Google Cloud Fundamentals
Google Cloud Storage

Google Cloud Storage

Cloud Storage

Cloud Storate (opens in a new tab)

  • high performance, internet-scale, immutable blob storage
    • files can't be changed, only added, removed, or overwritten
  • not a mountable file system on physical or virtual machines
  • simple administration and does not require capcacity management
  • all storage options accessed through the same APIs and include client libraries
    • JSON API
    • XML API

Cloud Storage Options

When creating a bucket we need to specify three things:

  • name (need to be unique across Cloud Storage)
  • specify a location (region / multi-regional)
  • storage class

High-performance Storage

  • provides highest durability, availability, and performance
  • low latency
  • ideal for
    • use with website content distribution
    • video streaming
  • can be regional or multi-regional

Backup and Archival Storage

  • low cost durable storage
  • used for:
    • archiving
    • online backup
    • disaster recovery
  • don't have long wait times to retrieve / access data

Nearline Storage

Low frequency access storage

  • for data accessed less than once per month

#E## Coldline Storage

Lowest frequency access storage

  • for data accessed less than once per year

Cloud Storage Components

  • data is organised into buckets which are configured with a storage class (region, multi-regional, nearline, coldline)
  • all buckets shre a global namespace
  • create and manage multiple buckets within a project
  • buckets are used to store objects
  • objects are comprised of data and metadata
  • buckets cannot be nested inside other buckets
  • objects cannot be nested inside other objects (folders can be simulated by adding / to an object's name)

Cloud Storage Sharing and Collaboration

  • administrative access to buckets is typically shared using GCP projects permissions
  • all buckets and objects have default ACLs (Access Control Lists)
    • when a bucket is created it gets a default ACL from configurable defaults
  • can modify ACLs to allow for public web access
    • scopes can be specified for objects, e.g. all users
  • ACLs use Google Accounts
    • allows one to grant specific levels of permission:
      • read/write/owner for buckets
      • read/owner for objects
  • can also generate signed URLs for anonymous access
    • can create access for a limited amount of time

      # create a signed URL that:
      # grants access to a file via the GET method (-m)
      # for a duration of 1 minute (-d)
      # for object found in the specified bucket
      $ gsutil signurl -m GET -d 1m gcs-sa.json gs://<bucket-name>/kitten.png
    • can be done for reading, writing, and deleting objects


  • cloud SDK includes the gsutil cli for managing GS resources

  • buckets use the URI scheme gs://

  • used to work with buckets and objects

    # return the buckets in a project
    $ gsutils ls
    # return the objects within a bucket
    $ gsutils ls startup-scripts
    # copy the objects from a bucket to a specified location (i.e. local machine for this command)
    $ gsutils cp gs://exported-data/*.json .
    Downloading files...

Cloud Storage Features

  • website use
    • content delivery
    • can run static sites from a bucket
  • regional buckets
    • improve perf. for users in a specific region by configuring a bucket for that region
  • object lifecycle management
    • create policies for Cloud Storage to perform actions on objects baed on conditions. e.g.:
      • delete objects if they are over a certain age
      • delete objects created before a specific date
  • object versioning
    • when enabled, all objects in a bucket will maintain a history
  • online cloud import (Cloud Storage Transfer Service)
    • allows one to bring data into Cloud Storage:
      • from S3
      • from another Cloud Storage bucket
      • from a list of URLs
  • Offline import (third party)
    • send data to third parties who will handle upload
    • useful for slow / expensive internet connections
  • Object change notification
    • allow devs to create webhooks for objects and get notified of changes

Cloud Storage Integration

  • upload / download between different resources:
    • private computer
    • import / export tables in BigQuery
    • object storage and logs export with App Engine
    • startup scripts, images, and general object storage for Compute Engine
    • import / export tables for Cloud SQL