Google Cloud Registry: A Comprehensive Guide

Google has created a unique storage system for your personal and business uses. This article will shed light on all of the details regarding the Google cloud registry, from its introduction to its benefits and how you can utilize it. Read further to gain more information!

What is the Google cloud registry?

Provided by the google cloud platform (GCP), the Google cloud registry is a container image registry service that allows users to store, manage, and secure their docker container images in a centralized location.

It comprises two services for storing and managing; artifact registry, and container registry.

  • Artifact registry is recommended for users who want to store and manage artifacts in private repositories including helm charts, container images, and language packages. 

  • Container registry supports OCI image formats and Docker image manifests V2 formats and provides a subset of artifact registry services.

What are the benefits of a google cloud registry?

  • Easy integration with other GC services

    Google Cloud registry can seamlessly integrate with other google cloud services such as Cloud run, Cloud builds, and Kubernetes engine service, making it easier for you to deploy and manage applications.

  • Reliability and scalability

    Google cloud registry allows users to store as many images as they want, and offers a scalable and reliable infrastructure.

  • Portability and flexibility

    Users can quickly move their container images across different environments such as on-premises and cloud-based environments as the google cloud registry supports docker container images, a standard format for packaging and distributing applications.

  • Automated image building and testing

    Google cloud registry provides built-in automation capabilities by which you can automate the image building, testing process, and deployment which can save time and reduce errors.

  • Multiple artifacts

    Google cloud registry supports multiple artifact formats, which helps users to deploy efficiently.

  • Regional and multi-regional support

    The cloud registry offers two types of support; regional and multi-regional.

  • Various repositories

    Google artifact registry allows users to create multiple discreet repositories in the same region or multi-region, allowing repository-level access control.

  • Numerous management benefits

    You can benefit from access management and service-specific identity roles, with a clear separation of repository user permissions and repository administration.

  • Secure container image management

    Google cloud registry provides fully secure and reliable storage services. It offers features such as image vulnerability scanning, access control, and image signing to help users enhance their compliance and security of container images.

Understanding the Cloud Registry Architecture 

The architecture of Cloud Registry is designed to provide high availability and fault tolerance, while also ensuring the security and privacy of your images. The Cloud Registry architecture consists of the following components:

  1. 1

    Storage layer

    The storage layer is where all of the docker images are stored. Google cloud storage is used by the cloud registry to provide scalable and durable storage for your pictures. 

  2. 2

    Authentication and authorization layer

    This layer is responsible for controlling access to your Docker images. The google Cloud Registry uses IAM roles and permissions to control access to images, ensuring that only authorized users and services can access and deploy them.

  3. 3

    Registry API

    The Registry API provides a RESTful interface for managing your Docker images. Registry API will help you to push and pull images, manage access control, and monitor the status of your images.

  4. 4

    Container Analysis

    This is an optional component of Cloud Registry that provides a detailed analysis of your Docker images and their dependencies. It can help you identify issues with your images and make informed decisions about their deployment.

Overall, the google cloud registry has a very comprehensive and advanced architecture however, we have summarised it into the simplest version for a better understanding experience. 

How to use Google Cloud Registry for Businesses

Google cloud platform has created this service for its users to experience the best image storage services. This registry can work for and benefit your business in many ways.

Here are some ways through which you can utilize the google cloud registry;

  • Vulnerability Analysis

    Your business team can perform vulnerability analysis, manage docker images, and decide who can access certain items with fine-grained access control. Additionally, existing CI/CD integrations allow you to set up fully automated docker pipelines to get feedback.

  • Security access

    Your business can enjoy a secure and safe private docker registry by quickly accessing the secure personal docker image storage on the Google cloud platform and maintaining control over who can access, view, or download images. 

  • Deployment

    Your team will be able to automatically build and deploy images to the private registry when you commit code to GitHub, cloud source repositories, or Bitbucket. 

  • Private lockup

    You can keep images that are risky and sensitive concerning your business in a private lockup. This can be done using native integration with Binary Authorization to define policies and prevent the deployment of images conflicting with the set guidelines.

  • Early-stage Scanning

    You will be able to detect vulnerabilities in the early stages of the software deployment cycle and ensure that your container images are safe to deploy. The constantly refreshed databases also provide that vulnerability scans are up to date with new malware.

  • Native docker support

    You will be able to push and pull docker images to your private container registry using the standard docker command line interface. Additionally, you can search for docker images using names and tags.

  • Private repository

    You can use the regional private repositories worldwide and get optimal response time globally. You can store images close to your compute instances such as; in Asia, Europe, or the US, and enjoy fast deployment through Google's high-performing global network.

Setting up Google Cloud Registry

To set up your google cloud registry and enjoy its services, we have created the most accessible guide for you. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. 1

    You will have to create a google cloud account and enable its billing if you still need to enable it.

