Google hails end of multi-year enterprise cloud migrations

Google cloud chief, Diane Greene, claims multi-year datacentre migrations are no longer the norm, as some firms are making the move off-premise in weeks or months

Enterprises should not be fooled into thinking that moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud has to be a multi-year process anymore, with Google claiming some companies are making the move in days.

At the Google Next conference in London, Diane Greene, senior vice-president of the internet search giant’s Google Cloud division, used the event’s opening keynote to declare the “cloud speed barrier” broken, as migrations that previously took years to complete can now occur at a much faster pace.

“Migrations started out taking a long time. We think something’s changed. We have essentially broken the speed barrier,” said Greene.

To back this point, she referenced the cloud journey of film and TV streaming site Netflix. Its efforts to close down its datacentres and go “all-in” on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud took seven years to complete.

“The original poster child for the cloud was Netflix. They spent about seven years moving to the cloud, they had a cracker-jack team of technical people. That’s really changed,” she said.

Compare Netflix to the cloud migration projects of Google reference customers, such as UK-based high street cosmetics firm Lush – which took 22 days to migrate – or cloud-based note-taking service Evernote, which shifted three petabytes of data out of its datacentres in three months, she said.

“What we bring is a clear methodology, a set of tools and a very mature platform,” she said.

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The speed of these migrations was made possible through investments Google has made in building out its enterprise capabilities, with regard to the engineering and pre-migration consultation support its users have access to, said Greene.

“We’ve spent the last year building out our organisation so we can meet you where you are and bring our engineers,” she said.

“We have our sales engineers, who can do a proof of concept with you. We have senior architects in your industry domain working with you. We have professional services you can engage to work with you, and we have customer responsibility engineers to keep your services running.

“We also have strategic engineers to work with you in the long term because this is a long-term commitment on our part,” said Greene.

The need for speed

The speed of movement theme was part of a wider discussion in the keynote that centred on Google’s efforts to ensure its cloud technologies are enterprise-ready and compliant.

Sébastien Marotte, vice-president for Google Cloud in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said the pace of innovation in the cloud has markedly quickened over the past 18 months, and enterprises are responding accordingly.

“What I’ve seen during the past 18 months is unlike anything we’ve seen before. This has started to accelerate, as well as expedite the business of Google Cloud,” he said.

“We are now fully lifting and shifting all your workloads into our cloud. Our engineers have brought out more than 500 releases in the past few years. We’ve launched new products, but – especially in Europe – we have invested in a lot of enterprise requirements for compliance, security and networking,” said Marotte.

Google commits to GDPR compliance

Following on from this, Greene confirmed Google is working on ensuring its cloud technologies and services will be fully complaint with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) when it comes into effect in May 2018.

The event comes hot on the heels of the Google Next event in San Francisco, which took place in March 2017 and featured accounts from the firm’s various customers about how they were using Google to build out the pool of public cloud providers they source services from.

The company also used the San Francisco show to reveal details of how it secures its physical datacentre hardware from being tampered with by unauthorised third parties using its Titan chip technology, which is fitted to every new server Google kits out its facilities with.

Greene shared details of the technology with attendees of the London show, while her colleagues also restated details – shared in San Francisco – about the work the company is doing elsewhere to boost its appeal to the enterprise market.

This includes the introduction of its Committed Use Discounts, which sees Google Cloud users who sign up to multi-year contracts with the firm rewarded with price reductions over time.

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