Google Cloud Next 2020: What Google Lacks in Cloud Market Share, it Makes up for in Engineering

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• Google’s BigQuery Omni announcement pads Anthos, strengthening its multi-cloud position

• Google’s lagging cloud business will be fulfilled via GCP, expert enterprise developers, and engineering culture

What Google lacks in cloud followers and enterprise confidence, it makes up for with its engineering culture.

This week during Google Cloud Next digital conference, the company went after its arch-rivals in the cloud wars with new innovations that shore up its hybrid/multi-cloud brand Anthos. Google’s release of multi-cloud analytics solution BigQuery Omni is a reminder of Google’s ability to address sophisticated application modernization requirements by centralizing access to datasets located across major clouds including Google Cloud, AWS, and soon Azure.

Advanced application development requires centralized and cost-effective access to data silos across various locations; couple that access with a serverless architecture, and those data insights just got a lot more feasible.

Cloud giants including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM are squarely focused on furthering their AI and hybrid cloud offerings (ultimately including multi-cloud) this year. That’s because a lot is at stake in the cloud wars. Enterprises are only interested in investing in platform providers which support hybrid cloud scenarios for a gradual move into the cloud, multi-cloud management to orchestrate unwieldy workload deployments, and AI solutions to ensure automation to tame new infrastructure and application architecture complexities.

Google has been on a quest to prove itself enterprise-worthy, especially in recent months through important innovations targeting DevOps models. Much of Google’s focus has been on enhancing Anthos, such as extending support of VM based workloads through Anthos Service Mesh, and enabling a serverless component through Anthos’ Cloud Run, a Knative serverless initiative.

Google’s newest AI extensions are available to developers via Google Cloud Platform (GCP), a platform on which Google is also investing heavily to address enterprise DevOps’ trends, such as low-code platforms and automation. Earlier this year Google acquired AppSheet to help enterprises create and extend applications under a no-code/low-code experience. AppSheet will help Google promote its workflow automation technology and eventually reside within Google Cloud Business Application Platform, an intelligent automation platform. Google’s focus on becoming an enterprise-first company to help drive its lagging cloud business is largely fulfilled through these GCP solutions. (Please see Google Cloud Platform , February 18, 2020).

While Google is considered by most as having outstanding quality engineered frameworks and platforms, cloud rivals have made significant inroads serving enterprises’ broader DevOps objectives through offerings such as Microsoft Power Platform (including Power Apps and Power Automation) and IBM Cloud Pak. These competing tools, coupled with a larger enterprise portfolio, pose a formidable challenge to Google’s overarching efforts to win not only the cloud wars, but more to the point, fill out its app modernization portfolio. It is making significant strides in this endeavor through steady innovation and best of breed acquisitions, however, the battle is fierce and relentless.

Recapping the industry’s leading hybrid cloud solutions (moving towards multi-cloud) are:

• Google Anthos
• AWS Outposts
• Azure Arc
• IBM/Red Hat OpenShift
• VMware Tanzu

Further demonstrating the industry’s confidence in Google as an engineering powerhouse, Anthos has garnered the attention of infrastructure partners including Cisco, VMware, and HPE. Key to Google’s cloud strategy is infrastructure partnerships for their ability to provide important IT-as-a-service components such as security and data services.

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