🗂 Link: What is Google up to with Anthos? More toys dropped for Kubernetes-style hybrid cloud

The answer is that Anthos is not really a technology, but more of a brand, a wrapper around Google’s cloud crown jewels, Kubernetes (K8s).

And:

In a nutshell, Anthos is the GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine) deployed on-premises in a certified configuration (via hardware suppliers such as Dell and HPE), with an agent installed that maintains an encrypted connection to Google Cloud Platform (GCP). That agent lets you manage your Anthos cluster and its workloads from the GCP console, deploying and scaling applications. Anthos relies on good connectivity to GCP – for example, using Google Cloud Interconnect.

Source: What is Google up to with Anthos? More toys dropped for Kubernetes-style hybrid cloud

Link: Google debuts migration tool for its Anthos hybrid cloud platform

Anthos applications are deployed in software containers, which are used to host the individual components of each app and make them easier to work with. The main benefit is that developers get to use a single set of tools to build and deploy their apps, and push through updates as necessary, no matter what infrastructure those apps are hosted on. Kubernetes makes it easier to manage large clusters of containerized apps.

Source: Google debuts migration tool for its Anthos hybrid cloud platform

Google Cloud stuff

A brief overview:

The expansion centers around Google’s new open-source hybrid cloud package called Anthos, which was introduced at the company’s Google Next event this week. Anthos is based on – and supplants – the company’s existing Google Cloud Service beta. Anthos will let customers run applications, unmodified, on existing on-premises hardware or in the public cloud and will be available on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), and in data centers with GKE On-Prem, the company says. Anthos will also let customers for the first time manage workloads running on third-party clouds such as AWS and Azure from the Google platform without requiring administrators and developers to learn different environments and APIs, Google said. 

And from an interview with Kurian:

So for us to grow, the primary thing is to scale our go-to-market organization. And we’re very committed to doing that. We just need to hire and train and enable a world class sales team at scale.

Today we have a great sales team, but we are far fewer in number than the other players. We just need to expand that. And as I talked to customers, they asked us to, one: expand our sales organization and our go-to-market teams. Second: specialize (that sales team) with deep expertise in technology and in industry. And third: make it easy to contract and do business with us. We are extremely committed to doing all three of them.

Also, from the product bucket:

Google also announced Anthos Migrate, a beta service that automatically moves virtual machines running on on-premises or other cloud providers into containers on GKE. Assuming it works, that’s a much easier path to the cloud for companies worried about breaking mission-critical applications during the move.

And, a good round up of analyst Tweets.

Every cloud providers, every tech vendor, wants to go up the stack, close to The Business where there’s more money to be had:

During his keynote, Kurian referred to Google Cloud as a “digital transformation provider” – he didn’t say an ‘IaaS alternative to AWS and Azure’. In fact, Google Cloud is open to the fact that enterprises may use multiple IaaS providers (more on that later). Kurian is clearly making a play for Google Cloud to become an enterprise technology vendor that has deep skin in the game with customers, focused on meaningful outcomes, rather than just a pay per usage alternative to other IaaS vendors.

They’re trying a more open source company friendly approach, adding in some popular databases as a service:

Initial technologies include those from open source database system providers Confluent, MongoDB, Elastic, Neo4j, Redis Labs, InfluxData and DataStax.

Also, see the very well written Anthos documentation.

Link: Google’s new cloud chief has a culture clash ahead of him after 22 years at Oracle

But when it comes to the big storage and core computing contracts, numerous industry experts, venture capitalists and tech executives alike told CNBC that Google’s sales team is ineffective, preferring to sell what it thinks is best rather than what customers say they need.

“You don’t get paid to be right, you get paid to sell what the customer wants to buy,” said Mackey Craven, a partner at venture firm OpenView Venture Partners in Boston who focuses on enterprise start-ups.
Original source: Google’s new cloud chief has a culture clash ahead of him after 22 years at Oracle

Link: Google making private cloud stuff

Google is responding to enterprise computing needs by making custom-designed computers to run in organizations’ own data centers, reports The Information. The computers include server, storage and networking functions specifically for “a handful of large customers,” according to two sources close to the project in the report.
Original source: Google making private cloud stuff

Link: GKE On-Prem

Networking considered hard: “The amusing thing is that they wanted to connect a GKE On-Prem install running on VSphere for the demo. They could not get a public IP, so they just used MiniKube. Frankly, I think the demo at #GoogleNext2018 was far more amazing connecting MiniKube.”
Original source: GKE On-Prem

Link: Info Commissioner tears into Google’s ‘call us journalists’ trial defence

‘This argument enraged the ICO, which said in the submission: “The concept of ‘journalism’ presupposes a process by which content is published to an audience pursuant to the taking of human editorial decisions as to the substantive nature and extent of that content.”… In plain English, humans (mostly) don’t decide what appears in search results so calling Google’s activities “journalism” is just plain wrong, according to the commissioner.’
Original source: Info Commissioner tears into Google’s ‘call us journalists’ trial defence

Link: Ordering from voice tubes

“Purchases made through devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Echo are projected to leap from $2 billion to $40 billion by 2022 as technology improves, U.S. consumers become more comfortable and the speakers become nearly as commonplace in homes as a flat-screen TV, according to a new study from OC&C Strategy Consultants.”

