At its online Next ’21 conference, Google today previewed a set of Google Distributed Cloud offerings that enable IT teams to deploy its Kubernetes-based Anthos IT platform in on-premises IT environments.
The Google Distributed Cloud Hosted edition of the portfolio makes it possible for internal IT teams to run an instance of Anthos on IT infrastructure they have already selected and deployed, which includes edge computing environments. Anthos is an IT platform launched in April 2019 that can run on any public cloud or on-premises IT environment.
Google Distributed Cloud Hosted is scheduled to be made available in preview in the first half of 2022, and will provide the option to employ a local control plane rather than the Google cloud service to manage infrastructure. It is designed to appeal to organizations that need to comply with sovereignty laws that require local IT teams to retain control over their IT environments.
Google also revealed it has extended its alliance with NetApp to add support for storage infrastructure that the Google Distributed Cloud platform might need to access.
At the same time, the company is previewing Google Distributed Cloud Edge, a managed service based on Kubernetes that is optimized for 5G wireless networking environments.
Kristen Kliphouse, president for Google Cloud for North America, touts the adoption of the company’s cloud platform among new customers including General Mills, DPDHL, Siemens Energy, Walmart and Wendy’s as indications that Google is gaining ground among enterprise customers at the expense of cloud rivals.
Google also announced a range of integration initiatives spanning everything from connecting Google Chat and Spaces collaboration tools to Jira project management software from Atlassian to an AppSheet tool that enables anyone to build applications on top of Gmail.
On the security front, Google announced it has extended its alliance with Citrix to provide access to virtualized applications and desktops from anywhere. In addition, partnerships with Elastic and MongoDB through the Elastic Cloud and MongoDB Atlas services can be accessed via the Google Private Service Connect network.
Google is also creating a cybersecurity action team, a group of experts from across the company that will use internal security best practices to guide organizations on how best to secure hybrid work environments.
There are also now several additional intelligence (AI) offerings that include Vertex AI Workbench, a suite of tools for building and deploying ML models faster; a BigQuery Omni platform that allows analytics to be processed across multiple cloud platforms; a Sparkon Google Cloud serverless computing service that automatically scales instances of the Apache Spark framework and a PostgreSQL interface for Cloud Spanner, a tool for sharding databases.
Overall, Google is betting the number of workloads moving to the cloud will not only continue to shift in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but also as organizations look to reduce carbon emissions to comply with environmental regulations being implemented around the world.
As part of that effort, the company today unveiled Carbon Footprint, a free tool that reports on the carbon emissions generated by each customer’s Google Cloud Platform usage. There is also now an Unattended Project Recommender tool that employs machine learning algorithms to identify and flag projects that are likely abandoned.
Finally, the company is making available a preview of Google Earth Engine platform that enables companies to track, monitor and predict changes in the Earth’s surface due to extreme weather events or human-caused activities. It is based on the BigQuery, Cloud AI and Google Maps Platform that the company already provides. At the same time, Carto, Climate Engine, Geotab, NGIS and Planet have committed to bringing their core applications and more than 50 petabytes of satellite imagery, demographics, mobility and telematics data to Google Cloud.
Previously, Google committed to operating its services using carbon-free energy on a 24×7 basis across its offices and data centers by 2030.
It’s unclear to what degree the COVID-19 pandemic might have resulted in more workloads running on cloud platforms, but it’s apparent that Google has gained enough momentum in the last year to be counted among the ranks of the leading providers of cloud services.