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Planet: Imaging a dynamic, ever-changing Earth with Google Cloud

"To keep our team focused on what makes Planet unique, we needed a cloud provider that could offer proven reliability on a planetary scale."

Mission accomplished

As part of a multi-cloud strategy, Planet decided to move all its satellite data processing to Google Cloud Platform and use Google Cloud Storage to host its image archive. Planet selected Google for several key advantages: cost efficiency and predictability, custom machine types, and future access to industry-leading machine learning technology. It also wanted the ability to use Google Earth Engine datasets on Google Cloud Storage, such as radar data from Sentinel-1, to give customers access to a variety of datasets. Google’s high-speed network and worldwide connectivity help Planet collect data from its ground stations around the world.

“Only Google Cloud Platform could provide the core storage and compute services we needed to manage our multi-terabyte daily satellite data processing pipeline and make it scalable and affordable,” says Troy. “Google’s focus on multi-region services fits our global data processing model well, giving us many options around the globe.”

Planet worked with Google Cloud consultants and a Google Cloud Technical Account Manager to help ensure a smooth migration to Google Cloud Platform. The Google professional services team reviewed Planet’s migration plan and helped determine the best way to move the company’s large storage resources to Google Cloud Platform. They also helped Planet understand the range of tools and APIs available to help with the transition, and facilitated discussions with product teams to answer Planet’s questions.

“Our three-month migration to Google Cloud Platform was nearly invisible,” says Troy. “A lot of the credit goes to the Google professional services team. They were hugely helpful in answering our questions and moving our 7PB of satellite data, and probably cut our migration time in half by becoming part of our team.”

Google Cloud Results: 
Processes fresh satellite images of the Earth’s landmass every 24 hours
Supports a 6x capacity increase
Reduces data processing costs up to 60%

Making an impact from above

“Since moving our image processing to Google Cloud Platform, we’ve increased the number of satellite images we’re processing sixfold,” says Troy. “Google Cloud Platform allowed us to scale in an elegant, unobtrusive fashion during a period of tremendous growth.”

Collaborating with Google will help Planet keep its competitive edge while enabling humanitarian, scientific, and commercial advances that might not otherwise be possible. “Philosophically, we are aligned with Google’s focus on services, leveraging open source projects like Kubernetes and TensorFlow,” says Troy. “As our data and compute infrastructure grow, we’re excited to work with Google Cloud to deliver next-generation geospatial services.”

Google Cloud Blog

Google is a trusted technology partner who understands how to help agencies transition from legacy architectures and utilize their data to fuel true mission success. Google Cloud Platform provides cloud-native infrastructure with layered security, machine learning and analytics at web-scale to rapidly innovate and advance agency goals.