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An Introduction to the Google Cloud Platform

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) provides a number of services such as cloud-based computation and storage. All services are available through the platform's console page, which also monitors account billing and user permissions/roles. GCP cloud computing resources are useful for conducting large-scale genomic analyses that would otherwise take too long or crash local computers.

In this tutorial, we'll set up a GCP billing account and demonstrate how to use two GCP services: Google Compute Engine and Google Storage buckets.

Est. Time Lesson name Description
15 mins Setting up a GCP account How to set up a GCP billing account?
30 mins Setting up a GCP instance How to start a GCP instance?
30 mins Example 1: BLAST analysis How to do a BLAST search on GCP?
30 mins Example 2: Download SRA data How to download SRA data on GCP?

Learning Objectives

  • introduce researchers to cloud computing resources and how to use them

  • learn how to connect to an instance (virtual server) on the Google Cloud Platform to do a simple protein BLAST search and download SRA data.

  • learn how to transfer files to or from the instance using Google Storage buckets

  • learn how to terminate an instance

< $1.00 to run both examples

  • Technology: Users must be comfortable with using a terminal window (GCP shell provided in the interface). Please use the Chrome web browser for setting up and connecting to a GCP virtual machine. Some GCP features do not work on other web browsers.

  • Financial: Users need a valid credit card to set up a GCP billing account. However, new users are eligible for a free 3-month $300 trial, which can be activated during billing account set up.


Last update: April 2, 2021