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Rebranded Google Cloud Takes On AWS, Azure With New Features And UK Data Centres

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Google brings all its cloud services under the Google Cloud brand as it targets businesses – and AWS and Azure

Google is rebranding its portfolio of cloud services, products and technologies under the ‘Google Cloud’ umbrella as it makes a major play for the business market.

The company is launching new cloud regions to improve availability and performance for customers around the world and is also upgrading its container platform and analytics capabilities. Google Cloud also covers the rebranded ‘G Suite’ of productivity applications.

The portfolio is targeting all sizes of companies, from the self-employed to huge enterprises like Google itself.

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Google Cloud

“Google Cloud spans every layer of the business, including all of Google Cloud Platform; our user facing collaboration and productivity applications — now named G Suite; all of our machine learning tools and APIs, the enterprise maps APIs; and the Android phones, tablets and Chromebooks that access the cloud. All of this, built for the cloud from the get-go,” explained Diane Greene, senior vice president for Google Cloud.

The Google Cloud Platform, Google’s public cloud answer to Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS), will benefit from eight new regions, including the UK. The new locations are Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, Northern Virginia, São Paulo, London, Finland and Frankfurt and more will be announced next year.

Microsoft has already opened data centres in the UK for Azure and its other cloud services, while AWS will also launch a UK region in the next few months. Having data centres closer to home will improve performance for British users and also ensure information is protected by EU data protection regulations.

At present, the EU is served by data centres in Belgium, so Google is significantly expanding its European footprint.

New features

Google Container Engine (GKE) will be upgraded to Kubernetes 1.4, making it easier for customers to build applications across multiple container clusters and clouds. Apps can span across the private, public and hybrid cloud.

In terms of analytics, Google BigQuery now supports standard SQL and is compatible with more analytics tools with added security options. Google is also making ‘Cloud Machine Learning’ available to all businesses to make it easier to create machine learning models for data.

Google Cloud Platform sits behind both Azure and AWS in terms of revenue so it will hope the fresh brand and new features will help close the gap. However it was reported last month that Google was close to winning a big contract with PayPal, beating its two larger rivals to the punch.

Google increased its total revenue by 21 percent over the last twelve months, hitting $20.5 billion (£15.6bn). While a large chunk of that growth came from Google’s bread and butter – search advertising – growth in cloud computing helped Google’s ‘Other Revenues’ pull in $2.2 billion (£1.7bn) last quarter, a 33 percent hike over the same period last year.

‘Other Revenues’ also count Google Play and Google Apps, so it’s difficult to ascertain how well Google Cloud Platform is performing.

Quiz: The Cloud in 2016!