It’s been a few weeks since Google Next 2019 and we are still buzzing with excitement from all the great sessions, keynotes and discussions with the google team.
Let’s get straight to it then and cover the major announcements (not easy as there were so many to pick from!)
We have to start with how we liked new Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurien (Oracle Veteran) graciously acknowledging the previous Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene for her work in building up Google Cloud so far. Well done TK!
The biggest announcement by far was the very first announcement – introducing Anthos, the new Hybrid Cloud offering from Google Cloud. It is generally available now on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and GKE On-Prem. With Anthos, you can deploy, run and manage your applications on-premise or in the cloud. Anthos is a re-branding (with additions) of the Cloud Services Platform (CSP). Anthos also comes with Anthos Migrate which is the new release of the product previously known as Velostrata. With Anthos Migrate, you can auto-migrate VM’s from on-premise or other clouds directly into containers in GKE. So this is great news for companies looking to modernize their app dev process and infrastructure. Here are some relevant screenshots that we captured at the event.
Serverless was a big focus as expected and Google announced Cloud Run beta – its a fully managed serverless execution environment and now brings serverless agility for containerized apps. You can run any HTTP stateless workload on the fully serverless environment. Its built on a Docker container and you can run any language, any binary, any code that you can put into a container.
On the DevOps and SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) side, the important release was ‘Cloud Code’ which helps you write, deploy, and debug cloud-native applications quickly and easily. Extensions to IDEs such as Visual Studio Code and IntelliJ are provided to let you rapidly iterate, debug, and deploy code to Kubernetes.
From an API Management standpoint, Apigee Hybrid was released which moves the hybrid cloud needle forward by allowing you to run the API management platform and runtime in both the cloud as well as in your datacenter. It’s now fully integrated with Cloud Functions, Cloud ML Engine and BigQuery.
On Databases next; the big news was support for Microsoft SQL – bring your existing SQL server workloads to GCP and run them in a fully managed database service. This is still a couple of months away but going by SQL server footprint in the Enterprise space and the excitement in the audience – it’s a big move for GCP. You will now be able to lift and shift existing SQL Server workloads without rebuilding/changing your applications and use the SQL server data with a variety of services from GCP including BigQuery for analytics, AI, and machine learning. Cloud SQL will handle this in addition to MySQL and PostgreSQL.
Continuing the discussion on Microsoft, you now have the flexibility to bring your existing licenses to GCP. While doing streaming migration via Velostrata, you can tag Microsoft workloads that require sole tenancy and automatically apply existing licenses. The announcement that you will be able to use a highly available GCP service to run actual Microsoft AD, manage AD-dependent workloads, automate AD server maintenance and security, and extend on-prem AD domain to the cloud brought a huge cheer and applause from the crowd.
On the Storage front, Google had a few announcements – these included a new low-cost archive storage class for cloud storage, higher throughput on Cloud Firestore, Regional Persistent Disks and Cloud IAM roles for Cloud Storage.
Networking – Google is releasing a High-Availability VPN (SLA – 99.99% service) that let’s you connect your on-prem deployments to Google VPC’s. Also a 100 GBPS Cloud Interconnect was released in Beta. Based on customer demand, Google also announced an option to have different Network Service Tiers (first among major cloud providers), there are two tiers Premium and Standard.
Finally Google introduced to a host of a new features on ‘Smart Analytics’. Quite frankly, this was hugely impressive and exciting in terms of possibilities for the customers. The big announcement was Cloud Data Fusion which is a fully managed, cloud-native data integration service that helps users build and manage ETL/ELT data pipeline using a GUI and an open-source library of preconfigured connectors and transformations, allowing for more time towards insights. In addition to Cloud Data Fusion, Google introduced BigQuery Data Transfer Service (DTS) that automates data movement from SaaS apps from Salesforce.com, Marketo, Workday, Stripe and more. To enable Data Analysts who wait for data engineers to build pipelines, Google announced Cloud Dataflow SQL where analysts could build their own pipelines with basic SQL within the BigQuery UI and join other streams of data and visualize and produce insights in real time. To top all of this, Google announced BigQuery BI Engine where you can perform in-memory analysis making it really fast and truly instant. The new BI Engine is available within Data Studio. No more separate BI tools 🙂
The other way Google wants to differentiate from other cloud providers is by embracing open source companies. They key partners showcased at Next were Confluent, DataStax, Elastic, InfluxData, MongoDB, Neo4j and Redis Labs. This is an important strategy because most enterprise customers use some of these open source based products and now they can manage and get support for all these products within the Google console.
New chief Thomas Kurien spent his first few weeks talking to hundreds of customers and while he received great feedback on the products themselves, he heard the complaints about the lack of Google personnel who can help companies adopt these products and make contracting and pricing easier. So Google has been on a hiring spree and have increased the level and intensity of partnership with companies like Virtue Group that can help companies leverage Google Cloud and make an immense difference to business outcomes. At Virtue Group, we are pumped up to help companies adopt all these amazing products and win!
Here’s a couple of pictures of Jansen and I at the event 🙂 – Cheers!