Google Next: An Enterprise Awakening for Google Cloud

connected_cloud.jpgWhen I talk with companies and vendors about public cloud, Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure are always at the forefront of discussion. Right behind them is always a discussion of Google Cloud. Google Cloud is separate from the other two because everyone expects that Google will become a force in enterprise IT but the question is when and how. I think that we have now seen the enterprise cloud awakening of the slumbering giant called Google.

This week is Google Cloud's Next 2017 conference in San Francisco and I've seen a number of key shifts in Google's strategy in enterprise IT. This can be broken out into several areas:

Investment in Cloud and Enterprise  - It's well known that Google invests heavily in the areas they feel are key to their future and cloud has come to the forefront. Eric Schmidt said in the keynote that Google has invested over $30 billion in Google Cloud. Eric made the excellent point in saying that it's an investment that companies themselves shouldn't make and that's one of the reasons people should "leave cloud infrastructure to us." It's a logical argument to make for many companies. Beyond just the sheer monetary investment, we are now seeing Google Cloud invest to meet the needs of enterprise IT, with new engineering-focused support options, a go to market team to sell to and support enterprises, and the understanding that they need to engage enterprises with their new features and functions and drive the feedback loop. It's an impressive growth for Google Cloud in how to work with enterprise customers, not just sell into them.

Migration and the Process to Achieve It - Throughout the keynotes and other presentations, we heard the term "lift and shift" used over and over. But I think Google is hammering a key point and Eric Schmidt closed it out with his advice to "Just go to cloud now. There is no time to waste." Eric specifically called out taking existing x86 workloads and putting them into Google VMs. And Google is now working to develop the tools and services to help migrate those workloads as easily as possible. The ability to migrate workloads to the cloud has never been the issue, it has been time and effort to make it happen. Google has a chance to take the lead in not just encouraging companies to lift and shift but actively helping them make bigs steps, not just baby steps, in migration.

Consumer to Business - When I talk about Google Cloud with those that are more dismissive of Google, they often frame Google as a "consumer" company that doesn't apply to enterprise IT. The truth of the mattter is that consumer IT directly impacts enterprise IT every day. Just like YouTube and other sites impacted enterprise firewall rules 10 years ago ("Who would need to stream video for work?") and iPhone impacted enterprise mobile deployments in the past 5 years ("We can't have people use iPhones for work"), the way that consumers use cloud is driving changes in enterprise IT. Companies like Verizon and Colgate Palmolive told of how their users cheered when told they were using G Suite, because of their background in consumer Google services like Gmail and Drive. And we are seeing the same impact in DevOps, as enterprise developers who have grown up with the cloud-native tools of today are moving into enterprises and driving agile development.

What does this all mean? I believe that this will be a rapid ascent for Google Cloud into the same discussions with AWS and Azure for enterprise IT. It also means that we have another significant player in the rapidly growing multi-cloud space. In fact, the rise of multi-cloud, the factors behind why companies use it, and how it impacts their systems management and DevOps strategy, is the focus of a new research study I am preparing to conduct in the next couple of months. I'm expecting that Google Cloud will have a significant role in some of the results. If you are interested in knowing more about this research and potentially working with us on the project, reach out to the ESG team for more information.

No matter what your viewpoints on cloud and multi-cloud are, these moves by Google certainly are making it an exicting time to watch and use cloud.

Video Transcript

Brian: Hi, everyone. Brian Garret here. I'm the Vice President of Validation Services, this is the Enterprise Strategy Group. And I'm here at Google Cloud Next 2017 event, and I'm really, really excited with the energy, and the enthusiasm, and increased attendance here. My key takeaways here, and what I'm most excited about are the enterprise cloud readiness investments that Google has made over the past year or so. These are very, very clear in their go-to market initiatives. There's a huge number of partners here. They've announced partnerships with ISPs like PWC, and with a huge number of growing VARs, and with industry partners like SAP. From a product standpoint, there was just an amazing amount of announcements here, over 50 product announcements were made. Some of the key ones that I believe make a difference from an enterprise cloud readiness are associated with making it be easier for enterprises to do business with Google, and in particularly with GCP.

