At first glance, making the shift to cloud seems like it’s fairly easy. Call up the cloud provider, turn on the service, and away you go. As my kids say: easy peasy lemon squeezy. However, as is the case with many things, be careful what you wish for, as there is often more to the cloud that meets the eye. CEOs walk through airports and drive down 101 between San Jose and San Francisco, see the cloud billboards, and make the decision to use the cloud… but it’s the IT department that has to carry the implementation load of making it happen. There are network issues, performance concerns, deployment headaches, and a number of other issues that need to be resolved in order for the cloud to be business ready.
Last week at Google’s Cloud Platform Live Summit, the company announced a number of changes to its cloud platform to solve many deployment issues. During the event, almost all of the Google speakers hammered home the point that the cloud isn’t easy to use, nor is it simple enough to set up for organizations to maximize the benefits of shifting to the cloud. We’re clearly a long way from cloud utopia, and I don’t think anyone expects that yet, but businesses should demand more from their cloud vendors.
The following is a list of the enhancements Google has made to its cloud platform to help with deployment challenges:
- Google Cloud Interconnect: This includes direct peering between businesses and Google in 33 countries around the world. Google customers can now provision as big a pipe as they need for fast connectivity. Google also added carrier interconnect for customers to connect Google to their service provider of choice including Telx, Verizon, Equinix, Level 3, Tata Communications, and Zayo. Next month Google will offer a VPN-based connectivity service for secure connections over the Internet. All of these should alleviate many of the network issues that arise from running cloud traffic over the public Internet.
- Google Container Engine: Customers can run Docker containers in complete clusters instead of having to glue the components together. The clusters are the closest things the world of cloud has to “plug and play” services. Customers can focus on managing their applications instead of having to constantly fiddle with workloads.
- Managed VMs in App Engine: Google actually previewed this earlier in the year and now the beta is available. The managed version of App Engine gives customers all of the benefits of App Engine in an agile VM environment. App Engine is designed to mask much of the complexity of the plumbing and enable IT to focus on the application layer. With the release of the beta, Google has added a number of additional services such as load balancing, auto scaling and monitoring.
- Cloud Platform Free Trial: Want to try Google Cloud Platform but aren’t sure if it’s for you? No problem. Sign up at cloud.google.com and get $300 in credits that can be spent on all of the platform’s products and services. Google doesn’t stick you with any commitments nor will they hit you with a charge until they are authorized to do so. With the price cuts announced customers could run two standard VMs for 60 days and store 11 TB of data with that credit.
Businesses of all sizes are looking to leverage the cloud to enable mobile computing, Internet of Things and other initiatives. However, the cloud is still relatively new and can be a scary proposition for many organizations. Google has made significant advancements to their cloud platform that should enable IT leaders move to the cloud without putting their organizations at risk.