Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian’s vision was on full display at the Moscone Center in San Francisco in April, at Google Cloud Next ‘19. 37,000 attendees from around the world, including Google evangelists, engineers, clients and partners who joined Thomas as he kicked off the two-day conference where he shared his vision for Google Cloud.

“We have a clear vision of what we want to offer customers in a number of industries who are going through digital transformation, we want to give them global scale, distributed, secure infrastructure; a digital transformation platform that helps people build innovative digital transformation solutions, and then, industry specific-capabilities for digital transformation in a number of industries.”

At the keynote, Kurian noted that 80% of the IT workloads still had not been migrated to the cloud. With the intent of becoming “the best strategic partner” for organizations, he debuted a plethora of new industry-specific capabilities and cloud services aimed at making it easier for organizations to create and run their computing workloads in the cloud. These capabilities and cloud services are part of Google’s hybrid and multi-cloud strategy. The intention is to ultimately make it easier for organizations to scale their computing workload within their data centers or build a migration path to transition and grow these workloads using any cloud.

With the focus on Hybrid cloud, Anthos was one of the biggest announcements at Google Cloud. Anthos (formerly known as Cloud Services Platform) is built and fully managed by Google. It allows organizations to move forward with its transformation initiatives with the assumptions of:

  • Write once, Run anywhere
  • Running applications on-premise or in any cloud
  • Secure by design infrastructure with built-in protection

Anthos is built on the foundation of Google Kubernetes Engine and is supported by technologies such as Istio, Knative, Stackdriver, Apigee, Velostrata and more. Collectively, these technologies, under the Anthos brand, are meant to help an organization modernize their applications by moving it from their existing virtual machines to automated and scalable Kubernetes containers. With Anthos, Google hopes to become the preferred platform for running applications worldwide.

Announcements that pushed Google Cloud as a hybrid and multi-cloud solution were a consistent theme at the conference. Google Cloud Run was announced as a fully managed, serverless computing platform for containerized applications. Cloud Run offers an open API and a runtime environment that brings a serverless developer experience and workload portability to Kubernetes Engine applications.

Google also announced that it is bringing two new data centers (Seoul, South Korea and Salt Lake City, Utah) online next year. These data centers will be an addition to the 20 other data centers where Google fully controls its security and performance, as it has the unique ability to serve all bits for its customers until the last mile through its wires.

With a vast amount of computational power accessible through its data centers, Google is also working hard to lower the barrier for AI and ML adoption for its customers considering digital transformation initiatives. At the conference, Google announced a new AI platform for developers, data scientists and data engineers to quickly build, run, manage and share AI applications rapidly on premises or in the cloud. The AI platform is part of the Hybrid Cloud concept and allows organizations to have the flexibility of “no lock-in” using Kubeflow which lets the teams rapidly build ML pipelines on premises or in the Google cloud without significant code change.

Google is also making it easier for its customers to bring large amounts of data into Google Cloud by adding new capabilities within its Data Analytics offerings. It announced Cloud Data Fusion, a BigQuery BI Engine, Connected Sheets and Cloud Data Catalog amongst many other capabilities. With these capabilities, Google intends to simplify ways for customers to move and govern data in its cloud and turn this onboarded data into new insights and predictions.

In addition to providing an end-to-end AI platform with data analytics capabilities, Google also announced several new capabilities targeting the retail industry. It announced Document Understanding AI, Contact Center AI, Recommendations AI and Visual Product Search AI. These solutions collectively or individually can help the retail brands push automation in how they collect, analyze and recommend next best engagements for their customer within their journey.

Google also announced new or upgraded ML solutions within its Sight, Language and Structured Data categories. Within these categories, it announced various capabilities within Cloud AutoML, BigQuery ML, Data Science Platform, its compute infrastructure, and capabilities within Dialogflow. Collectively, these solutions are a step forward in democratizing AI and ML capabilities for customers.

Google’s commitment to supporting and pushing open-source initiatives was on full display as well throughout the two-day event. It announced strategic partnerships with seven leading open source-centric companies:

  1. Confluent: Fully-managed streaming service based on Apache Kafka
  2. DataStax: Always-on, active everywhere distributed hybrid cloud database built on Apache Cassandra
  3. Elastic: With products such as ElasticSearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash, users can ingest data and visualize it with custom dashboards at real-time
  4. InfluxData: Easily manage large data workloads for real-time decision making
  5. MongoDB: Distributed database with high availability and horizontal scaling distributed globally
  6. Neo4j: Graph database application system with native graph storage and processing
  7. Redis Labs: Linearly scaling high-performance database for intelligent handling and simultaneous operations on complex data structures

These strategic partnerships will allow Google to offer the “first integrated open source ecosystem” as a cloud offering. They’ll provide a seamless experience that lets organizations simply manage these services with unified billing and access to support through Google, and not individually through each of the individual service providers.

Thomas Kurian delivered a bold vision for growing Google’s enterprise cloud business. He is fully committed to leaning heavily on open technologies to power this growth and providing integrated enterprise solutions that makes it easier for customers to decide how they evolve, extend and expand their computing workload onsite, using Google Cloud or any other cloud. The innovations announced at this event positions Google as the control center of an organization’s cloud strategy.

Google Cloud is fighting an uphill battle as it pushes forward in closing the adoption gap against leaders like AWS and Microsoft Azure. By making it easier for developers to adopt its services and by strengthening its partnerships with executives and C-suite technologists, Google Cloud is working hard to close the gap. With 100+ announcements at this event, Google is positioning itself as the best option for customers to push their cloud adoption and digital transformation initiatives.

For full list of all announcements from the Google Cloud Next ’19 event, please visit here.


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Author: Harsh Walia, VP/Group Director, Technology & Zaid Al Rashid, EVP/Head of Technology, North America, Digitas