Edwin: Hi, I'm Edwin Yuen, ESG Analyst for Systems Management, PaaS, and DevOps. And we're here live at Google Next 2017 here in San Francisco. What I'd like to talk about today is some of the announcements that they've made, and the changes that we've seen in Google as a result of this conference. We've seen a really big shift in how they take enterprises more seriously, and how they treat enterprise customers, and how they target them with their products. And we're kinda seeing it in three areas. First, is really the investments that they're making. As Eric Schmidt said during the day one keynote, "They're investing over $30 billion into Google Cloud. And a lot of those investments are on the background core infrastructure, but also to support the enterprises. And they've made changes in terms of their licensing and their pricing, their support model, how their salespeople go after enterprises. So we're seeing a real concerted effort here from Google to go after the enterprise. The second thing we understand is migration of workloads. Much of the discussions in the last couple of days have been about how to move your existing on-premises workloads into the Google Cloud. They've talked about VM migrations, and how they're taking some new tools with live migrations. But not only making those tools available, but the processes and the people in order to support and help people move your x86 VMS into the Google Cloud, as Eric Schmidt. But they're also talking about how to move Legacy applications, and changing code, and updating Legacy systems. Including things like ASP.NET, and Microsoft Windows servers, and getting support for SQL server, and really taking those enterprise workloads seriously. And then finally, we're seeing a big shift in how they're taking consumer products and moving them into the enterprise. A lot of people have been dismissive of Google, and thinking of them as only as consumer-based company, just Gmail, just search, nothing for the enterprise. But they're really taking a lot of those products and pushing them into the enterprise, and giving some great enterprise features. Such as the capabilities within G Suite, and the modifications they've made there. Making Team Google Drive for a lot of sharing. They're changing how Hangouts work, so they can support not just one-to-one communications, but team type communications, and really potentially hit that chat apps market. So we're seeing some really great changes from Google, and how they're treating their existing technologies, extending upon that, and really taking Google Cloud into the enterprise. And I think this is gonna be a company that we really wanna watch, along with Amazon and Azure, for the public cloud.

Brian: Some of the key business announcements that were made here were new innovations in pricing, committed use discounts, a way to add volume to make a much simpler way to lower prices for enterprises that'll be purchasing GCP in volume. And then engineer-to-engineer to support. Taking the reliability engineering expertise that Google has, and extended that, and making it available to enterprises, and purchasing it on a per seat basis for response time based response to customer problems. It's a much simpler way to consume support, and the expertise of the Google engineers, without having to commit to huge expenses. You pay for it as you get it, and you get the expertise of Google.

Dan: Hi, I'm Dan Conde, Analyst at ESG for Cloud Infrastructure. As you have heard from other analysts, we saw a lot of announcements here at Google Cloud Next about Legacy app migration, big data, and so on. But one of the things that Google likes to talk about, and what a lot of people ignore, is the fact that their infrastructure is probably second to none. They have the fastest, the most complete network that spans the world. And that actually does translate into business value. You could connect hybrid clouds between different regions. No need to have SSL VPNs, and so on. These are elements that seem very technical, but do translate into costs and ROI for enterprises who do wanna run their workloads on the Google Cloud Platform, as well. Another thing that's really important about the capability of having a network as a service, is that it allows the network engineers to not consider the importance of keeping the plumbing running by basically outsourcing a lot of the basic things to Google, and focusing their work on enabling the network and security to mirror the business needs of the workloads. So these are some things that seem somewhat secondary, and you could argue is overshadowed by some of the sexier things that you have like Jamboard, or the latest pixel phones. But I think for enterprises that are looking at traditional workloads, and finding where to go to, it makes a big difference. And obviously, all the other competitors, whether it's Amazon or Microsoft, will catch up, or are working on the same things. But I will say that good networking performance is a key thing that differentiates Google's Cloud.

Topics: public cloud google cloud platform Systems Management Google Next