Google Cloud matures, aims to leverage Confidential Computing, multi-cloud analytics via BigQuery Omni

Google Cloud has matured and become critical to large enterprises, but it's not like Microsoft Azure and AWS are standing still.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google Cloud plans to launch a Confidential Computing portfolio that targets regulated industries as well as a multi-cloud analytics play called BigQuery Omni highlights the company's maturation under CEO Thomas Kurian.

Kurian, who has been at the helm a bit more than 18 months, set a strategy that revolves around enabling multi-cloud deployments, digital transformation, and the targeting of industries via efforts like BigQuery, Anthos and now Confidential VMs.

Here's everything just announced at Google Cloud Next '20: On Air:

Judging by customer wins outlined at Google Cloud Next '20: On Air, the cloud provider is starting to find its stride. Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Verizon, Renault, and Proctor & Gamble are all key customers. Google Cloud Next '20: On Air kicked off Tuesday but will continue for nine weeks in an ongoing virtual conference.

Kurian said in a blog post:

Our mission at Google Cloud is to accelerate our customers' ability to digitally transform and reimagine their businesses through data-powered innovation. We offer three primary capabilities to help you: global-scale distributed infrastructure as a service, a digital transformation platform, and industry-specific solutions powered by Google's AI and machine learning advances. We continue to see organizations across various industries place their trust in Google Cloud because of the differentiated technology we provide to help them solve real business problems.

With an annual revenue run rate of $11 billion, Google Cloud is No. 3 to Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, but becoming more of a threat in key verticals. For instance, retail is more in line with Google Cloud due to competition with Amazon. Financial services are also a core market as is healthcare largely due to Google Cloud's machine learning and artificial intelligence prowess.

Also: What makes Google Cloud Platform unique compared to Azure and Amazon  

Meanwhile, Google Cloud has put in place the infrastructure to handle the basic blocking and tackling to land enterprise accounts. Kirsten Kliphouse, president of Google Cloud North America, said the company has invested in its go-to-market strategy, numerous executive hires, front-line salespeople, and premier support.

"We also simplified contracts and support multiple enterprises running mission-critical workloads on SAP, VMware, Oracle, and even Windows," said Kliphouse, who noted integration partners such as Deloitte, Accenture, and ACL.

The key additions to Google Cloud's portfolio include:

  • BigQuery Omni, a multi-cloud analytics tool that can bring BigQuery to data stored in Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, and Azure. BigQuery Omni is powered by Anthos with the primary benefit being that enterprises don't have to move data and pay the cloud fees. Multicloud: Everything you need to know about the biggest trend in cloud computing
  • Confidential VMs, the first product in the Confidential Computing portfolio. AMD's processors are the linchpin of Confidential VMs, which are in beta. Confidential VMs include memory encryption so they can isolate workloads.
  • Assured Workloads for Government is an effort to meet government audit and regulatory requirements without building a separate cloud. Jeanette Manfra, global director of security and compliance at Google Cloud, said the aim was to develop a "commercial cloud that works for the public sector as well as private." Features for Assured Workloads for Government include automatic enforcement of data location, personnel access, built-in security controls, and automatic enforcement of product deployment location.

Is it enough?

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from Google Cloud Next is that the company has matured and targeting real services that will appeal to the industries targeted.

However, AWS and Azure also have industry-focused efforts as well as significant machine learning and AI tools.

In the end, the multi-cloud trend should benefit all of the big three cloud providers, but the long-run success will depend on the basic in-the-trenches sales battles industry by industry.

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