Google Cloud Next 2017 has not long concluded, since following up on its San Francisco event in March, its London sister event was held at the Excel over the 3rd and 4th of May.
As usual, a selection of announcements were presented with a few standouts which we’ll briefly go through now. As a proud part of the awesome group of folk who love everything cloud and everything cloud-related, you know what to expect..
Enterprise Cloud Partnership Agreed With SAP
On an enterprise business level, Google were overjoyed to announce a partnership deal between them and major software enterprise SAP. They agreed to deliver SAP’s HANA ( in-house memory database) via the Google Cloud Platform, which represents a sizeable portion of the SAP offering.
For Google this is a big deal, as it continues to play catch-up in the IaaS market (Infrastructure as a service) with the likes of AWS and Azure having had deals in place with SAP since 2014.
Common sense would dictate that Google will try to use this as a point of leverage moving forward to get insider scoops and introductions into other major software firms via SAP, with an aim to continue this momentum within its enterprise business offering now with a major client secured.
Improvements to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) Free Tier Offerings
In a competitive move to compete with the likes of AWS, Google has improved its cloud free tier offerings. Boosting it from an arguably mediocre 60 day limit, it is now offering $300 of free trial credits useable over 12 months, instead.
As well as 5GB of free storage on their cloud platform, I would say that Google has finally got to grips with the fact that developers need at least 12 months and some storage, especially from a startup or SMB perspective to get comfortable with a cloud platform.
The relatively under-advertised free tier service now allows the use of a small F1 micro instance in a number of its services, now totalling 15 available in the free tier. In doing this it provides way greater scope to run a small app or prototype on the Google Cloud without any initial cost in the first year.
Currently available only in Google’s US-central1, US-east1 and US-west1 regions, hopefully we’ll see it come to the UK and Europe soon. If you’d like more information, specific details of the free tier limits across all services are available here https://cloud.google.com/free/.
Cloud Video Intelligence API
In our eyes, the most exciting announcement was the Google Cloud Video Intelligence launch. Using an API to make videos more searchable by extracting their metadata, you in theory should be able to search all the video files in your catalog via occurrences (nouns) such as “PC”, “Dog”, “Chips” etc.
Using Google Cloud Storage, your videos can be annotated to identify the key nouns in your video, as well as their occurrence rate and significance level within the piece.
This will most probably be best utilized for businesses trying to identify the presence of signals that may be buried amongst the noise within large video catalogs. They already have a trial bot up if you fancied giving it a go.
In essence, the API will use Tensorflow frameworks to utilize deep-learning models, which would be very significant for video platforms as well as large video catalogs to further the understanding of media. At a time where YouTube alone has 400 hours of video uploaded per minute, it’s an interesting move.
With the amount of data in undiscovered videos that have had little to no categorization or metadata tagging in them, this could be a big step in allowing developers to mine their way through it in a way that’s not been possible before now.
There were a lot of other cool announcements to come out of Google Cloud Next, but we’ve just picked out the few that are most interesting and relevant to us and the cloud market. Some other highlights include…
Google hangouts is being given an overhaul as a separation is made between Google Chat and Google Meet.
Google Drive will pivot its focus slightly, as it turns to concentrate on enterprise portion of its total 800 million daily active users.
The Cloud for Business division launched Dataprep, a tool to help companies overcome the challenges of preparing for an infrastructure or data move to the cloud.
The Google Cloud Machine Learning Engine will be launched utilizing TensorFlow. New companies will now be able to train machine learning models in the cloud. Those in turn can be used or trained i should say, in the cloud to get predictions about new and existing data.
With the above still being only a handful of what was runthrough, it’s exciting to see Google pushing several of its cloud offerings in 2017. AWS and Azure have had the upperhand on them for quite some time so it’s positive to see some promising changes and improvements ahead, especially within their free tier services, which could bring more customers in the long term.