In the cloud platform wars, Google Cloud Platform sits squarely in third place behind Microsoft Azure and AWS, respectively. However, Google has been been making major moves to bolster its offering in an attempt to make itself more competitive in the enterprise.
On Wednesday, at the Google Cloud Platform Next conference in San Francisco, Google announced Disney Consumer Products Interactive Media and Coca Cola as the newest customers of the platform.
Google has made strides with some enterprise customers, but the platform has primarily been targeting SMBs and startups—even going as far as to offer $100,000+ discounts to help get startups on board. However, it's clear that enterprise customers will be critical in the battle between IaaS and Paas providers.
SEE: Power checklist: Managing and troubleshooting cloud storage (Tech Pro Research)
In addition to Disney and Coca Cola, Google also recently netted Spotify and Apple as customers of the cloud platform. Add that to big business users like Best Buy, and the growth of stalwart users like Snapchat, Google is positioning itself as a real competitor in the cloud market.
But, how does that stack up against its top competitor AWS? Netflix made headlines as the poster child of AWS when it announced that it was migrating its streaming service to AWS. But, AWS also claims enterprises like NASA, Expedia, Samsung, Nokia, and Adobe as well.
While Google Cloud Platform's announcement of Disney and Coca Cola as customers seems to pale in comparison to the volume of massive enterprise customers held by AWS, it is worth noting that the caliber of these new Google clients is impressive and gives them clout as they pitch future customers.
Also, the cloud isn't a zero sum game. Coca Cola, for example, is also an AWS customer. Walt Disney Animation Studios uses AWS as well. If Google can differentiate itself as a better value, or a more innovative partner, it could slowly leech aspects of AWS client companies away from them.
SEE: The Google Cloud Platform: 10 things you need to know (TechRepublic)
At the Google Cloud Platform Next conference, Google also announced a host of new features and tools to make its platform more enterprise-ready. Security features such as such as audit logging, new encryption keys, and identity and access management (IAM) roles will be making an appearance among other tools.
Google also announced the Cloud ML (machine learning) platform and speech API to improve its machine learning and AI initiatives. Also, Google's Brian Stevens announced the beta launch of Google Stackdriver, a single-pane monitoring tool that can manage Google Cloud Platform accounts and AWS accounts.
Additionally, new cloud networking tools like Subnetworks, Cloud Router, and Cloud CDN, as well as new features for BigQuery were announced.
Google hasn't been shy about its ambitions. In February, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that Google Cloud Platform was "ready to be used at scale." And, recently, Google announced that it was expanding its geographic footprint, with new data centers in Oregon and Tokyo, as well as expanding into 10 new regions through 2017.
Also, Diane Greene's appointment as the head of Google Cloud Platform was an intentional move as well. Greene, who previously co-founded VMware and served as its CEO, brings major clout with the enterprise and the ability to sell corporate customers.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- Google recently announced Disney Consumer Products Interactive Media and Coca Cola as the newest customers of Google Cloud Platform. While they don't match in quantity, Google is finally courting the same quality of clients as AWS, meaning they may be poised to grow as an enterprise cloud provider.
- Google released many new enterprise-focused features for Google Cloud Platform, including machine learning tools and the Stackdriver beta, which can manage Google Cloud Platform and AWS. This could help convince admins using AWS to experiment with Google Cloud Platform as well.
- Google has also been expanding its data center footprint and investing heavily in gaining traction, meaning it is very serious about Google Cloud Platform as a business.
- Google is winning the cloud pricing and performance war (TechRepublic)
- Google Cloud Platform adds options for custom virtual machines (ZDNet)
- Google teams with Red Hat to bring containers to the cloud (TechRepublic)
- Google Cloud Platform's entire big data suite now generally available (ZDNet)
- Cloud storage: How do Amazon, Google and Microsoft stack up? (TechRepublic)
Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.