Google Cloud Next ’18 Day 1 recapSyah Ismail
Google kicked off Next ‘18 today with a slew of announcements involving Google Cloud Platform (GCP), artificial intelligence (AI) and G Suite. More than 25,000 participants were involved in this year’s event, making it Google’s biggest.
Google announced Cloud Services Platform, a set of foundational services and technologies that deliver advanced operational and management capabilities to your IT environment, in the cloud and on-premise. It’s an integrated family of cloud services that lets you increase speed and reliability, improve security and governance and build once to run anywhere, across GCP and on-premise environments.
The Mountain View company also introduced a service mesh based on the open-source Istio, which will soon move to version 1.0, and Managed Istio, a fully managed version thereof, running in GCP. Also, Apigee API Management for Istio lets enterprises operationalise microservices created by the Istio service mesh with their existing API management tools. For Istio and App Engine workloads, the new Stackdriver Service Monitoring provides an SRE-inspired, service-oriented view of your workloads, showing you how your end users experience your systems.
In terms of hybrid computing, Google is furthering it with GKE On-Prem, a Google-configured version of Kubernetes that includes multi-cluster management, that you can deploy on-premise or in other clouds. GKE Policy Management establishes a single source of truth for the policies that govern your Kubernetes workloads, across any enrolled cluster. To enable developers to build all applications serverlessly, even if they use Kubernetes, Google will offer the new GKE serverless add-on. Then, Google will be releasing that same serverless framework as open-source under the name Knative.
Speaking of serverless, Google is adding support for Python 3.7 and PHP 7.2 runtimes on App Engine standard environment. On top of that, Cloud Functions is now generally available, with support for additional languages, plus performance, networking and security features. Serverless containers on Cloud Functions allow developers to run container-based workloads in a fully managed environment and still only pay for what they use. Cloud Firestore lets users store and sync app data at global scale, with access within the GCP Console coming soon. Finally, Cloud Build is Google’s new continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) service that’s integrated with popular developer tools and that lets developers build serverless applications.
On the subject of AI, Google announced Cloud AutoML Vision, Natural Language, and Translation which extend powerful ML models to suit specific needs, without requiring any specialised knowledge in machine learning or coding. TPU V3s, Google’s custom ASIC chips designed for machine learning workloads, are in alpha.
New enhancements to Dialogflow Enterprise Edition enable users to design smarter and more conversational interfaces. There’s also a new solution, Contact Center AI, which includes new Dialogflow features alongside other tools to assist live agents and perform analytics.
G Suite users will be happy to know that Smart Reply is coming to Hangouts Chat. Using AI, Smart Reply recognises which messages need responses and proposes reply options that are casual enough for chat, yet appropriate for the workplace. Smart Compose in Gmail which intelligently autocompletes emails for you by filling in greetings, common phrases and more so you collaborate more efficiently will also be available to G Suite customers in the coming weeks. Google Docs will be getting Grammar Suggestions. It uses a unique machine translation-based approach to recognise grammatical errors (simple and complex) and suggest corrections. It is available in an Early Adopter Program (“beta”) for G Suite customers today. Voice Commands for Hangouts Meet hardware brings some of the same magic of the Google Assistant to the conference room so that teams can connect to video meetings quickly. Voice Commands will roll out to select Meet hardware customers later this year.
Other than that, a new investigation tool in the Security Center helps admins identify which users are potentially infected, see if anything’s been shared externally and remove access to Drive files or delete malicious emails. Customers can choose where to store primary data for select G Suite apps—globally, distributed, US or Europe—with Data Regions for G Suite.
Watch a video highlighting Day 1 keynote.
Stay tuned for Day 2 of Next ‘18.