More:

“Shoppers are more apt to buy cheaper items, such as phone charger cables, via voice. The average online basket was $661 for online purchases of electronics, compared with $239 for voice orders, OC&C said. “
Original source: Ordering from voice tubes

Link: Women Once Ruled Computers. When Did the Valley Become Brotopia?

“There is another story to tell: that Google’s success had at least as much to do with women like Wojcicki, Sandberg, and—her controversial tenure as CEO of Yahoo! notwithstanding—Mayer. Each of them brought wider skill sets to the company in its earliest days. If subsequent managers at Google understood this lesson, that might have quieted the grumbling among engineers who had a narrow idea of what characteristics made for an ideal employee. Google’s early success proved that diversity in the workplace needn’t be an act of altruism or an experiment in social engineering. It was simply a good business decision.”
Original source: Women Once Ruled Computers. When Did the Valley Become Brotopia?

Link: Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Google still looking to crack into hardware. Maybe getting a clutch of regular, steady performers instead of startup rock-stars will help:

‘Google has formally completed its $1.1bn (£780m) takeover of a chunk of HTC, under which some 2,000 staff will transfer to work on the chocolate factory’s Pixel phone.

‘In a blog post, Rick Osterloh, senior hardware veep at the megacorp, said “building hardware is… hard,” adding: “That’s why I’m delighted that we’ve officially closed our deal with HTC.”’
Original source: Google takes $1.1bn chomp out of HTC, smacks lips, burps

Link: Google’s AutoML lets you train custom machine learning models without having to code

“The basic idea here, Google says, is to allow virtually anybody to bring their images, upload them (and import their tags or create them in the app) and then have Google’s systems automatically create a customer machine learning model for them. The company says that Disney, for example, has used this system to make the search feature in its online store more robust because it can now find all the products that feature a likeness of Lightning McQueen and not just those where your favorite talking race car was tagged in the text description.”
Original source: Google’s AutoML lets you train custom machine learning models without having to code

Link: Amazon lost cloud market share to Microsoft in the fourth quarter: KeyBanc

For 4Q2017: “Amazon Web Services had 62 percent market share in the quarter, down from 68 percent a year earlier, KeyBanc’s Brent Bracelin and other analysts wrote in a note on Thursday. Microsoft Azure jumped from 16 percent to 20 percent, and Google’s share increased from 10 percent to 12 percent, they said.”
Original source: Amazon lost cloud market share to Microsoft in the fourth quarter: KeyBanc

Link: Cisco is strengthening its ‘cloud first’ posture

Finally, an explanation of that Cisco/Google partnership:

“CloudCenter is key to the hybrid cloud partnership that Cisco and Google recently announced, where CloudCenter will be used to integrate Google Cloud Platform services with on-premises datacenters. The integrated offering includes Cisco’s Hyperflex hyperconverged infrastructure and Nexus 9k networking. Cisco is also leveraging its networking (CSR) and security (Stealthwatch Cloud) portfolio to ensure a consistent environment across the hybrid cloud. Google’s Kubernetes container runtime uses Apigee to consume and manage APIs, as well as Google’s range of cloud services, including machine learning and visual recognition. The open source Istio service management platform is key to the offering, supported in CloudCenter, providing traffic management, observability, policy enforcement and service identity and security for microservices. There will also be integrations to AppDynamics. Solution engineering efforts are underway, and Cisco and Google are working on predefined statements of work that can be executed by both companies’ direct sales teams and by the partner channels. The joint offering will be fully supported by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center. The Cisco-Google partnership on hybrid cloud is non-exclusive, but Google is working closely with Cisco on the joint engineering work around open hybrid cloud.”

Original source: Cisco is strengthening its ‘cloud first’ posture

Link: The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students

While I don’t disagree with this kind of ASTOUNDING FINDING, what it usually means that in addition to engineering, it turns out you need these other skills. I sure STEM is necessary, but not sufficient to be a good nerd in corporate America:

“among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”
Original source: The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students

Better details on the Cisco/Google partnership around kubernetes and Istio

The cloud initiative combines Google’s de facto standard Kubernetes cluster orchestration platform for managing applications and services across hybrid infrastructure with Cisco’s networking and security expertise. It also leverages Cisco’s push into hyper-converged infrastructure. Along with extending security to application containers and other micro-services, the deal would allow users to monitor application behavior running on hybrid platforms, the partners said.

