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It's a wrap: Key announcements from Next ‘19 UK

November 21, 2019
Carol Carpenter

VP of Cloud Product Marketing

From modernizing in the cloud, to explainable AI, to increased data control and visibility, here's a look at news from this week at Next '19 UK.

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Next UK brought together more than 7,000 attendees to take part in discussions, breakout sessions, hands-on training and networking with industry leaders. And along the way there were a wide range of Google Cloud announcements and updates. Although a trip to London might not have been on everyone’s agenda, a trip through the week’s announcements is no further than this post. Read on for some of the highlights. 

Migrating, modernizing and managing infrastructure

Infrastructure is the foundation of your IT environment—and Google Cloud. Earlier this year, we announced new general purpose and workload-optimized virtual machine families, which means you can migrate and run even more applications including AAA gaming, HPC and even SAP HANA. Building on our compute momentum, we recently made a number of announcements to help you take advantage of our robust network infrastructure, faster and more efficiently.  

In the weeks leading up to Next UK, we announced major new networking functionality. Support for Bring Your Own IP (BYOIP) allows you to accelerate your cloud migration by carrying over your existing IP addresses to Google’s network infrastructure across all our 20 regions—we are the first cloud provider to make this feature globally available. Then, the new Network Intelligence Center provides comprehensive visibility into your global Google Cloud deployment, and lets you proactively manage your network operations, cutting down troubleshooting time and helping prevent network outages.

We also want to make sure that both operators and developers are able to easily monitor their infrastructure and services and identify incidents as quickly as possible. At Next UK, we announced that Stackdriver Monitoring is moving into the Google Cloud Console (beta), allowing users to access all operations management tools in one place for a faster, easier, and more integrated experience. And with Stackdriver Logging’s new Log Router, also in beta, we provide operators with the flexibility and reliability they need to manage and route their logs; Logs Router also supports customer managed encryption keys (CMEK) for your security needs. Finally, with the launch of SLO Service API in beta, we are empowering operators on Google Cloud or on-prem to focus on a set of service health signals that reflects the end-customer experience. SLOs can be set on container or VMs environments, giving developers and operators end-to-end visibility of the health of their entire fleet of microservices, in a single place.

And for specialized workloads that you aren’t ready to move to the cloud yet, we now offer via partners Bare Metal Solution, dedicated infrastructure on which you can run applications like Oracle Database that’s connected via a low-latency and highly resilient interconnect to Google Cloud.

Accelerating app modernization

You don’t just want to move your applications to the cloud; you want to modernize them too, much the way that new customers such as Kaeser Kompressoren SE and DenizBank are doing with Anthos.  

To help you get there, Migrate for Anthos is now generally available, allowing you to convert physical servers or virtual machines from a variety of sources (on-prem, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Compute Engine) directly into containers running in Anthos or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). 

Or perhaps you want to connect applications via APIs. Apigee hybrid is now generally available, letting you deploy your API runtimes in a hybrid environment—both on-prem or in Google Cloud, including Anthos.

We’re also helping you modernize your software development processes. We announced the general availability of both Cloud Run and Cloud Run for Anthos last week, bringing the benefits of serverless to container-based applications. And building Kubernetes applications is now easier than ever, with the general availability of Cloud Code, which integrates directly into your IDE, so you can create cloud-native apps from the comfort of your favorite development environment.   

Unlocking data insights

Capturing and managing the data you need is essential to build an analytics foundation. We’ve made it easier with a few new tools.

This week we announced the general availability of Cloud Data Fusion, a managed, cloud-native data ingestion and integration service. It equips developers, data engineers and business analysts to easily build and manage ETL and ELT pipelines to cleanse, transform and blend data from a broad range of sources. Data Fusion shifts an organization’s focus away from code and integration to insights and action. Built on the open source project CDAP, the product’s open core ensures portability for users across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. CDAP’s broad integration with on-prem and public cloud platforms gives Data Fusion users the ability to break down silos and deliver more value than ever through Google’s industry-leading big data tools.

To make streaming analytics simpler and more cost-effective, we announced new features in Cloud Dataflow SQL, available in the public preview, as well as the general availability of Cloud Dataflow Flexible Resource Scheduling (FlexRS) for cost-effective batch event processing. Streaming analytics is an important part of modern data analytics, letting businesses better understand their customers in real time and make decisions accordingly. These new features make streaming analytics easier and more accessible to data engineers, particularly those with database experience. Cloud Dataflow SQL lets you use SQL queries to develop and run Cloud Dataflow jobs from the BigQuery web UI, and new features include Cloud Storage file support and a visual schema editor. The new Cloud Dataflow FlexRS feature reduces batch processing costs by up to 40% using advanced resource scheduling techniques and a mix of different virtual machine (VM) types (including the preemptible VM instances) to decrease processing costs while providing the same job completion guarantees as regular Cloud Dataflow jobs.

Increasing interpretability with Explainable AI

AI and machine learning are among the most transformative technologies of our era, and our aim is to put these tools in reach of more businesses, and do it in a way that’s fairer and more responsible. Our announcements at Next UK continue to further those goals.

We announced Explainable AI to increase interpretability of AI and help developers understand how their machine learning models reached certain outcomes. Explainable AI consists of tools and frameworks to deploy interpretable and inclusive machine learning models. AI Explanations for AutoML Tables and Cloud AI Platform are available now and to start making your own AI deployments more understandable with Explainable AI, visit cloud.google.com/explainable-ai. You can also learn more by reading our AI blog post.

Bringing more assistive features to the workplace

Speaking of AI, we’re introducing new ways to help people create high-quality, error-free documents. We’re bringing the Smart Compose feature to Google Docs (beta), which uses AI to suggest complete sentences as you type. And now with the help of neural machine translation, Docs can help prevent even more spelling or grammatical errors in your work. 

Beyond helping folks create top-notch Docs, we announced that we’re expanding the power of the Google Assistant for G Suite users (beta). When people are logged into their G Suite account, they’ll soon be able to accomplish more on the go, like using voice commands to manage their calendar, send quick messages, or dial into meetings.

Read more about how you can start using assistive features in Docs or expanded functionality of the Google Assistant in this post.

Advancing control and visibility in the cloud

Cloud security depends on a strong foundation. In the weeks leading up to Next UK, we, along with our partners, announced OpenTitan—the first open source silicon root of trust (RoT) project that provides RoT design and integration guidelines for use in data center servers, storage, peripherals, and more. Open sourcing silicon design makes it more transparent, trustworthy, and ultimately, secure.

Building on a secure-by-design foundation, we announced multiple capabilities to help customers increase control and visibility over their data and secure their cloud environments: External Key Manager, Key Access Justifications, Cloud Armor WAF, Packet Mirroring, and Advanced Protection Program for G Suite users. In addition, we announced technical capabilities in Google Cloud that our European customers can use to meet their preferences for additional data residency, operational control, and access control.

Looking ahead

We’re grateful for the chance to spend two full days learning from our customers, collaborators and partners in EMEA this week, and hearing so many amazing stories. And while all good things must come to an end, we have Next ’20 to look forward to—April 6-8 in San Francisco. We hope to see you there.

To learn more, visit g.co/cloudnext.

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