For most of its existence, Google Cloud Platform has been fighting just to get a seat at the table for cloud business against Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. If that’s ever going to change, Google is banking on a combination of tech chops, data-driven instincts, and a focus on developers and open source.
We’ve already highlighted the appearance of Google’s Greg DeMichillie at our Cloud Tech Summit earlier this month, focusing on the cultural shift behind opening up Google’s legendary infrastructure to the public and its commitment to the Seattle region as it grows its cloud business. Now that the full video is available, I also wanted to highlight a few other comments he made during a very interesting interview with Fortune’s Barb Darrow.
Now that the big data era is mainstream, DeMichillie thinks Google has a competitive advantage over its cloud rivals when it comes to finding and surfacing the most relevant data from a data set; after all, that’s the core function of Google search.
“We’re all about finding the needle of value in the haystack of data,” he said, and as enterprises pour more and more data into the cloud, they’ll need sophisticated tools to locate and make sense of that data. That’s likely part of the reason why database competition among the cloud vendors has been so intense this year, with new products from all of the Big Three in just the first half of the year.
The other key part of Google’s strategy is its focus on the open source community, DeMichillie said. Anyone providing an enterprise computing service in 2017 is using technology developed from open-source projects, and the cloud vendors are no exception, but Google wants to emphasize its desire to play a greater role in contributing code back to the community.
“Cloud is a really interesting opportunity to not repeat mistakes of the past,” he said. “To take the openness that Linux brought to the world and make sure that as we move to the cloud we don’t take a step back from this amazing world of open source and open development and open APIs.”
Google used to have a reputation as a bit aloof when it came to the open source community, contributing ideas such as Map Reduce (which eventually turned into Hadoop) but not as much actual code. Kubernetes, the container orchestration product Google donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, certainly changed that equation, and you’ll see Google contributing a lot more code and projects to the community in the future, DeMichillie said.
Watch the full video of Greg’s interview with Fortune’s Barb Darrow above, and stay tuned for more highlights from the event in the days ahead.