As usual, Google Cloud Next ‘21, Google Cloud’s flagship three-day event, did not disappoint. This year’s virtual format empowered participants to choose their own digital adventure, enabling them to design a personalized experience that aligned with their interests. Participants were able to hear from Google Cloud leadership and industry experts, see the latest tech in action, and had the opportunity to sharpen their skills in a variety of areas, including data analytics, industry transformation, application modernization, productivity and collaboration, security, and more.
As a Google Cloud Premier Partner and Reseller Partner of the Year for the last three years, we went all-in at Next ‘21 with a number of exciting sessions spotlighting how we’ve taken our customers to the next level. During the Next ‘21 show opener, Google Cloud announced the winners of its inaugural Google Cloud Customer Awards, and we were thrilled to learn that several of our customers, including Sony Pictures ImageWorks, Quantum Metric, Tassat, Block.one, State of Arizona, and MariaDB, were recognized for their achievements with Google Cloud, having exemplified innovative thinking, technical excellence, and transformation.
As always, Google announced a variety of exciting news surrounding solutions, updates, and enhancements designed to help businesses solve the toughest challenges they’re facing today. Here’s a brief recap of some of the most exciting announcements made at Google Cloud Next ‘21:
1. The Introduction of Google Distributed Cloud
Google expanded the vision of Anthos with its introduction of Google Distributed Cloud, a portfolio of fully managed hardware and software solutions that extend Google Cloud’s infrastructure and services to the edge and data centers. Powered by Anthos, Google Distributed Cloud is a solution for organizations who are unable to move workloads to the public cloud entirely or right away due to hurdles related to industry or region-specific compliance and data sovereignty needs, low latency or local data-processing requirements, or the need to run close to other services.
“Using Google Distributed Cloud, customers can migrate or modernize applications and process data locally with Google Cloud services, including databases, machine learning, data analytics, and container management,” said Sachin Gupta, GM and VP of Product for IaaS, Google Cloud.
Google Distributed Cloud can run across multiple locations, including:
- Google’s network edge
- Operator edge
- Customer edge
- Customer data centers
2. Significant advancements in the data cloud
There were a number of notable announcements made regarding advancements in Google’s Data Cloud:
- The introduction of Spanner’s Postgres interface, which simplifies building transformational applications, will lower the barriers to adoption and increase workload portability. “This new way of working with Spanner combines the scalability and reliability of Spanner that enterprises trust with the familiarity and portability of PostgreSQL that development teams love,” said Justin Makeig, Product Manager, Cloud Spanner.
- The launch of Spark on Google Cloud, an autoscaling, serverless implementation of Apache Spark, allows for simple migration of Spark jobs to Google Cloud. This enables developers to focus on their data processing application, and let Google handle the infrastructure. With integrations with BigQuery, Vertex AI, and Dataplex, these workloads can seamlessly integrate with the broader Google Data Cloud.
- Google Cloud announced that it’ll be broadening and deepening partnerships in data with key partners like Informatica, Tableau, Trifacta, and Collibra. The ecosystem is incredibly important in the data space, and Google is always looking to work with the best vendors in the market.
- There were a number of other exciting announcements and offerings revealed, including the general availability of BigQuery Omni; the introduction of Vertex AI Workbench, the single environment for data scientists to complete all of their ML work, from experimentation, to deployment, to managing and monitoring models; and so much more. There’s a lot happening in this space!
3. The introduction of Anthos for Virtual Machines (VMs)
From the Tau VM class to Spot Virtual Machines, Google Cloud has been making significant investments in advancing its core infrastructure capabilities. The introduction of Anthos for VMs is of particular note. Anthos for VMs offers unified policy, security, and traffic management for in-cluster resources and virtual machines. It enables you to:
- Attach traditional VMs to an Anthos environment or run VMs in Anthos environments with KubeVirt
- Enjoy a more consistent developer experience for monoliths and microservices alike. You can build, deploy, and update applications in containers or VMs
- Enjoy a more consistent operator experience for cluster and VM health, performance, and traffic management
4. The announcement of the Google Cybersecurity Action Team (GCAT)
Google announced the Google Cybersecurity Action Team (GCAT) is available to help meet and address concerns across Google Cloud, multi-hyperscale cloud, and hybrid on-premises deployments. This team has deep expertise in all aspects of Google security, and customers can leverage it to ensure workloads run as securely as possible across as many architectures as possible. GCAT will work to partner with customers to develop best practices and help resolve any issues that may arise. The team will focus its expertise in four key areas:
- Strategic Advisory Services
- Customer and Solutions Engineering
- Threat Intelligence and Incident Response
You can learn more about GCAT by tuning in to this podcast: Google Cybersecurity Action Team: What’s the Story?
5. Continued focus on sustainability
Building on top of Google’s 2030 carbon-free commitment, the Cloud team is always looking to enable customers with more information to run cleaner. This includes carbon footprint dashboarding for cloud customers and infrastructure recommendations for sustainability right in the Cloud Console. This is a topic SADA works to include in its deployments. Google Earth Engine is also now integrating with Google Cloud to allow organizations to create new solutions leveraging Earth Engine’s 50+ petabytes of satellite imagery with the analytics power of BigQuery and the broader data cloud. Read more about these tools to measure—and reduce— your environmental impact here.
Google has always signaled that it’s the most flexible cloud, empowering customers to build applications and analyze data across different environments in the most sustainable way. The announcements at this year’s Google Cloud Next further solidify the company’s reputation for flexibility as it continues to push the envelope across all these dimensions. SADA is excited to partner with Google Cloud in helping our customers leverage all these advancements to solve new business challenges in the cloud. Contact us to learn how we can help you work toward your vision.