Playing cloud catch-up, Google woos data center operators with new guide

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Google Inc. has published a guide for data center professionals aimed at tempting them to tap into its vast cloud computing infrastructure.

The guide, which is aimed at those with minimal experience working with public clouds, details how Google’s cloud infrastructure substitutes each of the functions of current data centers. It comes after Google has significantly ramped up its efforts in the enterprise cloud market, in order to entice companies to house their information technology infrastructure in its own data centers and shift as many workloads as possible to those facilities.

“Google Cloud Platform for Data Center Professionals is a guide for customers who are looking to move to Google Cloud Platform and are coming from non-cloud environments,” Peter-Mark Verwoerd, a Google solutions architect, wrote in a blog post Tuesday. Verwoerd said the guide covers all of the basics involved in enterprise cloud computing, including compute, networking, storage and management.

Google first started getting serious about enterprise cloud back in 2015 by boosting investment in its cloud services business and amplifying its messaging around it. In the same year, the company hired VMware Inc. cofounder Diane Greene to lead its cloud business. In 2016, it invested in 10 new data center locations and highlighted some of its biggest enterprise cloud customers, including Coca-Cola Co., Spotify AB and Walt Disney Co.

It’s easy to see why Google is so eager to make an impact in the enterprise cloud business. The market is enormous, but Google’s market share is dwarfed by competitors such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

A report from analyst firm Structure Research published last year revealed that Infrastructure as a Service providers pulled in $11.2 billion in revenue in 2015, and forecast the market to grow to $120 billion by 2020. AWS commanded a 70.7 percent share of the market in 2015, Microsoft had 10.8 percent, while Google was left with a mere 2.5 percent of the market, according to that report.

Back in 2015, Urs Hölzle, senior vice president of technical infrastructure at Google, famously predicted that Google’s cloud revenues could surpass those of its advertising business by 2020.

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