UPDATED 04:22 EDT / MARCH 24 2016


Diane Greene gives Google fresh impetus in the Cloud Wars

Diane Greene took to the stage at GCP Next 2016 yesterday, with the message that Google’s Cloud Platform is ready to rock ‘n’ roll in the enterprise.

Google Cloud Platform has been steadily growing its offerings over the last year, while at the same time fighting tooth and nail with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the price wars. Despite these efforts though, there’s a widespread perception that Google still struggles to land the biggest enterprise clients.

That looks to be changing though, as Google announced a number of major new enterprise customers in the shape of Disney Consumer Products Interactive Media, Coca Cola and Home Depot to name a few. These come barely a week after Google said it had landed Apple as a new customer, and before that, the music streaming service Spotify AB.

In every case, Greene said these customers were choosing the Google Cloud Platform over its rivals for three reasons – namely, that it offers better value, reduced risk, and greater access to innovation. Still, we should note that none of these new deployments on Google’s Cloud are zero sum, as both Coca Cola and Apple remain AWS customers as well, while Netflix Inc. also uses Google, despite hosting the majority of its platform on AWS.

Besides this pitch, Google also announced a deluge of new tools and features for Google Cloud Platform, including the new Stackdriver tool for unified monitoring, logging and diagnostics on Google’s and the AWS cloud.

Google also added new enterprise features for its cloud, including audit logging, identity and access management roles, and customer-supplied encryption keys for Compute Engine and Cloud Storage.

BigQuery was also enhanced with a number of new features, while Google also announced new networking tools like Cloud Router, Cloud CDN and Subnetworks, a virtual private cloud tool.

The biggest deal of the day however was the introduction of Google’s new Cloud Machine Learning tool based on TensorFlow, together with a new speech API.

These announcements come in the wake of Google’s announcement that it’s planning a major geographical expansion, with new data centers planned for Portland and Tokyo, and plans for ten additional regions by the end of next year.

All of these developments suggest that Google really does mean business about its cloud ambitions, said Al Hilwa, Program Director, Software Development Research, at International Data Corp. (IDC). He said that Google has gone into hyper-drive on multiple fronts in the cloud since Greene’s arrival, and it’s not too late for it to catch up with AWS and Azure.

“Google is taking the enterprise battle for the cloud seriously and for sure it is not too late to compete,” Hilwa said, explaining that its data center and regional expansion plans show it’s determined to catch up with its rivals.

“Another sign of [Google’s] seriousness is its focus on maturing platform technologies like node.js, Kubernetes, Machine Learning, and DataFlow,” Hilwa continued. “It’s also adding many new capabilities to support developers who are demanding devops capabilities embedded in every feature.”

Image credit: WikiImages via pixabay

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