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Made Here Together at Google Next

July 27, 2018 – This week I was at Moscone Center in San Francisco where Google held their annual cloud conference, Google Next. Attendees were filled with excitement to see what Google had in store for us. Previously Google appeared to be focused on startups and smaller companies. Today, they are claiming enterprise ready.

Joined by nearly 25,000 of our closest friends, the main conference ran Tuesday through Thursday and was packed full of talks, boot camps and breakout sessions spread across multiple venues, all within walking distance. The theme this year was “Made Here Together.” Throughout the week we heard about the advancements made around container management, AI and ML as well as how Google is enabling customers to adopt these emerging technologies. Whether organizations are looking to modernize their applications, act on their data or transform the way they work, Google is working hard to provide the tooling to make decisions easy for customers.

 

Partner Summit Highlights

Monday kicked off the Partner Summit where partners had the opportunity to engage with Googlers, hear about the latest changes to the partner programs and how to help customers navigate the cloud. As partners, our obligation is to help our customers build differentiation within their industries. It’s about taking technology to new levels and becoming that change agent in partnership with Google. Today, Google is focused on their partners more than ever and it shows, based on their commitments and inclusion of partners. The partner ecosystem has seen a 10x increase in growth over the last year showing the willingness of partners to grow their business around Google Cloud and G Suite. Our role as partners is to enable success and growth through migration support and solution offerings around new and innovative ideas, as well as providing value-added services such as cloud optimization.

Some of the more notable announcements during the partner summit included:

  • Expanding solutions for SaaS partners to include a co-selling program
  • New technology updates such as Cisco’s hybrid cloud solution and NetApp’s Cloud Volumes on GCP
  • Five new specializations for partners
  • Commitment to 100% partner attach rate
  • Further investments in partners

Congratulations goes out to one of our strategic partners, Cisco, for being recognized by Google as Global Technology Partner of the Year.

 

Day 1 Highlights

The morning keynote brought about several key announcements that focused on bringing Google’s technology to companies of every size. It was no surprise that the mention of AI came so quickly. AI is transforming industries all over the world. Expect to see AI infused into everything moving forward. It will improve the way we live and work, if it’s used for good.

Containers have improved the way we package and deliver software. Kubernetes has become the industry standard and supports the management of containers. However, there are still some inherent problems that require attention. Google’s response is a new Cloud Services Platform combining Kubernetes and Istio with Google’s infrastructure, security and operations practices to increase speed, reliability and management at scale. In addition, GKE On-Prem was announced offering a managed, secured, multi-cluster, consistent Kubernetes experience. This is GKE in your data center with a single-pane-of-glass view for managing all your clusters.

Other notable mentions included Cisco’s hybrid cloud offering, Cisco Cloud Platform. CCP is a turn-key solution supported by Cisco, running CNCF certified Kubernetes distribution with integrated networking, management, security and analytics and optimized for Google Cloud. Customers seeking to develop hybrid applications, modernize existing applications or automate software delivery will have the most to gain. Expect to see general availability next month in August.

G Suite will see a few added features, centered around AI:

  • Security center investigation tool
  • Data regions
  • Smart reply in Hangouts Chat
  • Smart compose in Gmail
  • Grammar suggestions in Docs
  • Voice command in Hangouts

These new features will allow organizations to work smarter and more securely.

 

Day 2 Highlights

Day 2 started with secure, smart and simple collaboration with a focus around email security and some enhancements to G Suite to address these concerns.

This was followed by how AI will become the foundation of computing with one goal, to make AI simple and useful. Announcements around the new Edge TPU designed to run TensorFlow Lite ML models at the edge and the new Cloud IoT Edge extending AI capabilities to connected devices highlighted the advancements that Google is making around edge computing.

From an infrastructure perspective, Google now has 17 regions with 125 POPs as on-ramps to cloud. They are the first major public cloud to offer a tiered cloud network to optimize performance and cost. They also acquired a company called Velostrata and have integrated that into the console to facilitate migration to cloud. Best part is it’s free to use.

Building a more secure cloud brought about Shielded VMs, Container Registry Vulnerability Scanning and their Cloud Armour DDos and application defense service.

As the data footprint continues to grow, more advanced tools are required to make sense of it. New enhancements around data analytics brings BigQueryML that allows you to easily build machine learning models with simple SQL commands.

 

Day 3 Highlights

Day 3 was focused around providing tools for developers to allow faster releases with better stability. Demos of Stackdriver, Cloud Build, Cloud source repositories and Spinnaker were shown to help build, deploy and monitor applications in the cloud. The moment everyone was waiting for was to see what Google developer advocate Kelsey Hightower would do this year. Kelsey demonstrated building a web app that displayed weather data in various locations utilizing Maps API from ground zero in 15 mins. If that wasn’t impressing enough, he also added voice integration. As always, the highlight of the day.

 

“Good programmers copy. Great programmers paste.” – Kelsey Hightower

 

It’s a Wrap

The adoption of GCP, albeit slow, has seen consistent growth over the last year. Forrester recently recognized Google as a leader in public cloud platform native security. In addition, Gartner recently named Google as a leader in the Cloud IaaS market. As a developer-led company, Google is constantly seeking ways to deliver more tools to market to speed innovation and increase productivity. This couldn’t be truer based on this week’s announcements. Google is working hard to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Following the conference theme, Together… we came in droves, shared our knowledge, built relationships and learned along the way.

 

Daryl Harrington is Groupware Technology’s Practice Manager for Cloud Solutions