Your First Project In Google Cloud Platform

In this blog entry I will briefly explain what projects are, and why do you need (and have) at least one in your own GCP (Google Cloud Platform) Console. To understand what projects are, let’s start with the GCP resource. Resources are the fundamental components of all GCP services. Your Compute Engine VM Instance is a resource, your Cloud Storage bucket is a resource, Your VPC Network is a resource. If you prefer the video, check out my YouTube screen-cast:

All those resources are organized, or in other words, parented, by projects. To learn more, continue reading this blog entry.

In a nutshell: projects contains GCP resources + linked billing account. It’s important to mention, if you want to utilize any GCP resources, you have to link the billing account. Single project can have just a single billing account linked, however one billing account can be linked to many projects. Sounds a little bit confusing? Well, for your first steps, all You need is a single project with a single billing account. And the good news is – this is set up for you during sign-up process.

GCP resources are organized in hierarchy. You can look at the project as a bag that contains the resources. Your VM Instances, SQL databases have a parent – project. And they only have a single parent. One VM Instance cannot belong to many projects. And there is (optional) hierarchy above projects – those are Folders and Organization. But for your first steps in GCP, you do not have to worry about those. Those are getting really handy for big organizations – for example a company with having each department organized in Folders, and each department might have more projects, for example “run” and “development”, to keep them separately.

By default, when you create your account, and login to the console for the first time, GCP will automatically create your first project for you, with very original project name: My First Project. If you want to see in action how it looks like, why (and when) you might need more than one project, and how to set up one, check out my video on YouTube (on top of this article).

Of course this is just a brief introduction to the topic of GCP Resource Hierarchy. I tried to keep it as simple as possible, because a newcomer doesn’t have to know everything-there-is about the topic, to have a quick start. If you want to learn more, check out the official documentation, which is always the best place to find detailed, and up-to-date information:

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