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Google builds out hybrid and multicloud vision for enterprises

The tech giant used the first day of its Google Cloud Next virtual conference to reveal how it is building out its multicloud proposition for enterprises

Google Cloud continues to build out its enterprise proposition with the introduction of hardware and software offerings that will allow customers to run the search giant’s cloud services within their own datacentres and edge environments.

Known as Google Distributed Cloud, the setup consists of a portfolio of hardware and software offerings that are designed to appeal to enterprises that have workloads and applications that are not ready to move to the public cloud for latency or regulatory reasons.

“Using Google Distributed Cloud, customers can migrate or modernise applications and process data locally with Google Cloud Services, including databases, machine learning, data analytics and container management,” the company said.

“Customers can also leverage third-party services from leading vendors in their own dedicated environment. At launch, a diverse portfolio of partners, including Cisco, Dell, HPE and NetApp, will support the service.”

The setup will allow users to access Google Cloud’s infrastructure services from multiple edge locations, including those provided by the firm’s telco partners, known as the operator edge. Or those hosted in remote locations – such as retail stores or branch offices – by its customers.

“The operator edge is optimised to support low-latency use cases, running edge applications with stringent latency and bandwidth requirements,” the company said, in a blog post.

Customers also have the option to access Google Distributed Cloud services within one of more than 140 Google-hosted edge locations, or to run it within their own private datacentre or a colocation facility.

Where the former cases are concerned, enterprises will be able to make use of the Google Distributed Cloud Edge services portfolio, which is now in preview. This is a fully managed product that is designed to bring the firm’s cloud infrastructure closer to the user, the company said.

“Google Distributed Cloud Edge is ideal for running local data processing, low-latency edge compute workloads, modernising on-premises environments, and deploying private 5G/LTE solutions across a variety of industries,” said Google.

Also being released under preview during the first half of 2022 will be Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, which is intended for use by public and private sector organisations that have strict data protection requirements that mean their workloads must remain on-premise.

“[This] provides [enterprises] with a safe and secure way to modernise an on-premises deployment, regardless of whether you can do it yourself or choose to host through a designated, trusted partner,” said Google.

“Google Distributed Cloud Hosted does not require connectivity to Google Cloud at any time to manage infrastructure, services, APIs [application programming interface], or tooling.”

In support of the launch of Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, the company has also struck up regional partnerships with T-Systems in Germany and OVHCloud in France that will see both firms work with Google to create sovereign cloud environments for their clients.

The Google Distributed Cloud will be underpinned by the company’s open-source multicloud management platform, Anthos, which was announced with great fanfare at the Google Cloud Next in 2019 as a means of enabling enterprises to run containerised applications in the Microsoft and Amazon clouds, as well as on-premise environments, with minimal modifications.

To this end, the company is pitching Google Distributed Cloud as the cornerstone of its “open infrastructure” strategy, which is geared towards rolling out products and services that are tailored to address its customers’ needs at every point of their digital transformation journey.

The company set out its plans for the product’s release on the first day of its virtual Google Cloud Next customer and partner conference, with the firm’s CEO Thomas Kurian using the event’s opening keynote to talk about how well its customers are responding to its “open infrastructure” push.

“Customers choose our open infrastructure for three main reasons. First, we make your path to migrate and modernise using cloud easy, with migration tools, new serverless and container capabilities, and managed services as your developers spend more time building experiences that your customers love,” said Kurian.

“Second, we offer transformative capabilities with cutting-edge performance and security and our network offers three times the throughput of other cloud providers. Third…we’re the first and only cloud provider with a clear multicloud strategy.”

The firm’s open infrastructure push is also concerned with helping enterprises ready their legacy workloads and applications for the cloud, with the Kurian also using the keynote to talk about the momentum it is seeing with migrating VMware and SAP workloads to the Google Cloud.

“In just the past year, we’ve added three times the number of SAP customers as the prior year – and we’re accelerating. PayPal, for instance, has a SAP HANA scale-out system supporting 40 million business transactions daily, [and] 200 billion records touched in just 30 seconds,” he said. “MyTalent Canada migrated over 1,000 VMware virtual machines in less than 90 days to the Google Cloud VMware Engine.”

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