Thursday, September 23, 2021

Google Cloud Platform Review

Google Cloud is one of the largest cloud computing platforms in the market, and despite some stalled growth in early 2020, they are poised for tremendous growth in the next several years. 

The Google Cloud division now has about 37,000 employees and Q2 2021 revenue of $4.63 billion, making it one of the largest divisions within the Alphabet family.

CEO Thomas Kurian has steadily grown Google Cloud’s market share since joining the company in 2018. Much of this growth is attributed to shoring up the sales team with experienced executives who can deliver on customer requests and expectations, moving past Google Cloud’s traditional approach of hiring primarily product and engineering professionals. 

Read on to learn more about the innovations happening at Google Cloud and what customers are saying about their latest offerings.

A Closer Look at Google Cloud

Read more: Cloud Computing Market 2021

Google Cloud Portfolio

The Google Cloud portfolio includes dozens of offerings, ranging from hybrid cloud infrastructure to machine learning (ML) development. These are some of the top offerings in the portfolio:

Hybrid and multicloud

  • Anthos: App building and modernization
  • Cloud Run for Anthos: Serverless development platform on GKE
  • Looker: Embedded analytics, business intelligence (BI)
  • Operations: Monitoring, logging, application performance management

Serverless computing

  • Cloud Run: Managed environment for running containerized apps
  • Cloud Functions: Create functions that respond to cloud events
  • App Engine: Serverless application platform
  • Workflows: Workflow orchestration for serverless products and API services

Compute

  • Compute Engine: Virtual machines (VMs) on Google data center
  • Bare Metal: Infrastructure for specialized workloads
  • App Engine: Serverless application platform
  • Cloud Run: Managed environment for running containerized apps

Containers

  • Google Kubernetes Engine: Managed environment for running containerized apps
  • Deep Learning Containers: Containers with data science frameworks and deep learning resources
  • Container Registry: Store, manage, and secure Docker images
  • Artifact Registry: Package manager for build artifacts and dependencies

Operations

  • Cloud Logging: Audit, platform, and application logs management
  • Cloud Monitoring: Infrastructure and application monitoring
  • Cloud Trace: Tracing system for latent application data
  • Cloud Profiler: CPU and heap profiler for analyzing application performance

Management tools

  • Cloud Shell: Interactive shell environment
  • Cloud Console: Web interface for application management
  • Cloud Mobile App: App to manage Google Cloud services from a mobile device
  • Cost Management: Monitor, optimize, and control costs

API management

  • Apigee API Management: Transparency in API management
  • Cloud Endpoints: Deployment and development management
  • AppSheet: No-code development platform to build and extend applications
  • API Gateway: Full managed gateway to develop and deploy applications

Developer tools

  • Cloud Code: Write and run Kubernetes apps with IDE support
  • Cloud Deployment Manager: Create and manage Google Cloud resources
  • Cloud SDK: Command line tools and libraries
  • Cloud Scheduler: Cron job scheduler for task automation

Google Cloud Partnerships 

Google Cloud offers API connectivity solutions, but it also has several built-in partnerships in its portfolio. Perhaps more importantly, it offers the Partner Directory, a list of top partners that work with Google and its clients. These are some of the top partners on that list:

  • SADA
  • SoftServe
  • Deloitte
  • Palo Alto Networks
  • Accenture
  • Rackspace
  • Gitlab
  • VMware
  • Squarespace
  • MongoDB
  • Fortinet
  • Change Healthcare
  • Infosys

Google Cloud use cases 

Enterprises across industries have relied on Google to manage their data and applications and also help them develop mission-critical platforms. Here’s how a couple of major organizations have leveraged Google Cloud’s products and resources to solve their specific needs:

“In the beginning of the outbreak, it was apparent there was no national portal in the U.S. that offered a nationwide perspective into the scope and spread of COVID-19. There were — and still are — so many unanswered questions about this virus. We knew we needed to create a central repository of reliable information to help researchers and healthcare providers move closer to overcoming the pandemic … Rapid, reliable access to data is critical. We needed to improve how people could capture and share data, which was proving to be a challenge. We decided to build a centralized data portal called the National Response Portal (NRP) for healthcare providers … This project required deep knowledge of AI, and consumer-facing platforms, as well as healthcare. Google brought together the ideal combination of product, people, and partners. Google Cloud’s healthcare-specific products along with SADA’s expertise in the healthcare IT space made this partnership the perfect choice to move quickly and intelligently.” -Dr. Edmund Jackson, chief data officer, HCA Healthcare

“The fundamental goal is fan engagement — to bring baseball to millions of fans and introduce new technology that allows for personalized recommendations and a social viewing experience, where when something happens on the field and you get excited about it, you can share it with other fans. These are the things that really motivate us and Google Cloud has been a great partner in building products that embody those values … We’re excited to consolidate MLB infrastructure on Google Cloud and incorporate Google’s world-class machine learning technology to provide personalized and immersive fan experiences. We couldn’t have picked a better technology partner across ad delivery, streaming, cloud computing, and machine learning.” -Jason Gaedtke, former CTO, MLB

Read more: Top Hybrid Cloud Trends

User reviews of Google Cloud

Google Cloud offerings consistently receive high marks from customer reviewers:

  • GCP overall: 4.5/5 (Gartner Peer Insights), 4.7/5 (Capterra)
  • Anthos: 4.5/5 (Capterra), 4.5/5 (G2)
  • Compute Engine: 8/10 (TrustRadius), 4.4/5 (G2)
  • Vertex AI: 4.4/5 (Gartner Peer Insights)
  • Cloud Run: 4.6/5 (G2)

Google Cloud in the market

Google Cloud is ranked among the top three cloud providers in the market, though it falls much farther behind No. 1 (AWS) and No. 2 (Microsoft Azure). 

Google Cloud’s revenue was down for a few quarters in2020, but since then, Google Cloud has upped its revenue to $4.36 billion in Q2 of 2021. This performance makes it one of the top divisions in the Alphabet family and shows signs of significant growth. 

While AWS’s revenue and market share have remained dominant, they have mostly remained steady, while Microsoft and Google have quickly gained ground over recent quarters.

The areas where Google particularly shines are in AI/ML innovation, analytics capabilities with growing hybrid and multicloud options, and mature data and security management. To improve its revenue model, Google has also adopted some traditional sales methods, such as software packaging, to increase brand loyalty. 

There are also some reports that Google Cloud will take on federal government and military digital transformation initiatives in the near future, according to Bloomberg. Hinging on whatever their next steps may be, Google appears primed to find more major enterprise opportunities and clients to close the gap with AWS and Microsoft in the coming years.

Read next: Top Trends in Cloud Computing 2021

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