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Google Leapfrogs the Competition With Google Cloud Hybrid Beta

Google is advancing hybrid cloud technology by offering a software-only solution for the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), based on its container technology, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). This approach is in contrast with the competition that is offering appliance-based hybrid solutions, likely at a much higher price point.

Cloud surveys regularly identify hybrid cloud use cases as a fast-growing deployment scenario within the enterprise sector. One recent study states that 59% of enterprises possess a hybrid cloud strategy, up from 51% in 2018.

Current public cloud providers have already released hybrid cloud solutions that seek to bolster usage of their cloud platforms via the enabling of a standardized set of UI and cloud functionality for both on-premises and cloud-based workloads. Cloud leaders such as Microsoft (Azure Stack) and AWS (AWS Outposts), and even cloud laggard Oracle (Cloud at Customer), have hitherto approached the hybrid cloud space with a set of hardware appliance devices that contain pre-configured combinations of hardware and software.

While Google is late to the hybrid cloud game, it may have the benefit of a more forward-looking strategy that will appeal to infrastructure experts across the board. Google's hybrid cloud solution is a software-only approach built upon the Google Kubernetes Engine. This solution enables applications to run within software containers that can be easily migrated between the data center and the cloud. Additionally, Google’s hybrid solution is a software-only solution that runs on commodity server hardware within the data center.

According to DCK, who quoted Adam Glick, lead product marketing manager for Google CSP, “What we offer is software. We found that when we talked to customers, 50 percent of them want to be able to run this on their hardware.” I would venture that this proportion may be understating the demand for a software-only hybrid cloud solution as the technology becomes proven over time and as Google continues to drive further into the enterprise domain.

Our Take

The technology media well covered this latest product release from Google, but the coverage is currently relegated to infrastructure-centric publications and websites and has not received widespread attention. With the recent addition of a 22-year Oracle veteran, Thomas Kurian, as the head of Google Cloud, we can expect a full-court press in terms of both a commercial enterprise sales ramp-up and an aggressive push by Google to leverage its competitive advantages across the cloud eco-system.

For Google to advance its hybrid cloud vision with a software-defined hybrid model is evolutionary. The software-centric approach is an example of taking the "long view" to make hybrid cloud consumption user-friendly and potentially more cost-efficient. Taking advantage of the GKE container solutions will further serve to pull Google’s enterprise cloud customers into the forefront of the most advanced infrastructure solutions, keeping these customers on relevant and efficiency-driving cutting-edge technologies.

Enterprise buyers should point out these advancements by Google and consider it an emerging enterprise-class cloud services platform.

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