LASI 2013

Using Google's Cloud

While many in academia are familiar with Google's productivity suite in the cloud, Google Apps and its educational offering, there is plenty more to the cloud than meets the eye. The Google Cloud Platform features a variety of products that can be used in the data analysis domain. This workshop broken up into two main parts and overall, consists of several talks introducing our cloud computing services as well as hands-on demonstrations of how to use them.

This session starts out with an overview of cloud computing in general, then goes deeper into specific Google cloud offerings for data analysis and analytics applications. Specifically, we will cover Google App Engine, our application platform cloud hosting (PaaS) service. We'll describe what it is, what it's *not*, its services and feature set, some current metrics, and sample user profiles. We will also introduce some of our other cloud products, including Google Compute Engine, Google Apps Script, as well as other cloud services from Google. We'll wrap up the first half with a hands-on demo of how to create applications to run on App Engine.

In the second half, we'll dive into Google BigQuery, our large-scale data analysis service which allows its developers to interactive mine terabytes (think billions of rows) of data in seconds using ad-hoc SQL-like queries. As you all know, "big data" is a big deal these days. However, the data alone doesn't tell you anything. You need to turn that data into *information*. Using BigQuery will allow you to do that, to "ask questions" you weren't able to in the past, and gain smart insights that lead to better and more appropriate business decisions. We'll first describe the background of BigQuery, describe some problems it can solve, then show you how to use it. Your imagination will be your only limit!

This technical session will be delivered by engineers in the Google Developer Relations team, not part of Sales, Marketing, nor "BizDev." Our role is to bring about awareness of Google developer tools and APIs, so there's no "sales pitch." Because we're an Engineering function, our job is to introduce you to our developer tools, help you get started, and take your feedback directly to the product teams.

The following downloads before coming to the workshop:

Our hands-on App Engine demo will be done in Python. the BigQuery tool is also Python. Python is already installed on Mac OS X and Linux machines, so only PC users will need to download version 2.7.5, and they can access it at


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