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Recap: Everything Infrastructure From Google Cloud Next

This past week I found myself browsing through the session titles for Week 3 of Google Cloud Next ‘20: On-Air, and I kept thinking back to our Cloudbakers logo. You know, the cloud with the smiling face. 

A friend recently asked me how this logo came to be, and I told them that I think it really represents us as a company. Not satisfied, he asked me to keep explaining. So, I went a little deeper. At Cloudbakers, we like to say that our staff is built on 50 percent technical skills and 50 percent people skills, and that combination allows us to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for each of our customers. It's not just marketing-speak when we say we make cloud migration fun!

That gets me back to Next: On-Air. The week’s theme was infrastructure, and I’ll be honest, it’s a topic that can sometimes be overwhelming for the average customer. From networks and firewalls to the many abbreviations including SAP and VM, infrastructure can get very confusing very quickly. That's why we at Cloudbakers are here to help. Our goal is to identify and implement solutions that help give customers the best that Google Cloud has to offer, and when it comes to infrastructure, there are a lot of offerings!

Take, for example, the "Accelerate your Digital Transformation through a Modern Infrastructure" session. The conversation with Brad Calder, VP of Cloud Infrastructure at Google Cloud, and June Yang, GM for Compute at Google Cloud, highlighted a number of ways Google Cloud enables clients to solve problems faster, more securely, and at greater scale — many of which we in turn leverage for our own customers. 

One aspect they touched on was Google Cloud VMWare Engine, a product that now is generally available to the public. VMWare is the premier on-premises virtual machine management system, with more than half a billion customers using their products. This partnership now provides an easy on-ramp for customers who are managing their own hardware on VMWare to migrate or extend their on-premises environment to Google Cloud. 

The process becomes simpler because Google provides extra burst capacity to run workloads as they are without any changes to the existing workloads. Beyond that, VMWare users can continue to use all the same features they are familiar with, as well as any other VMWare licenses on top of vSphere, such as VMWare Horizon, a virtual desktop solution.  

You might be asking what this looks like in practice. Imagine that your on-site servers are coming to the end of their support coverage and it's time to buy new hardware. Traditionally, you would need to research the new options, buy a new set of servers, pay the cost of delivering and racking the servers, and your infrastructure team would have to provision the servers, all of which could be a weeks to months long process. With Google Cloud VMWare Engine, it takes a couple of clicks and about 30 minutes to have an all new VMWare cluster up and running. And in case you're wondering, Google Cloud’s option is far less expensive when factoring in maintenance and redundancy in addition to being far more convenient.

That same session also highlighted the intimate partnership between Google and SAP — I say intimate because Google uses the SAP Ariba Network to do business with suppliers, while SAP runs its platform on Google Cloud. At Cloudbakers, we take the knowledge Google has about running an SAP infrastructure and use it to help our customers easily spin up a solution for an infrastructure problem, such as transitioning from running SAP across hundreds of servers to managing all of that data on one 12 terabyte SAP HANA server.

Security on Google Cloud is our top priority

We do all this while also placing an added emphasis on security. In fact, we approach any migration with a security-first mindset, whether that means making sure we have all the right compliance requirements or working with the customer's security team to understand how they'll use the cloud moving forward. 

We are able to put such a large focus on security thanks to a number of Google Cloud-based tools that were highlighted in "What's New in Network Security on Google Cloud," including:

  • Cloud Armor: This is a firewall for your load balancers and public-facing components for your web-based applications. Cloud Armor helps block against DDoS attacks, SQL injection attacks and common web vulnerability attacks. It gives a strong front gate to your web service. 
  • Cloud Firewall: This is a software-based firewall that is in front of every virtual machine on the network. In contrast to a traditional firewall, which protects against the edge of a network but trusts everything internally, Cloud Firewall gives each VM its own firewall and customers can control how traffic goes to and from each machine, simplifying the implementation of microsegmentation of your firewall rules. 
  • Packet Mirroring: This is an important feature for customers because of compliance reasons. Packet Mirroring enables the option to capture all packets and data flowing in a customer's network, run it through a SIEM environment and discover any concerning security patterns.

Managing your cloud doesn't need to be complex

No matter your knowledge level when it comes to infrastructure, the point of it all is to make sure your system runs right for you. Google strives to make it easy for anyone to build and run software, and then to deliver it on a global scale reliably and securely. This point was driven home in "Cloud is Complex. Managing it Shouldn't Be," a session that highlighted how Active Assist brings the best of Google's artificial intelligence and machine learning skill set to help customers automatically manage their Cloud more easily.

Active Assist is like a guiding hand helping you steer around common problems and mistakes in the cloud that Google has seen a lot of customers make. It helps customers scale their cloud management team by allowing them to spend time evaluating recommendations rather than attempting to find the root cause of a bottleneck on their own. It's a very comprehensive suite of tools that has a wide range of applications for many customers. It can be used by small companies that have a small number of cloud management engineers or large companies where they may have different teams that each of the recommendation engines can assist with. 

At Cloudbakers, we rely on Active Assist and the plethora of tools within Google Cloud to make your cloud even smarter than it was before, and in the process, make it work better for your business. And we do it with smiles on our faces.

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Originally published on August 03, 2020

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