Google Cloud Platform: Versatility in compute options, new pricing for researchers

U-M GCP logo

Google Cloud Platform (GCP), provided by Information and Technology Services (ITS), now offers greater flexibility and even better pricing for researchers. The suite of products and services includes application hosting, cloud computing, database services, and more, that is available for current faculty and staff. To date, the GCP team has given nearly a quarter of a million dollars worth of credits to accelerate research and work around barriers created by supply chain shortages. 

The new pricing includes 20 percent off most services, and there are many ways the discounts can be used. For example, customers can share billing across accounts for three or more projects, or one group could use it for three months, and another for six months. Customers could also leverage a committed-use discount if their work is stable for the next one to three years, yielding savings between 30 and 60 percent.

Real-world application 

Several groups have already been able to leverage GCP services to further their research. The Michigan Center for Translational Pathology (MCTP), through genomics research, focuses on the identification of biomarkers and therapeutic targets for cancer diagnosis and treatment. 

Michaela Kallitsis from MERIT has been working with dark web security on the ORION project to advance the security of Internet-connected devices and networks through the detection and understanding of changes in adversarial behavior in real time. 

The Health Information Technology and Services (HITS) DevOps team has migrated vendor applications (such as GitLab and Jira), as well as custom applications for the Research and Education community. The move has allowed the team to gain locality to solve complex problems efficiently and to spin up full environments in under 30 minutes. The move has also resulted in about a 65 percent cost reduction for their unit.

Lu Wang from Computer Science and Engineering is using GCP for three projects related to processing language and text: reasoning with large models and language to better understand written language using models and AI; summarizing long research texts to increase efficiency; and examining how media bias may occur as a result of the systematic manipulation and packaging of the news via the selection and organization of content in each news article. 

Several faculty researchers were awarded MIDAS grants for GCP, including Joshua Newell, School for Environment and Sustainability, “Using Geospatial Data Science to Identify Vulnerable Communities to Climate Change;” Matias del Campo, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, “Training the common house;” and Syagnik Banerjee, School of Management, U-M Flint, “Detecting Early-Warning Signals of Market Share Loss from the Locus of Customer Movements.”

Get help right from Google 

Experts from Google can be available to ask questions or brainstorm. Thirty-minute sessions are open to anyone (sign up for a 30-minute session via the ITS website).

Visit the ITS website to learn more and to request/modify Google Cloud, or email the ITS GCP team, gcp.support@umich.edu.  

Author: D. Stephanie Dascola, ITS Communications

Stephanie is a marketing and communications specialist senior on the ITS Communications team. Contact her at sdascola@umich.edu.