July 2017: Google opens London data centre region
Google has expanded the footprint of the GCP with the opening of a new data centre region in London, strengthening the company’s commitment to the UK in the face of Brexit.
The London base is only the Alphabet-owned company’s second European data centre region after Belgium, although it does also have plans to spread its wings further into Germany, Finland and the Netherlands later this year.
At the launch event, Google’s managing director of UK and Ireland Ronan Harris described the UK as “the home of digital and the home of digital innovation”, reiterating that the UK has plenty to offer the technology market even after it breaks away from the European Union.
April 2017: Elastic brings search and analytics to GCP
Google has partnered with California-based data firm Elastic to bring managed support of its open source search and analytics platform onto GCP.
The complete Elastic stack is now available in Google’s cloud, providing customers with multiple new features including increased security and privacy, data analytics and machine learning services and the tools needed to build applications.
Elastic co-founder and CTO Shay Banon said the partnership represents “a significant step forward for our users”, describing GCP as “one of the most innovative and open source friendly cloud platforms”.
March 2017: Google releases Cloud Container Builder on GCP
Google has strengthened its container offering on GCP as competition in the market continues to gather momentum.
Cloud Container Builder is now generally available on Google’s cloud service and boasts features such as a command-line interface, automated build triggers and build steps for executing build commands.
Google describes the service as “a stand-alone tool for building container images regardless of deployment environment”, which can be used by both large enterprises and startups.
The real sweetener for potential customers is that it comes with 120 free build-minutes per day, enabling most users to move their builds to the cloud at no cost and with none of the overheads of managing their own servers. Any additional build-minutes are priced at $0.0034/minute.
February 2017: GCP packs Nvidia GPUs for deep learning algorithms
Google has made access to Nvidia graphics cards available on its Compute Engine and Cloud Machine Learning platforms, giving GCP customers access to additional computational power for training smart software and artificial intelligence (AI).
Offering such a service means companies working on software and systems that use machine and deep learning algorithms won’t have to have GPU clusters in their own data centres, thereby cutting hardware costs.
Deep learning and AI networks both require huge amounts of data analysis, something which traditional central processing units (CPUs) fall short on when compared to products such as Nvidia’s Tesla K80 graphics processing units (GPUs).
Google is of course not the only company providing cloud-powered deep learning systems, but this partnership will help to strengthen its offering in this area.
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