February 27, 2020

The Cloud Boss talks migration and Google's platform for innovation - Data Economy


From a small town in India to the world’s stage, Google Cloud’s CEO Thomas Kurian unveils the cloud giants’ next decade of transformation set to turn the tables upside down in the sector. Abigail Opiah Reports.

Migration. The topic that has undoubtedly come up in any company boardroom where data is concerned.

Google Cloud has chosen to be one step ahead of the game carrying its digital transformation strategy in a sack over the company’s shoulder, ready to distribute across the globe like Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

“Thousands of Googlers are working hard every day to give you this platform to help you innovate,” Kurian says.

“We give you this platform to paint a new vision for your company — to imagine what was once considered impossible, and to transform the way you serve customers in every industry.

“We’re investing very aggressively to ensure that you have the right sales resources, customer service resources, as well as product innovations, to take your organisation into the future.”

Kurian has taken over Google Cloud like a vengeful storm, hitting headlines, making announcements and signing definitive acquisition agreements since his appointment at the beginning of the year. Google Next 19 saw the cloud boss spew details of the company’s next phase.

Google data centre global footprint

“Our mission at Google Cloud is to enable organisations around the world to transform their business using digital technology and to do so by offering the best infrastructure, a digital transformation platform and industry-specific solutions to help you transform your organisation as well as to infuse you with our expertise and our culture to help you create that magic,” he says.

“We do so by offering you three important key components. First, Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Second, our digital transformation platform and third, industry solutions.

“Our foundation is Infrastructure as a Service. We look at it as offering you six important capabilities: compute, storage, Network as a Service protected by new offerings that we’re introducing today in the security area, deployable either in Google’s cloud regions, or in your premise – hybrid – or increasingly out in the telecommunications network – the edge.”

Kurian added that the foundation of all of the components is its regions. As it stands, Google Cloud is currently live in 20 regions around the world and 61 availability zones.

Six of those are in Europe, and the cloud giants’ are set to introduce five new regions (under previously announced plans to open data centres in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Warsaw, Jakarta and Seoul).


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Renewable Pledge

Google announced that is had purchased a 1,600MW package of agreements that includes 18 new energy deals, labelled the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history.

“Our regions are not only very powerful and capable, but also built on a foundation that advances renewables energy,” adds Kurian.

“Our CEO, Sundar Pichai, recently announced that Google has been a carbon-neutral company since 2007.

“When you move workload to our cloud, you’re moving workload onto a backbone that is built by the largest corporate renewable energy company in the world: Google.

“So not only are you moving workloads to an amazing platform, but you’re also doing good for the planet.”

The company acquired software firm CloudSimple to run VMware workloads in the cloud.

The acquisition of CloudSimple demonstrates the tech giant’s commitment to providing solutions to its enterprise customers for the modernisation of their IT infrastructure.

“We’re announcing a number of new offerings in compute, new compute VMs (virtual machines) optimized in both AMD and Intel processors, faster storage offerings and two really great network offerings – network intelligence that lets you look at global traffic patterns on the network accessing your systems, and packet mirroring that will allow you to get better reliability in the infrastructure,” he continues.

“They’re all part of our commitment to give you a secure, reliable, high-performance infrastructure to run both our application workloads as well as partner applications.

“If you’re running VMware on your premise, we’re announcing a new offering to allow you to move VMware workloads to the cloud.

“You can migrate your VMware workload as is to the cloud. You can use your existing VMware tools, processes and operational practices to run these workloads in the cloud. Not only does it allow you to migrate applications unchanged, you can also do so while maintaining business continuity.


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“And we’re doing this through an acquisition we announced. CloudSimple is now part of Google Cloud. They’re recognized worldwide as experts in running VMware, and they have proven technology to
let you move VMware workloads to our cloud.”

New Beginnings

Amongst other things, Kurian reveals that Google Cloud are not short of announcements and new developments as the industry becomes flooded with start-ups and enterprises that are ready to compete with the giants.

“Another workload that we’re announcing a solution for today is NetApp. NetApp offers a new service: the Cloud Volumes Service for Google Cloud Platform,” he adds.

“We’re announcing general availability, including in London. So if you run NetApp storage on your premise, Cloud Volumes is a full hybrid cloud storage solution.

“You can move data from NetApp storage on your premise to our cloud. You can migrate applications that run on NetApp without any change to the cloud. You can run them in production, and you can do so while maintaining business continuity.”

He also unveils the company’s new bare metal offering (Bare Metal Solution) to run raw servers running SAP, VMware and Oracle.

“You can migrate existing enterprise licenses to the cloud, and you get great performance and scalability. This is a new offering we’re introducing in partnership with Atos,” he says.

“They’re also offering a broad set of services, including Database as a Service, a new offering called Workplace as a Service (Google Edition, inclusive of G Suite and Chromebooks) and running SAP, as well as doing data centre exits.”

Lastly, Kurian takes the audience on a journey to discover the hidden gems of Explainable AI to make it easier for the company’s customers to adopt artificial intelligence.

“There are people who use our data management infrastructure for AI and machine learning. We offer four important capabilities: a platform, AI building blocks, an AI Hub, which provides one-click deployment of models, and AutoML, which makes it much easier for people to build AI models,” he concludes.

“Explainable AI allows you, a customer, who is using AI in an enterprise context or an enterprise business process, to understand why the AI infrastructure generated a particular outcome.

“So for instance, if you’re using AI for credit scoring, you want to be able to understand why the model didn’t reject a particular credit application and accept another one. Explainable AI provides you with the ability to understand that.”

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