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September 30, 2016
Google Cloud has marked its return from its summer holidays with a cloudgasm of product updates and corporate announcements.
While the rest of the Google team has been highly vocal and active in its mission to take over the world, the cloud business unit has been comparatively quiet over the summer period. We weren’t able to confirm where it has been on holiday or whether tan lines have been avoided, but the time for relaxing is in the past. Google Cloud is back on the warpath.
Firstly, the team has announced a substantial geographical expansion. There are now eight new Google Cloud Regions (Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt) and with more regions to be announced next year. The new regions will be publicly available next year with applications running on the open source container management system Kubernetes.
The team has also rebranded Google Apps for Work, which was Google Apps for Your Domain in a previous life, to G Suite. The Google team feel the new G Suite brand represents the idea of a connected portfolio as opposed to a set of individual products, whether this is true is not for Telecoms.com to decide, however your correspondent feels Google Apps for Work was a perfectly suitable brand name. The new advert isn’t bad to be fair though (at the bottom of the article).
Further up the food chain, the team has also introduced the overarching Google Cloud business unit, which will incorporate Google’s Cloud Platform, the newly formed G-Suite and the rest of the company’s cloud-based services. It’s another sign of unity within the internet giant according to SVP Diane Greene, however after reading the blog post, it seems to be a collection of buzzwords and marketing-spam; see below:
“Google Cloud isn’t only the products. It’s also how we work alongside companies, in an engineering-centric way. Because digital transformation and moving to the cloud are technical processes, we have customer engineers, customer reliability engineers, site reliability engineers, product engineers, all there to partner with our customers as they migrate, deploy and evolve. Our approach and our commitment to Google Cloud customers is simple: we’re in it together.”
Its publicity for the sake of publicity, and we got caught in the trap… Our sister brand Light Reading was similarly skeptical.
The announcements also have a prominent machine learning theme running throughout. Cloud Machine Learning is now available to all businesses as a public beta, as the teams substantial investments in the development of artificial intelligence are seemingly beginning to pay off. Although only a single facet of the artificial intelligence umbrella, machine learning is the one which would appear to be the most commercially feasible in the immediate future, at least for Google anyway.
Google’s journey towards the promised land of artificial intelligence started in 2014 with the $500 million acquisition of Deepmind. The small group of British engineers have now formed the focal point of the artificial intelligence activities within Google, and are now seemingly contributing to every aspect of the Google business, whether it would be more contextually relevant adverts or an intelligent calendar or predictive analytics tool-sets.
In terms of the new announcements, the machine learning components falls into two new services; Machine Learning Advanced Solutions Lab, as well as Cloud Start program for engineers who want to learn how machine learning can be incorporated into their businesses. It would appear Google is on a mission to normalize machine learning in the digital world. Other tech giants are also trying to do the same, but few companies can match Google’s achievements when it comes to artificial intelligence.
“Cloud Machine Learning is now available to all businesses,” said Brian Stevens, VP at Google Cloud. “Integrated with our data analytics and storage cloud services such as Google BigQuery, Google Cloud Dataflow, and Google Cloud Storage, it helps enable businesses to easily train quality machine learning models on their own data at a faster rate.
“Seeing is believing with machine learning, so we’re rolling out dedicated educational and certification programs to help more customers learn about the benefits of machine learning for their organization and give them the tools to put it into use.”
Google has made no secret about its intentions in the world of cloud computing. It wants to be the biggest, baddest and the best. It has conspired, hired and acquired to bolster its position in the market and take on the incumbent market leaders. So after a relatively quiet couple of months, Google is back to kicking ass and taking names in the cloud segment. Certainly makes things a bit more interesting.
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