manager is an infrastructure deployment service that automates the creation and management of GCP resources, you can write configuration files for Cloud Storage, Compute Engine, Cloud SQL, etc.
In this lab, you’ll write a file to create & deploy configuration, inspect the running environment and view the deployment manifest. While waiting to deploy your configuration, you’ll see a status message:
Don’t see it? Jenny can help you with this lab too!
Why wait? Enroll now before 2020 hits, and your server closet in the back room is still humming (:
There are 8000+ Cloud Architect jobs on LinkedIn and they can make up to $170k+ per year. High salary means high expectations. When you earn your Cloud Architect certification, you are tested on your ability to solve real-world problems. Prepare for the Cloud Architect certification exam and set yourself apart.
Need help practicing for the exam and testing your skills in a simulated crisis? Qwiklabs can help! Tackle the Challenge: GCP Architecture Quest to put your skills to the test. Instead of following “cookbook” steps, you’ll practice with common business/technology solutions using GCP.
Enroll in the Challenge: GCP Architecture Quest by Friday, September 21st and you’ll get a 1-month pass (free of charge, no CC required) to help you complete the Quest and practice for the Cloud Architect certification exam.
Here are a couple of scenarios from the Quest:
- Google Cloud Essential Skills: Challenge Lab: Your company is ready to launch a brand new website, but the person who built the new site left the company before they could deploy it. Your challenge is to deploy the site in the public cloud.
Tip: Need help with VM? Check out the Creating a Virtual Machine lab before tackling this scenario.
If you need additional help with gcloud, read this documentation.
- Deploy a Compute Instance with a Remote Startup Script: Since you need to manage the deployment and configuration of Google Cloud virtual machines, you’ve decided to make some changes to the framework. For example, storing startup scripts in a Cloud Storage bucket to make them easily modifiable.
Since these scripts automate initialization of compute instances, this will help you with overcoming a challenge. You will use a remote startup script to configure a Linux Google Compute Engine instance that installs the Apache web server. Have you ensured Apache installation by accessing the Compute Engine instance via HTTP?
Tip: Need help with Cloud Storage? Check out the Cloud Storage: Qwik Start – Console lab first.
- Build and Deploy a Docker Image to a Kubernetes Cluster: Your development team wants to adopt containerized microservices approach to application architecture. Your task? Ensure you can deploy a sample application to a GCP Kubernetes container. To test deployment of echo-web with a Dockerfile, you must use a tag to build the Docker container image and store it on the Google Container Registry.
Tip: Having trouble with tagging? Take the Container Registry: Qwik Start lab first.
- Update and Scale Out a Containerized Application on a Kubernetes Cluster: Your system architecture team has adopted a containerized micro-service architecture. You need to take ownership of a test environment to manage containerized web applications. Your challenge is to update the running echo-app application in the echo-web deployment from the v1 to the v2 code. And (because there’s always an “and”) then scale out the application to 2 instances and confirm that they are all running.
Tip: Need help with scaling your containerized applications? Take the Kubernetes Engine: Qwik Start lab first.
Fun fact: The Quest consists of seven scenarios and all of them have activity tracking so, you must score 100% in each scenario to earn the badge. Here’s a qwik preview of activity tracking you’ll see on the right hand side of each scenario:
Think you’ve got what it takes to earn the badge that very few people have added on their resumes? Tackle the Quest now to get the practice for the exam you won’t get anywhere else in the world and increase your career opportunities!
Did you know that there are over 3000 jobs on LinkedIn that require Terraform expertise? Terraform is the first multi-cloud immutable infrastructure tool for developing, changing and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently. Terraform can also manage existing service providers and custom in-house solutions.
Qwiklabs can help you learn how to take advantage of what Terraform has to offer. Enroll in the Managing Cloud Infrastructure with Terraform Quest by Thursday, August 30th and you’ll get 40 credits. Use these credits to launch a range of configurations, from simple servers to full load-balanced applications.
If you’re new to GCP, consider tackling the Baseline: Deploy & Develop Quest first. Are you an experienced Google Cloud user? Here’s how the Managing Cloud Infrastructure with Terraform Quest can help you get more comfortable with Terraform:
After creating a Kubernetes engine cluster, you’ll extract the Kubernetes engine master IP and network tag name using the gcloud command-line tool:
And then deploy the NAT gateway instance using Terraform commands.
- Modular Load Balancing with Terraform – Regional Load Balancer: GCP uses forwarding rules to construct a load balancer across multiple regions and instance groups. Since these forwarding rules are combined with backend services, target pools, URL maps and target proxies, Terraform uses modules to simplify the provisioning of load balancers.
In this lab, you’ll work with different modules to create various load balancers. For example, in the terraform-google-lb-http (global HTTP(S) forwarding rule) module, you’ll provide a reference to the managed instance group and certificates for SSL termination. Then the module creates a global HTTP load balancer for multi-regional content.
Do you know what happens behind the scenes? The module creates the http backend service, URL map, HTTP(S) target proxy, and the global http forwarding rule to route traffic based on HTTP paths to healthy instances:
You’ll then unseal the Vault after getting the decrypted keys from Cloud Storage:
Are your results similar to the example output? Share your results @Qwiklabs.
- Cloud SQL with Terraform: In this lab you’ll create Cloud SQL instances with Terraform, set up the Cloud SQL Proxy and test the database connection with both MySQL and PostgreSQL clients.
Enroll now to either build career opportunities or to boost your team’s efficiency.
Big things are happening in Google Cloud. BigQuery ML, for example, just announced at Next ‘18. Even if you weren’t there, you can still take advantage of 33+ new labs released at the conference. And if you haven’t yet seen the new BigQuery interface, you can check it out with a lab.
Here’s what’s new on Qwiklabs:
- Predict Visitor Purchases with a Classification Model in BQML: Use the latest and greatest technology to answer the top question in online retail. Click here to take the lab free of charge, first 25 readers only.
- Classify Images of Clouds in the Cloud with AutoML Vision: AutoML Vision helps developers with limited ML expertise train high quality image recognition models. Take AutoML on a test drive with this lab.
- Managing Cloud Infrastructure with Terraform: #MakeGoogleDoIt – launch your cloud resources, that is. Learn how Terraform can boost your team’s efficiency, by creating configuration files that can be shared, treated as code, edited, reviewed, and versioned.
- Kubernetes Solutions: Work hard, play harder. Use Kubernetes to run dedicated gaming servers, plus 7 more advanced Kubernetes use cases in this Quest.
- Network Performance and Optimization: If you’re the one they call when the network is down, these labs are for you. Learn how GCP can help you sleep at night with better network speed, performance, and reliability.
- Challenge Quest: Your company is ready to launch a brand new website, but the person who built the new site left the company before they could deploy it. Your challenge is to deploy the site in the public cloud. This and six other scenarios make up the Challenge Quest, to test your skills in a simulated crisis. Good luck!
If you have an Advantage subscription, all of this new content is included in your subscription, no extra charge. Not a subscriber yet? Use promo code NEW33 for 33% off your first month. Promo code is valid through August 1o (Friday).
Good luck on your next Quest!