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10 big announcements from Google’s Cloud Conference

Brandon Butler | March 28, 2016
From machine learning to open source, and lots of new enterprise-wooing features too.

Audit Logging

This is another feature that seems to be aimed squarely at enterprise customers. For security purposes and other operational tasks, providing an audit log of everything happening in your cloud is key. Audit Logs are slated to be available by the end of May.

Customer Supplied Encryption Keys

Google announced the beta of encryption keys that customers can manage themselves and that are scheduled to become generally available shortly. Google already does native encryption of data at rest and in transit. This new feature allows customers, rather than Google, to hold the keys.

Google Speech API

Along the same theme as the Machine Learning news, Google announced an API for speech recognition at NEXT. It allows developers to integrate the company’s speech-to-text feature in apps they’re building. The feature works in 80 languages. Google also showed off its Translate and Google Vision APIs.

Open Source

Google executives say the company is committed to open source. It has open sourced many projects, from Hadoop MapReduce to Spanner, software-defined networking components, container management platform Kubernetes, and machine learning tools Dataflow and TensorFlow. Google also recently joined the Open Compute Project, and committed a new rack design. At NEXT, it open sourced another software tool: Helm, which is code that is helpful in managing containers by deconstructing them.

Big Query advancements

GCP’s cloud-based analytics data warehouse, BigQuery, is one of the core analytics tools in Google’s cloud. At NEXT, Google announced a price drop of 50% for data stored in BigQuery for more than 90 days; auto table partitions (making data management easier); and a capacitor storage engine, which Google says could speed up some queries by 10x.

Customers wins

Trotting out customers at a user conference is not surprising, but some of the names that Google featured this week are: Disney’s consumer product and interactive media, Dominos, Spotify, Macy’s, Heineken and Best Buy. And that’s not even to mention Apple (which Google did not mention at NEXT).

Take a data center tour

Google has one of the most impressive networks of data centers around the world. Prior to NEXT the company announced it would be expanding its regional footprint from four to six, with plans to add 10 more regions in the coming years. Google doesn't give in-person tours of its data centers, but as of this week, you can take a virtual tour. (Google recommends you use a virtual reality system, like its Cardboard to view it).


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