The other pillar of the collaboration is Istio, another open source tool released earlier this year to help manage micro-services via what developers call a “service mesh network.” Working with Kubernetes, Istio aims to provide a uniform means of connecting and managing micro-services.

And, more here:

The companies will offer the joint solution to a limited number of customers during the first part of 2018 with generally availability coming later in the year.

Source: Cisco, Google Join Forces on Hybrid Cloud

Good, simple explanation of Service Level Objectives (SLOs)

SLOs are objectives that your business aspires to meet and intends to take action to defend; just remember, your SLOs are not your SLAs (service level agreements)! You should pick SLOs that represent the most critical aspects of the user experience. If you meet an SLO, your users and your business should be happy. Conversely, if the system does not meet the SLO, that implies there are users who are being made unhappy!

Source: Building good SLOs – CRE life lessons

60m Americans have used voice devices, 35.6m devices estimated to be sold in 2017

According to a recent research report from eMarketer, 60.5 million Americans will talk at least once a month to their virtual personal assistants named Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and other as-yet unknowns this year. “That equates to 27.5% of smartphone users, or nearly one-fifth of the population,” eMarketer said. Link

screen-shot-2017-05-08-at-12-09-31-pm

More details on the study:

  • “The e-commerce giant’s Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices will claim a 70.6 percent share of the U.S. market this year, the study found.”
  • That 60.5m figure is more like “penetration,” people who have tried voice stuff but aren’t active users. By device ownership (I don’t know if this includes or excludes phones with Siri and such): “The number of active U.S. users will more than double for the devices this year, to 35.6 million, eMarketer said.”

See more details over from TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez.

Personally, I still find all this obnoxious. But (a.) I’m more of a podcast and text person, and, (b.) hey, the Echo is a really nice Bluetooth/Spotify speaker.

Pivotal Conversations: “Running like Google,” the CRE Program & Pivotal, with Andrew Shafer

The summary:

What does it really mean to “run like Google”? Is that even a good idea? Andrew Shafer comes back to the podcast to talk with Coté about how the Google SRE book and the newly announced Google CRE program start addressing those questions. We discuss some of the general principals, and “small” ones too that are in those bodies of work and how they represent an interesting evolution of it IT management is done. Many of the concepts that the DevOps and cloud-native community talks about pop in Google’s approach to operations and software delivery, providing a good, hyper-scale case study of how to do IT management and software development for distributed applications. We also discuss Pivotal’s involvement in the Google CRE program.

Check out the SoundCloud listing, or download the MP3 directly.

Kubernetes as the hybrid cloud magic maker

From 451’s report on Google Next:

Google believes that a hybrid architecture will persist in the coming years as enterprises continue to migrate workloads to various clouds. Its hybrid cloud architecture revolves around its virtual private cloud. Google VPC is an instantiation of GCP that can dedicate compute, storage and network resources to an enterprise. It is built upon Google’s proprietary private global network designed for high reliability, low latency and hardened security. Kubernetes acts as the orchestration and operational backplane for hybrid implementations. Elasticity and scale are achieved by linking to Google public cloud services.

It also has many numbers on market-share, SI/channel development, and geographic foot-print.

Source: Google Cloud Next 2017: Slow and steady race to greater enterprise public cloud adoption

Public cloud by the minute

Google is able to automatically reward end users a discount for loyalty through a sustained-use pricing scheme – the company claims its method for high utilization means reservations do not hugely benefit them, and so it would rather reward users for loyalty rather than for paying up front and forecasting capacity. Google also offers a per-minute billing model (as opposed to per-hour offers from many providers), and this advantage can also be attributed in part to containers. However, as we show, the benefit of per-minute billing only becomes important when workloads are very bursty.

Source: Google economics: Containers are the key

Link: Googles challenge in enterprise cloud

Post Alphabet, where any previous inhibitions about pursuing new hobbies have evaporated, it is even harder to imagine the “capital allocators” choosing to invest in thousands of enterprise sales and support people given alternatives involving life extension and/or space elevators. After all, won’t the robotics division eventually solve any problem that today requires humans?

The rest of the state of cloud is pretty good. It’s a regular “pulls no punches and punches everyone” type situation.

If you threw in some charts and numbers, you’d have an even fancier missive, but qualitatively: just Jim-dandy.

From a piece on Google’s history:

In that sentence is buried the heart of a company like Google, a company founded by engineers and with an engineer’s practicality in that something can always be improved upon but you need to get something done now to fix a big problem.