This year, the keynote was taken care of by Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian himself and was linked back to the Google Clouds three key focuses; creating a distributed infrastructure as a service platform, providing a digital transformation platform and delivering Industry specific digital transformation solutions. In support of this strategy, Thomas and the team announced a host of new releases and an exciting acquisition.
The big things first
Kicking off the announcements was the completed acquisition of Cloud Simple. Cloud Simple is a company that started out life as a Google partner and enables customers run VMware workloads in Google Cloud, helping customer start a cloud journey with affecting having major change impact.
This is vital to the success of Google’s strategy as it allows customers to quickly benefit from having their VMs hosted within Google’s infrastructure, acting as the start of their cloud journey. I personally look forward to seeing how this can be of benefit to our customers soon.
There were also a number of new products and features going into general availability including:
Cloud Run for Anthos
Cloud Data Fusion
Contact Center AI
Document understanding AI
Cloud Code, Cloud Build and Cloud Run forms a nice story to taking microservices from code to production with a simple toolset and certainly is a bit of a completion strategy by Google for a few holes in the serverless ecosystem. All these tools fit nicely into the Anthos ecosystem as well, so whether you are building microservices in an existing environment or on GKE, a simple toolset, yet powerful one is available.
Security is the key
The other thing that stood out during the first day of Next is the underlying message of security and trust.
A real focus was on where your data can be held. With Google, all data can be kept within a region such as Europe, meaning all traffic, storage and even support representatives from Google can be based in Europe. This shows a strong commitment to security and trust.
In addition to this, Google reiterated their commitment to security and customer trust with a few notable mentions:
All data is encrypted, Google even use hardware encryption keys themselves.
Customer encryption keys can be used
Keys can be used in a way that even Google cannot access, the only Cloud to do this
The security and trust message is further backed by taking a walk around the Google stands at Next. There is some great information on Cloud Security Command Center including the upcoming premium edition. There is an entire demo on zero trust!
Google Cloud shoots and scores!
Amongst the guest speakers and customer stories, one stood out over everyone else. England Football Manager, Gareth Southgate (minus waistcoat!), took to the stage to talk about the transformative effect the Google Cloud product set has had on the FA and the role it played in England’s success in the recent world cup.
From G Suite collaboration amongst coaches and teams to being able to analyse play performance data, Google Cloud has played a pivotal role in transforming and modernising an institution that is over 150 years old.
Making smarter decisions
As there often is these days, there is a big focus on Artificial Intelligence and analytics with some new product releases using AI technology as well as a number of break sessions, demos and talks breaching the topic of AI, Machine Learning or Smart Analytics.
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