  2. 2

    Open the google cloud console and create a new project.

  3. 3

    Enable the container registry API in your project.

  4. 4

    You will need to install the docker command-line tool on your local machine.

  5. 5

    Authenticate docker to your google cloud account using the ‘gcloud’ command-line tool.

  6. 6

    Tag your docker images with the specific registry name through the ‘docker tag’ command.

  7. 7

    Using the ‘docker push’ command, push the docker image to the google cloud registry.

Additionally, you can use the google cloud SDK to automate the process of pushing docker images, and can also set up access control by creating IAM roles and permissions.

Once the images are stored in the registry, you can deploy them to the google Kubernetes Engine or other Kubernetes clusters and share them with external members.

Cloud Registry Security Features

Google cloud registry covers all security-related issues while you use it, here are some features;

  1. 1

    Access control

    Using cloud identity and access management (IAM), you can control who can access your container images, and revoke access of some users as well.

  2. 2


    Even if someone gains unauthorized access to the underlying storage, he will not be able to read data as the google cloud registry uses encryption at rest. 

  3. 3

    Private networking

    Google cloud provides a private network connection which adds another layer of security that does not allow data to reach the public internet.

  4. 4

    Container image signing

    The google cloud registry has a feature of verification through signing, which prevents malicious images from being deployed.

  5. 5

    Audit logging

    All actions taken in the registry are logged by google cloud such as image pulls and pushes and any changes to the policies, which makes it easier to monitor and investigate suspicious activity.

  6. 6

    Image vulnerability scanning

    Google cloud registry helps you scan images before deployment to help you detect and address any vulnerabilities to avoid potential security problems.

Optimizing Google Cloud Registry

Google cloud registry is highly scalable, allowing you to deploy images and offering many unique features for you to optimize your registry according to your preferences.

Here are some ways by which you can optimize your registry;

  • Use retention policies

    By using retention policies you can manage the storage costs of the container images, this will ensure you are not storing any unnecessary images.

  • Use caching

    Reduce the time it takes to deploy your images, by using google cloud’s caching mechanism.

  • Monitor and analyze

    Google cloud registry provides tools that help you monitor and analyze image data, which can identify areas for improvement and optimize container images for better performance.

  • Use appropriate tagging

    You can tag your container images specifically, by using version control to tag images with their descriptive names to reflect their purpose and content.

  • Access control

    As mentioned above, you can control who can access the data, and optimize permissions.

Monitoring and Troubleshooting Google Cloud Registry 

There are many ways through which your team can monitor the google cloud registry and troubleshoot any upcoming or current problems and complications. We have mentioned some ways below which can help you throughout:


Google cloud registry includes built-in monitoring capabilities to help you monitor your images and identify problems. 

  • Cloud logging can be used to view logs and audit trails for your Docker images, and cloud monitoring can be used to set up alerts and notifications when there are issues with your images.

  • Enable container analysis: Enable Container Analysis API on your project, which will provide vulnerability scanning and metadata for your container images.

  • Monitor image creation: Monitor the creation of new images in your registry to ensure that they meet your security and compliance requirements.

  • Use versioning to keep track of changes to your images over time. This will allow you to roll back to a previous version if necessary.


You can use the following methods when troubleshooting different problems in the google cloud registry;

  • You can use the Docker CLI to pull and push images to the registry and check for errors.

  • The Cloud Console can help you to view the status of your images and see if there are any errors or issues.

  • Check the Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring logs to identify any errors or issues with your images.

  • Check the permissions of your service account to ensure that it has the necessary permissions to access the registry.

  • Contact Google Cloud support for assistance if there are issues with the registry itself.

You can also regularly perform backups of your Docker images to ensure that you have a copy of your images in case of any issues or data loss.

Google cloud registry pricing

The google cloud registry’s pricing depends on its usage and storage requirements. GCR will charge you based on the amount of storage used and the amount of data transferred. 

The pricing model for GCR includes two components: storage and network egress. 

  • Storage

    GCR charges $0.10 per GB per month for regional storage and $0.20 per GB per month for multi-regional storage. 

  • Network 

    Network egress charges are based on the amount of data transferred out of GCR to other regions or services, and the pricing varies based on the destination of the data.

In addition to storage and network egress charges, GCR also offers a free tier of service that includes up to 1 GB of storage and 1 GB of network egress per month.

Conclusively, the pricing of a personal GCR can vary depending on the storage and network requirements of the user, but the service offers flexible pricing options and a free tier to help users manage costs.


Google cloud registry is one of the safest, most reliable, and most managed docker registry platforms for your storage, and can be easily adjusted in terms of pricing as well.

Your business can utilize its unique features with its scalable, highly available, and accessible environment for the best interests.

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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