Google Airflow

You can learn how to use Google Cloud integrations by analyzing the source code of the particular example DAGs.

We will learn how to set up airflow environment using Google Cloud Composer

  1. Airflow is a consolidated open-source project that has a big, active community behind it and the support of major companies such as Airbnb and Google. Many companies are now using Airflow in production to orchestrate their data workflows and implement their datum quality and governance policies. Airflow allows us to govern our data pipelines in a.
  2. This module was generated from terraform-google-module-template, which by default generates a module that simply creates a GCS bucket. As the module develops, this README should be updated.
  3. In this video, we will learn how to set up airflow environment using Google Cloud Composer🔥 Want to master SQL? Get the full SQL course:

Overview of Cloud Composer

  • A fully managed Apache Airflow to make workflow creation and management easy, powerful, and consistent.
  • Cloud Composer helps you create Airflow environments quickly and easily, so you can focus on your workflows and not your infrastructure.

Hosting Airflow on-premise

Let’s say you want to host Airflow on-premise. In another word, you host Airflow on your local server. There are a lot of problems with this approach:

  • You will need to spend a lot of time doing DevOps work: create a new server, manage Airflow installation, takes care of dependency management, package management, make sure your server always up and running, then you have to deal with scaling and security issues…
  • If you don’t want to deal with all of those DevOps problem, and instead just want to focus on your workflow, then Google Cloud composer is a great solution for you.

Google Cloud Composer benefit

  • The nice thing about Google Cloud Composer is that you as a Data Engineer or Data Scientist don’t have to spend that much time on DevOps.
  • You just focus on your workflows (writing code), and let Composer manage the infrastructure.
  • Of course you have to pay for the hosting service, but the cost is low compare to if you have to host a production airflow server on your own. This is an ideal solution if you are a startup in need of Airflow and you don’t have a lot of DevOps folks in-house.

Key Cloud Composer features

  • Simplicity:
    • One-click to create a new Airflow environment
    • Client tooling including Google Cloud SDK, Google Developer Console
    • Easy and controlled access to the Airflow Web UI
  • Security:
    • Identity access management (IAM): manage credentials, permissions, and access policies.
  • Scalability:
    • Easy to scale with Google infrastructure.
  • Production monitoring:
    • Stackdriver logging and monitoring:
      • Provide logging and monitoring metrics, and alert when your workflow is not running.
    • Simplified DAG (workflow) management
    • Python package management
  • Comprehensive GCP integration:
    • Integrate with all of Google Cloud services: Big Data, Machine Learning…
    • Run jobs elsewhere: Other cloud provider, or on-premises.


Google Cloud composer is a new product from Google. With the latest push from Google, you can be sure that Apache Airflow is the current cutting edge technology in the software industry.

Google airflow controller
  • First beta release: May 1, 2018 (6 months ago)
  • Latest release: October 24, 2018
    • Support Python 3 and Airflow 1.10.0

Set up Google Cloud Composer environment

  • It’s extremely easy to set up. If you have a Google Cloud account, it’s really just a few clicks away.

Composer environment

  • You can create multiple environments within a project.
  • Each environment is a different kubernetes cluster with multiple nodes, so they are perfectly isolated from each other.

Create an environment

  • Choose how many nodes and disk size
  • Choose Airflow and Python version

A complete Composer environment

Installing Python dependencies

  • Installing a Python dependency from Python Package Index (PyPI)


Deployment is simple. Google Cloud Composer uses Cloud Storage to store Apache Airflow DAGs, so you can easily add, update, and delete a DAG from your environment.

Google Airflow Reviews

  • Manual deployment:
    • You can drag-and-drop your Python .py file for the DAG to the Composer environment’s dags folder in Cloud Storage to deploy new DAGs. Within seconds the DAG appears in the Airflow UI.
    • Using gcloud sdk command to deploy a new dag.
  • Auto deployment:
    • Your DAGs files are stored in a Git repository. You can set up a continuous integration pipeline to automatically deploy every time a merge request is done in the master branch.

More information

  • Watch full talk from Google: Live demo of getting a worfklow up and running in Google Cloud Composer.

What if we say it's not like the others?

Airflow is different We're not cutting any corners. This is not yet another FFmpeg wrapper like you might have seen elsewhere. Don't get us wrong, we love FFmpeg and use many of its parts under the hood, but our custom built video processing pipeline goes way beyond wrapping FFmpeg and calling it a day. We've been working on it for years it and it lets us do things that other similar software simply can't.

It's a bold claim for sure, so here are just a few examples:

  • AirPlay HEVC videos to Apple TV without transcoding
  • Streaming to AirPlay 2 enabled TVs
  • Adaptive audio volume, spatial headphone downmix
  • Lossless audio transcoding when streaming to Apple TV (FLAC codec, requires tvOS 14)
  • High quality audio transcoding when streaming to Chromecast (Opus codec)
  • OCR (text recognition) for DVD/Bluray/Vobsub subtitles

...with a very particular set of skills...

Airflow is a razor sharp focused software. It supports specific set of devices and it will pull every trick in the book to get the best possible results on these devices. It may not stream video to your smart fridge, but it will gladly push your Chromecast, Apple TV and AirPlay 2 TVs to their limits.

And yes, Airflow can handle pretty much any video format and codec you throw at it.

Pixels, pixels everywhere!

Airflow can stream full 4K HDR HEVC files to Chromecast Ultra, Built-in, Apple TV 4K and AirPlay 2 enabled TVs. It will go out of its way not to touch the original video stream unless absolutely needed for compatibility reasons, ensuring best possible video quality with lowest CPU load (your computer fans will thank you). As far as we can tell, Airflow is still the only desktop software that can natively stream HEVC videos to Apple TV and AirPlay 2 TVs.

And for those pesky videos that are incompatible with your device - Airflow will handle that tranparently, with hardware accelerated transcoding if your computer supports it.

Audio pipeline that goes to eleven

Full multichannel support including DD+ passthrough with Dolby Atmos? Of course.

Advanced adaptive volume booster + limiter for late night watching when you don't want to disturb your neighbours with loud scenes but still want to hear the dialogue clearly? Check.

Airflow Google Cloud Storage Operator

Spatial headphone downmix for surround sound videos? Also check.

Detailed A/V sync adjustment where you can compensate for the delay of individual devices like bluetooth headphones? Airflow has it.

And subtitle support to match it

For both embedded and external subtitles. It's a bit of a secret that pretty much every other streaming software needs to extract embedded subtitle tracks before playing the video. That involves reading the entire file upfront! Crazy, right? Airflow needs no such crude tricks. Embedded or external, for our playback pipeline it's all the same. All widely used subtitle formats are supported, now including vobsub. Integrated search is a cherry on top.


...with real time text recognition

Some subtitles (DVD, Vobsub, Bluray) are stored as pictures. This means that the only way to render them when streaming is to burn them in the video. That's inconvenient to say the least. It massively increases CPU load (think fan noise and heat) and it's completely infeasible to do for 4K videos.

Enter our new realtime subtitle text recognition (OCR). During playback Airflow will transparently extract the text from picture subtitles and render it on target device just like it would with regular text subtitles.

Google Airflow Software

But wait, there's more!

Airflow Google Cloud

The 'small' things, like the scrubbing preview, beautiful polished user interface, multiple playlists support, meticulous last position tracking, or the integrated Speed Test for Chromecast, which is invaluable when dealing with network connection issues. The list goes on.

Did we mention the remote control companion app for Android and iPhone? No? Well, it's pretty cool. It lets you control all Airflow features from the comfort of your couch. And it's completely free!