Business & Investment

Google bets on cloud collapse

Google’s huge data center is a temple in the information age. Built for consumer services that reach billions of people, it also serves as a platform for search companies to enter cloud computing. This market could one day be even bigger than the advertising business.

But this week, Google tried another method. The latest bid to catch up with Amazon and Microsoft in cloud computing has taken a step beyond their own data centers. In the process, we spotlighted two of the most important trends that will shape the future of cloud computing, and thus much of the IT world.

One of these is called multi-cloud. As the name implies, you need to leverage various public cloud resources to handle your computing tasks. For customers, it reduces the risk of lock-in by a single cloud supplier, but for Google, it could pave the way for becoming a more serious player in a lagging market.

At the moment, search companies are one-third of cloud computing. Google Cloud Platform has become one of the company’s most promising businesses. Jeffreys analysts predict this year’s revenue will grow 56% to $ 10.4 billion. But it’s still well below the estimated $ 61 billion for Amazon Web Services and $ 37 billion for Microsoft’s Azure.

Google’s latest relevance bid took place at this week’s annual cloud conference, with the general release of a dataware housing service that leverages data held in a variety of clouds, not just its own. If your customers already have a lot of data on Amazon’s S3 storage service, this is a way for Google to access and use it for one of their own services.

Breaking the boundaries of the cloud in this way can turn data storage into a commodity. More precisely, you can prevent storage from connecting your customers to other, more valuable services of your cloud provider.

It also emphasizes where Google’s best chances are in the cloud war. Search companies like to promote the efficiency and security of their IT infrastructure. But its true strength may lie in higher-value services such as data analytics and AI, which have refined huge consumer services.

Another important trend Google emphasized this week is bringing the cloud closer to its customers. This means setting up a small facility to handle some work locally, rather than centralizing computing in a large data center. In other words, create what is called a distributed cloud.

It uses the same software and a single interface to control these remote computing resources, but customers are accustomed to keeping data locally and have faster response times. As the demand for processing ever-increasing amounts of data in real time increases, the power to push computing to the edge of the network can increase.

AWS and Microsoft first embarked on this idea using services known as Outposts and Azure Stack, respectively. However, cloud computing is still estimated to account for 5-10% of the global IT market. This slow-moving revolution is still in its infancy, and all three have enough time to create a huge business based on this idea. ..

Bringing data storage and processing closer to your customers can create new markets for smaller local operators who have become known as “edge” computing.

Instead of the huge monolithic cloud that dominates the future of computing, this could support a more diverse collection of local players, but software that coordinates these different networks remains the dominant few. Provided by the operator.

All of this is an important starting point for Google, which has always shown a high level of technical self-assurance (sometimes called arrogance). Early strategies for the cloud—building the best technology and assuming customers follow the path to that door—did not work. Adapting to the reality of the more heterogeneous IT world, where customers are already dependent on multiple suppliers, has opened new avenues.

“Google has always been an innovation engine. What we’re seeing now is a much more external focus,” said Ed Anderson, an analyst at Gartner.

At their own annual cloud event in the coming weeks, Microsoft and AWS will undoubtedly say more on these themes as well. This is at least one market where some of the big tech giants are neglecting it in fierce competition with each other when they confront each other in cloud computing.

richard.waters@ft.com

Google bets on cloud collapse

https://www.ft.com/content/ab36b9e2-00e0-469c-9388-fa034f9bfd63 Google bets on cloud collapse

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