June 20, 2019
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Google: All businesses in cloud market are changing toward openness

 The director of Google Cloud Solutions, Miles Ward, poses for EFE on April 10, 2019, at the Google Cloud Next '19 conference in San Francisco.
EFE-EPA/Marc Arcas

The director of Google Cloud Solutions, Miles Ward, poses for EFE on April 10, 2019, at the Google Cloud Next '19 conference in San Francisco. EFE-EPA/Marc Arcas

By Marc Arcas.

San Francisco, Apr 11 (efe-epa).- Google's strategy of "opening" the cloud to its competitors with the aim of leaving incompatibilities behind and moving toward interoperability has been the mark of a continuing trend being followed by market leader AWS, the director of Google Cloud Solutions, Miles Ward, told EFE.

At the Google Cloud Next '19 conference being held in San Francisco and at which the Mountain View, California-based firm is delving into that concept by announcing its association with seven leading "open-source" firms in the sector, Ward said that interoperability is the future of cloud.

"Everyone wants to avoid being locked to a single vendor. As a business, you're gonna want to diversify the number of companies you buy technology from. But the overhead of doing that when all of the technologies are different is high enough that they prefer to wait until this is figured out because right now it's costly and it takes a lot of time," he told EFE.

Ward said that this doesn't mean that supply diversity needs to be reduced, with this being good because it responds to different market needs, but it does make it indispensable for there to be a platform that permits diversity and at the same time makes all technologies compatible.

He singled out Anthos - the new name of Google's Cloud Services Platform - in that regard, saying "We want Anthos to be the intercloud that connects all networks. The platform that enables all of the cloud providers to collaborate in a way that ensures that customers have access to the thing that they want."

Ward added that the company wants Anthos also to be able to operate in competitive environments like those surrounding Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure (Microsoft).

"Businesses are businesses and they're gonna compete," he said. "But they should compete on merits like 'it's more reliable, it's more consistent, it has higher security, it has higher performance, it's easier to use', not on technicalities like formats or configurations. Those are things that deliver real value to customers."

The Google Cloud engineer, who in the past worked for four years for AWS, said that his former company, "like all businesses trying to make an impact in the cloud market, are changing toward openness" and recently they have accelerated those efforts.

"AWS is making the right choice now, but that is new and will take (a) long (time). Google has 20 years of open source contribution," he said.

Traditionally, AWS has been characterized for operating in more closed environments and for not collaborating with smaller open-source firms, whom they have generally tried to unseat with their own products or acquire and absorb fully into their own brand.

"Anthos is a long term vision change for the entire cloud computing industry," Ward said, adding that Google wants to play the same role that the Internet played at its time, allowing interoperability among the small networks that had been established and were operated by different organizations.

He said that his firm wants the "intercloud" to connect all the more minor clouds.

"There are some components of products that are usefully differentiated. This database behaves differently than this one; there are better fits for certain use cases ... These differentiations are useful. We want to eliminate those that are uselessly differentiated, just operative. It lowers the barrier of entry for everyone to use cloud," he said.

This week, Google Cloud announced during the conference associations with open-source data management and analysis firms Confluent, DataStax, Elastic, InfluxData, MongoDB, Neo4j and Redis Labs, which it will integrate into its platform, although for now they will all continue to operate independently.

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