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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Cloud Asset Inventory

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Speaker
Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

So are you wondering what Cloud Asset Inventory is? and how can it help in boosting your business?

Don’t worry Ninja!  Just follow the article till the end. This blog will discuss the importance of cloud asset inventory and its management and the commercial advantages it may bring to your company.

Cloud Asset Inventory

As we know that the overall internet traffic is increasing at a rate of approximately 100% annually. By distributing incoming traffic among several servers, networks, or other resources, load balancing helps organisations fulfil workload demands while enhancing performance and guarding against service interruptions.

Cloud Asset Inventory provides inventory services based on a time series database  that allows you to view, monitor, and analyse all your GCP and Anthos assets across projects and services.

GCP and Anthos Assets

The metadata for Google Cloud assets is stored here for a period of five weeks. This provides each asset's history of creation, modification, and deletion over the past five weeks. The most recent status of an asset is retained by Cloud Asset Inventory even if it was created five weeks ago and hasn't been changed or removed in that time.

Key Features of Cloud Asset Inventory

Now that we know what Cloud Asset Inventory is. It’s time to discuss key feature of Cloud Asset Inventory which are:

Search Assets

You can use a custom query language to search asset metadata included within a project, folder, or organisation using the Cloud Asset Inventory search service. 

Let’s see how the cloud asset inventory Utilises a custom query language to search asset metadata and Export to BigQuery. 

You may perform data analysis on your inventory after exporting the asset metadata for your project, folder, or organisation to a BigQuery table. Without the need for custom scripts, BigQuery offers users a SQL-like experience for data analysis and the generation of insightful findings.

Search assets

For exporting the big query follow the given steps-

  1. Enable the Cloud Asset Inventory API by following the steps mentioned in the first point.
     
  2. Using either the gcloud CLI or the APIconfigure the permissions necessary to access the Cloud Asset Inventory API. 
     
  3. Set up your environment.
     

Keep in mind that the billing project is used as the consumer project by the gcloud CLI. Check to see if the billing project is distinct from the core project if you get a permission refused message:

gcloud config list


To set the billing project to the consumer project:

gcloud config set billing/quota_project CONSUMER_PROJECT_NUMBER


1. The following roles must also be granted to the specified service account in the destination project if you're exporting to a BigQuery dataset in a project where the Cloud Asset Inventory API is not enabled.

service-${CONSUMER_PROJECT_NUMBER}@gcp-sa-cloudasset.iam.gserviceaccount.com 

 

  • BigQuery Data Editor role (roles/bigquery.dataEditor)
     
  • BigQuery User role (roles/bigquery.user)
     

The service account will be created by making a single API call, or you may manually create the service account and grant the service agent role using the following commands:

gcloud beta services identity create --service=cloudasset.googleapis.com --project=PROJECT_ID 
gcloud projects add-iam-policy-binding 
PROJECT_ID --member=serviceAccount:service-PROJECT_NUMBER@gcp-sa-cloudasset.iam.gserviceaccount.com 
--role=roles/cloudasset.serviceAgent


5. Create a BigQuery dataset.

 

Export to Cloud Storage

Let’s explore how to export your project's asset metadata to a Cloud Storage bucket. This Cloud Storage bucket should be located in the project from which you're exporting the asset metadata.

For exporting to cloud storage , complete the following steps.

Gcloud -For setting up your environment to use the gcloud CLI and to call the Cloud Asset Inventory API, on your local client install the Google Cloud CLI.
 

API- For setting up your environment to call the Cloud Asset Inventory API with the Unix curl command, do the following steps-
 

  1. In order to interface with the Google OAuth system, install oauth2l on your local computer.
     
  2. Confirm that the Unix curl command is available to you.
     
  3. On your project, folder, or organisation, be sure to grant your account one of the following roles.The Cloud Asset Viewer role (roles/cloudasset.viewer)
     

 

Export Asset History and Metadata

You can export all asset metadata at a specific timestamp to a Cloud Storage file or a BigQuery table using the Cloud Asset Inventory export service. Additionally, you can export the event change histories of numerous assets over a specified period of time. You can view all the creation, remove, and update events for the given assets over time by viewing the exported event change history.

Before you start working with Cloud Asset Inventory, you must enable the Cloud Asset Inventory API, the Google Cloud CLI, and grant permissions. Google Cloud CLI communicates with Cloud Asset Inventory and other Google Cloud services.

Export asset history and metadata

In order to enable the Google Cloud CLI and Cloud Asset Inventory API, let's take the following steps.

