Google answers 'Why Google Cloud?' with services and spectacle

Cloud Services Platform debuts, mixing containers, monitoring, AI, management, etc

Amid ongoing renovations at San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center, Google Cloud Next '18 opened on Tuesday, the scent of new carpeting and paint still lingering in the air.

Rebranded in 2016, what was previously a modest, unassuming tech gathering has been stuffed with cash and transformed into a top tier show, one that clearly aspires to the shock and awe of AWS Global Summit, Dreamforce, and Oracle OpenWorld.

The partially rebuilt convention center serves as a fitting visual representation of Google's cloud business, promising but not yet on equal footing with AWS or Microsoft Azure, at least when measured by revenue or market share. In terms of technology, Google has a stronger hand to play.

Diane Greene, CEO of Google's cloud business, was delivered to the stage via a rotating booth, rather more theatricality than the usual executive walk-on.

Her mission was to answer the question, "Why Google Cloud?"

For those in the audience who looked over their shoulders, Greene's remarks were easy to anticipate, thanks to visible teleprompter screens suspended from the middle of the hall. Consider it a step toward transparency.

Google, photo by lightpoet via Shutterstock

Google's Alphabet hit by Europe's other GDPR: Global Domination = Profit Reduction


Why Google Cloud? Greene brought Target CIO Mike McNamara on stage to answer that question. The retail giant has become a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) customer.

"If you look back a few years, infrastructure was like driving around in a horse and buggy," McNamara said. "Today, you have three performance cars parked in the driveway."

Those cars, we suspect, stand for AWS, Azure, and Google, the three major public cloud service providers.

McNamara offered a rather vague answer: Target and Google share a lot of values, and Google is committed to open source (something lock-in averse companies appreciate). However, the same could be said about Amazon or Microsoft.

Ultimately, he ducked the question. "At the end of the day, it wasn't me who chose Google, it was my engineers," he said.

No doubt Greene would have preferred a more emphatic declaration of GCP superiority.

But the point of customer-win examples, like Target and Unity (which we were told jumped ship from AWS to take up with Google Cloud Platform), is to show that companies like what they see in GCP, whatever the actual reason may be.

Perhaps Greene's answer – "We've been working incredibly hard to build things for you" – will suffice. It worked for car rental biz Avis, with its 1962 "We Try Harder" ad campaign: "When you’re only number two, you try harder." More so when you're a distant number three.

Greene observed that while she's proud of Google's cutting-edge technology, she's also proud of having introduced the basic features necessary to play the enterprise game. Two years ago, when Greene was hired, crucial things like full audit logs, compliance stuff, and fine-grained security – the things big biz IT really cares about – were missing. Now Googlers are working on that. So, why Google Cloud? Because Greene taught Google listen to enterprise customers and to make them feel comfortable.

PS: Sundar Pichai, Google's CEO, made a brief appearance to say not very much, as he did on Monday's Q2 2018 earnings conference call.

Keep Reading

Tech Resources

The State of Application Security 2020

Forrester analyzed the state of application security in 2020 and found over 75% of external attacks are attributed to web application and software exploits.

How backup modernization changes the ransomware game

If the thrill of backing up your data and wondering if you will ever see it again has worn off, start the new year by getting rid of the lingering pain of legacy backup. Bipul Sinha, CEO of the Cloud Data Management Company, Rubrik, and Miguel Zatarain, Director of Global Infrastructure Technology at PACCAR, Fortune 500 manufacturer of trucks and Rubrik customer, are talking to the Reg’s Tim Phillips about how to eliminate the costly, slow and spotty performance of legacy backup, and how to modernize your implementation in 2021 to make your business more resilient.

Webcast Slide Deck | Three reasons you need a hybrid multicloud

Businesses need their IT teams to operate applications and data in a hybrid environment spanning on-premises private and public clouds. But this poses many challenges, such as managing complex networking, re-architecting applications for the cloud, and managing multiple infrastructure silos. There is a pressing need for a single platform that addresses these challenges - a hybrid multicloud built for the digital innovation era. Just this Regcast to find out: Why hybrid multicloud is the ideal path to accelerate cloud migration.

Anatomy of a Private Cloud

Learn the key elements that combined, build a true Private Cloud

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021