Google Cloud Platform's 3 keys to the roadmap: Data center, security, containers

Google leaders discussed the present and future of the Google Cloud Platform at the 2016 GCP Next conference in San Francisco.

Image: Conner Forrest/TechRepublic

As Google continues to position its Google Cloud Platform for enterprise use, three key aspects are leading the company's future investment in the platform: Data centers, security, and container technology.

On Thursday, at the 2016 Google Cloud Platform Next conference in San Francisco, Google leaders took the stage at the day two keynote to market existing successes and explain future investments in the platform.

Greg DeMichillie, director of the cloud platform for Google, opened the keynote and said that these three components are "the most critical in the evolution of cloud."

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Data center

Joe Kava, one of the heads of Google's data center efforts, was the speaker who explained the company's strategy in the data center. Early on, there was a big push in the concept of "your data centers are Google's data centers," likely to position the proposed ease of use that comes with a cloud deployment.

Kava touted the company's 24x7x365 availability, explaining that all Google data centers are staffed and managed by Googlers, which he said gives them an edge over the competition. Security and performance were also mentioned, with Kava explaining that Google has proprietary designs for its hardware so it can maintain more control.

One piece of news that was listed in a slide that Kava put up during his presentation was that of a new rack specification that includes 48V power distribution and a new form factor to allow OCP (Open Compute Project) racks to fit into Google data centers. Google recentlyjoined the Open Compute Project back in March 2016.

Kava also discussed Google's efforts in sustainability, and expressed disdain that research firm Gartner did not include sustainability efforts as part of its Magic Quadrant.


Security was addressed by Google distinguished engineer Niels Provos, who focused on trust as a product of transparency and not just technology.

Provos explained that the Google Cloud Platform benefitted from investments the company had been making in its security layers overall, but noted that there would be new features and tools coming to the cloud platform in the future.

According to Provos, Google is working on outbound firewalls at the networking layer and Google is working on improving vulnerability scanning and new source code capabilities for applications. Additionally, at the deployment layer, Google is adding an unphishable HW 2nd factor, and, for usage, strong authorization and additional app use signals are coming as well.

SEE: Google Cloud Platform breaks through with big enterprises, signs up Disney and others (ZDNet)


Eric Brewer, vice president of infrastructure at Google took the stage last to talk about Google's work with containers. At 20-months-old, Brewer said that Kubernetes is one of the top projects on GitHub, and he talked about the latest release of Kubernetes, Kubernetes 1.2, as well.

Kubernetes 1.2 allows users up to 1000 nodes, 30,000 pods, and flexible auto scaling. The release also includes new features like DaemonSet, which allows users the ability to run daemons on a set of cluster nodes, and a ConfigMap feature to help you map configurations.

Brewer's last announcement was of the Google Deployment Manager, a resource definition and management framework that will help users deploy to Google Cloud Platform more easily.

These announcements and best practices are just further proof that Google is aggressively targeting the enterprise with its cloud platform. The company recently added top shelf customers and could be on the way to being more competitive with Microsoft Azure and AWS.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Google is focusing on data centers, security, and containers for the future of Google Cloud Platform. This proves that the company is serious about evolving the platform and competing.
  2. New security features and container technology will allow IT admins more capabilities in Google Cloud Platform, and could make it easier to justify moving from a competitor.
  3. Google continues to push for enterprise-readiness with Google Cloud Platform, and it is clear that if they don't keep adding high-level customers they will not be able to compete in the market.

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Conner Forrest is News Editor for TechRepublic. He covers startups and enterprise technology and is passionate about the convergence of tech and culture.

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