Monitoring Asset Changes

Utilising real-time notifications, Cloud Asset Inventory enables you to keep track of resource and policy changes that you have subscribed to. You can monitor asset changes by subscribing to real-time notifications.

Monitoring asset changes

You can create and subscribe to a feed to get instant information about resource and policy changes. You can specify whether you want to track changes of supported resource types, IAM rules, access policies, and organisation policies within an organisation, project, folder, or for particular resources when configuring the feed. You may also add conditions to your feed so that you only get notifications for specific kinds of asset changes.

Analyze Assets

You may analyze IAM policies inside of a project, folder, or organisation using the Cloud Asset Inventory analysis service. It also allows to analyze IAM policy to find out who has access to what.

Policy Analizer is used to find out which principles it shows how to use the Policy Analyzer (users, service accounts, groups, and domains), have access to which Google Cloud resources.

identity and access management

The following roles and permissions are required to analyze allowed policies.

To obtain the permissions that you need to examine an allow policy, you can ask your administrator to grant the following IAM roles on the folder, project, or organization that you will scope your query to:
 

  • Cloud Asset Viewer (roles/cloudasset.viewer)
     
  • To analyse policies with custom IAM roles: Role Viewer (roles/iam.roleViewer)
     
  • To use the Google Cloud CLI to analyse policies: Service Usage Consumer (roles/serviceusage.serviceUsageConsumer)
     
  • These predefined roles contain the permissions required to analyse an allow policy.
     

These were some benefits of Cloud Asset Inventory. Now let us talk about Asset inventory management which is generally the way an organization monitors the assets it owns to track and analyze issues such as maintenance requirements, physical location, performance, depreciation, and eventual disposal of the asset.

So let’s discuss the key benefits of Cloud Asset Management.

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The Key Benefits of Cloud Asset Management

The key component of cloud management services is cloud asset management. It keeps track of every aspect of your cloud estate whether it be managing the maintenance and compliance or the tracking of your cloud asset inventory. 

By giving businesses access to valuable data, cloud asset management enables them to make better decisions.

The Key Benefits of Cloud Asset Management

You build a stronger cloud framework with lower risk when you align the long-term integrity of your cloud infrastructure (visibility, accuracy, and reliability) with your cloud management objectives.

Three of the major benefits of cloud asset management are as follows:

1. Cloud Inventory Accuracy

2. Automation

3. Security Assurance 

Now it’s time for the questions. Let us now move to FAQs.

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How are assets inventoried?

An asset inventory typically requires four steps: reviewing the asset list from financial records, physically inspecting each asset, determining whether the asset's valuation needs to change, and adding any new assets. Based on the number of assets and their location to one another, this process may be simple or complicated.

What is a cloud asset inventory?

A time series database is the basis for the inventory services provided by Cloud Asset Inventory. The metadata for Google Cloud assets is stored here for a period of five weeks. You can use a custom query language to search asset metadata using Cloud Asset Inventory.

How familiar are you with the Google Cloud APIs?

The primary goal of APIs is to automate the procedure using your preferred language. Communication with various Google services is made possible by APIs, which also enable their integration with other services. Another way to describe it is as a gateway that connects users to various software services and direct and indirect cloud infrastructure.

What is the cloud asset API?

The history and inventory of cloud resources are managed using the cloud asset API.

Differentiate between the asset and the inventory.

Inventory and assets differ in that a company sells inventory to generate money. Assets provide a different kind of value to the company, assisting it in buying and managing inventory. Products, parts, and materials are all included in inventory, and the total hand may change over time.

Conclusion

Congratulations on finishing the blog! We have discussed the overview of Google Cloud Asset Inventory. We further look at the installation, initialization, and managing of components and properties in Google Cloud Inventory. We started with the introduction of Cloud Asset Inventory, various uses of cloud Inventory and there installation and then concluded with the benefits of Cloud Asset Management.

Find out more by checking out more blogs on this topic, please follow these blogs especially curated for readers like you- Cloud Computing, Cloud Computing Technologies, Cloud Server, and Cloud Computing Infrastructure.

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Happy Learning!

Topics covered
1.
Introduction
2.
Key Features of Cloud Asset Inventory
2.1.
Search Assets
2.2.
Export to Cloud Storage
2.3.
Export Asset History and Metadata
2.4.
Monitoring Asset Changes
2.5.
Analyze Assets
3.
The Key Benefits of Cloud Asset Management
4.
Frequently Asked Questions
4.1.
How are assets inventoried?
4.2.
What is a cloud asset inventory?
4.3.
How familiar are you with the Google Cloud APIs?
4.4.
What is the cloud asset API?
4.5.
Differentiate between the asset and the inventory.
5.
Conclusion