The Top Five DevOps Takeaways from Google Cloud Next

C. Dunlap
C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Google made its play for the enterprise based on hefty investment abilities and innovation in app development platforms and data analytics.
  • Google says it’s doubling down this year, and already winning over half of its cloud deal bids.

Pitted against Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS, Google understands its messaging needs to address its ability to cater to the mission-critical businesses of global enterprises embarking on new digital initiatives. In a word, it’s about innovation. That’s exactly what execs focused on this week during Google Cloud Next in San Francisco: a shift from consumer to enterprise apps that will carry large organizations into the next wave of cloud computing, which spans from high-level concepts around applications that leverage AI and machine learning to build apps that actually learn outcomes to emerging DevOps app development models and architectures. (Please see this Advisory Report for more coverage.)

The top five DevOps takeaways:

1. Google Cloud Functions is being rolled out in beta. Google’s version of serverless computing allows developers to write software in JavaScript, executed in a Node.js runtime and made available through GCP. Google’s offering is newer than established brands Amazon Lambda and IBM OpenWhisk, so Google needs to differentiate on pricing and innovative integrations. The technology supports source code through App Engine, building on Container Engine as well as Compute Engine, so Google’s messaging is around its ability to support a compute continuum.

2. Google Cloud Container Builder is a tool for building container images regardless of the deployment scenario. Google is taking a tool used internally and making it available to developers building Docker containers on GCP, enabled through App Engine’s flexible environment. The tool is based on a command-line interface, automated build triggers and build commands. Alongside Kubernetes orchestration, the new technology addresses key concerns among CIOs looking to ease the management involved with multi-cloud deployment scenarios, both on-premises and cloud.

3. Cloud Functions for Firebase provides advanced event-based functions to Google’s generally little-known mobile app development platform, Firebase. Helping to bring its agenda into better focus, the beta Firebase SDK for Cloud Functions provides an API for an event source, e.g., writing to Firebase Realtime Database/Authentication/Analytics at a particular data location, which will trigger a function. The out-of-the-box integration with Functions provides Firebase developers with an advanced serverless architecture supporting broader coding and customization around numerous events within GCP – for example, BigQuery, Dataflow and various analytics technologies – because Functions is built into the Firebase platform. The Functions for Firebase offering is the type of ‘low barrier of entry’ solution to help prompt early adoption of a complex technology.

4. Expanded technology partnerships include making SAP HANA/Express certified on GCP, with further support for multi-cloud scenarios common within enterprises. As an on-ramp strategy into popular clouds, SAP also supports SAP HANA, express edition on AWS and Azure. Pivotal is another key technology partner for Google, whose Pivotal CF (Cloud Foundry) runs on GCP as well as on Azure.

5. The SRE training program represents a significant investment in Google’s professional services. Site reliability engineering (SRE) includes participation by partners such as Pivotal and Accenture, providing best practices for ensuring higher ‘nines’ in cloud platform reliability, via a two-pronged program including training for systems integrators and technology partnerships.

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