ESG had several analysts on hand at GCP:NEXT to explore the announcements and developments from several perspectives. We've collected our impressions and written about them here on the ESG blog. My thoughts from the event are below, and don't forget to check out the other angles of ESG coverage.
The totality of the solutions is what matters
One can look at each element in Google's offering and comment on how it excels or needs improvement. That overlooks the importance of looking at the entire set of GCP offerings and how it supports each other.
Looking beyond at networking as a standalone feature
For example, the strength of Google's networking infrastructure plays a strong role in creating differentiation for GCP. A high capacity network, reliable, low-latency DNS server, a novel cloud load balancer and other assets combine to create a foundation upon which to build applications and services. Much of what happens in Google's networking infrastructure is beneath the covers, and the end-users should neither care or need to know how it's implemented. However, the outcomes will help both end-users and partners.
However, that's not looking at the whole story.
Networking + PaaS = more than the sum of its parts
One needs to understand the different capabilities that the GCP networking infrastructure offers when combined with its Google App Engine PaaS. Splitting traffic to perform A/B testing of different versions of apps is, by itself, not new, but combing that with a platform to enable easy deployment of apps in a managed VM (even those written in traditional, non-cloud-native languages such as Java 8) offers clear and novel uses for customers. Deployment and testing of applications becomes much easiser, with less operational overhead.
Storage on GCP + Analytics = More insight from the Data
Here's another example: GCP offers storage, just as AWS, Azure or IBM do in their cloud. In addition to being a storage system, additional value comes from doing something with the data. If you can combine Google's data analytics to the data you store (provided it's made to be consumable by the analytics engine), you derive outcomes that were not possible before. Therefore, the value of the data increases depending on where it is stored and managed.
Therefore, it will benefit enterprises and customers to examine the totality of Google's offerings, rather than to focus on a feature-by-feature comparison with other cloud IaaS and PaaS providers. Of course, other cloud providers also offer a range of capabilities that can provide synergies.
It will take a while for Google to integrate all of its offerings, as well as related services and partner programs to help bring value to traditional enterprises, but once those items start to crystallize, we will see a vision on what Google means to have a cloud platform.