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TechNewsWorld.com

Google Presents a Cornucopia of Cloud Goodies

By Richard Adhikari
Apr 11, 2019 12:40 PM PT
google announced new services and innovations at its cloud next conference in san francisco

Google announced a host of new services, features and partners at Google Cloud Next '19 Day 2 in San Francisco on Wednesday.

The new unveilings followed its announcement of Anthos, an open source platform powered by Kubernetes, on Day 1.

Anthos is "a single platform for developers and operations; it is for on-premise and multicloud installations," Urs Hölzle, Google's senior vice president, technical infrastructure, told the audience Wednesday. "With Anthos we're making hybrid and multicloud the new normal."

Open Standards Vision

Hölzle announced the following new tools:

  • Traffic Director, a fully managed control plane for service meshes, which uses open standard APIs;
  • Cloud Run, a managed compute platform built on the Knative open source project, which lets users run stateless containers invocable through HTTP requests;
  • Cloud Security Command Center;
  • The beta of Event Threat Detection, a service that will let users spot signs of compromise or malicious activity in their logs;
  • The alpha of Policy Intelligence, a machine language-based service that ensures that users access the right set of policy controls; and
  • A software security key in beta that Hölzle said works in most Android phones.

The new features "are part of a larger single vision of a cloud platform built around open standards with commitment to uptime and reliability," Hölzle noted.

"The key here is helping customers start their cloud journey," observed Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

"SAP workloads, AI/ML, security, and data center availability are huge," he told TechNewsWorld. "G Suite is also growing, with 5 million paid users, up from 4 million last year."

Google also announced 30 security features that are "part of a larger single vision of a cloud platform built around open standards with commitment to uptime and reliability," Hölzle said.

On the whole, Google is just playing catch-up, Wang said. "They basically started Day 1 by saying 'We know we may have been behind for the past three years, but we're back now and these are the features we should have had and they're now available."

Data Management

Among Google's Wednesday announcements was a data management plan to move Microsoft customers to the Google Cloud.

Deepti Srivastava, Google's product manager, cloud databases, introduced the following:

  • Cloud SQL for Microsoft SQL Server, a fully managed service coming later this year; and
  • A managed service for Microsoft Active Directory that will run actual Active Directory domain controllers, also coming later this year.

In the area of analytics, Google unveiled Smart Analytics, which will let customers "use AI models and ML to automatically categorize data for business analysts' use," Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian said. It will include new features to make it easier to move data into the Google Cloud.

Julie Price, Google big data specialist and cloud customer engineer, announced AutoML Tables, which lets users automatically build and deploy AI tables without expertise in SQL or writing code.

When used with the BigQuery BI Engine now in beta and Connected Sheets, a new G Suite feature that can handle billions of records, AutoML Tables allows customers to turn data into mission-critical insights and predictions.

Google is "known for search, which gives them the best opportunity with data analytics," noted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

However, "concerns about its security and funding model will likely significantly reduce what otherwise would be strong sales in what's perceived to be its strongest skill set," he told TechNewsWorld.

Revamping the G Suite for the Enterprise

Amy Lokey, VP of user experience for G Suite, said AI built into G Suite now lets Google Assistant access applications and interact with users. For example, a user who was running late for a meeting could notify other participants and ask them to save a seat.

Google has brought Hangouts Chat into Gmail, and provided third-party connectivity in Cloud Search, letting users search in SAP, Salesforce and SharePoint.

AI and the Cloud

Rajen Sheth, Google's director, product management, cloud AI, announced the AI Platform, comprised of Kubeflow; the AI Hub, a "one-stop shop for all your AI resources"; and three AI products for business decision makers, including Contact Center AI.

"We're integrating Contact Center AI into our ecosystem," Sarah Patterson, Salesforce's SVP of product marketing and strategy, told the audience.

Industry-Specific Solutions

Google has partnered with a number of companies to build industry-specific solutions.

For example, it has been working with the auto and gaming industries to leverage GEO for location-based capabilities. It also has partnerships in the healthcare industry and in telco, media and entertainment, through its partnership with Accenture on Intelligent Customer Engagement Solutions.

Google's Contact Center AI, in combination with telephony vendors, "provides the underlying framework for AI-powered interactions and agent assist," said Arnab Chakraborty, Accenture's managing director, applied intelligence.

"Accenture will provide the industry-specific dialog design creation and knowledge model curation, which is the content that runs on CCAI," he told TechNewsWorld. "Our solution will be built on top of and around, existing solutions."

On the hardware side, the Google Cloud Platform is the first cloud instance to offer Nvidia Virtual Quadro Workstation on the Nvidia T4, Nvidia spokesperson Gail Laguna told TechNewsWorld, noting that GPU-accelerated containers from Nvidia GPU Cloud are "used thousands of times a month by Google Cloud users."


Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.


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