What happened at Google Cloud Next ’18Syah Ismail
Last week, we saw plenty of announcements and stories at Google Cloud Next ‘18 in San Francisco. One of the stand out appearance was GO-JEK CTO Ajey Gore who showed up on-stage on a scooter on Day 2. If you missed the event, here’s a list of exciting new stuff that was announced at Next ‘18.
Chrome, Devices and Mobility
- Cloud-based browser management: From a single view, admins can manage Chrome Browser running on Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and Linux.
- Password Alert Policy: Admins can set rules in Chrome Browser to prevent corporate password use on sites outside of the company’s control.
- Managed Google Play: Admins can curate applications by user groups as well as customise a broad range of policies and functions like application blacklisting and remote uninstall.
AI and machine learning
- Cloud AutoML Vision, AutoML Natural Language, and AutoML Translation: Powerful ML models that can be extended to suit specific needs, without requiring any specialised knowledge in machine learning or coding.
- Cloud Vision API: Cloud Vision API now recognises handwriting, supports additional file types (PDF and TIFF), and can identify where an object is located within an image.
- Cloud Text-to-Speech: Improvements to Cloud Text-to-Speech offer multilingual access to voices generated by DeepMind WaveNet technology and the ability to optimise for the type of speaker you plan to use.
- Cloud Speech-to-Text: Updates to this API help you identify what language is being spoken, plus provide word-level confidence scores and multi-channel (multi-participant) recognition.
- Training and online prediction through scikit-learn and XGBoost in Cloud ML Engine: While Cloud ML Engine has long supported TensorFlow, we’re releasing XGBoost and scikit-learn as alternative libraries for training and classification.
- Kubeflow v0.2: Building on the previous version, Kubeflow v0.2 makes it easier for you to use machine learning software stacks on Kubernetes. Kubeflow v0.2 has an improved user interface and several enhancements to monitoring and reporting.
- Cloud TPU v3: Announced at this year’s I/O, our third-generation TPUs are now available for Google Cloud customers to accelerate training and inference workloads.
- Cloud TPU Pod: Second-generation Cloud TPUs are now available to customers in scalable clusters. Support for Cloud TPUs in Kubernetes Engine is also available in beta.
- Phone Gateway in Dialogflow Enterprise Edition: Now you can assign a working phone number to a virtual agent without infrastructure. Speech recognition, speech synthesis, natural language understanding and orchestration are all managed for you.
- Knowledge Connectors in Dialogflow Enterprise Edition: These connectors understand unstructured documents like FAQs or knowledge base articles and complement your pre-built intents with automated responses sourced from internal document collections.
- Automatic Spelling Correction in Dialogflow Enterprise Edition: Natural language understanding can sometimes be challenged by spelling and grammar errors in a text-based conversation. Dialogflow can now automatically correct spelling mistakes using technology similar to what’s used in Google Search and other products.
- Sentiment Analysis in Dialogflow Enterprise Edition: Relies on the Cloud Natural Language API to optionally inspect a request and score a user’s attitude as positive, negative or neutral.
- Text-to-Speech in Dialogflow Enterprise Edition: We’re adding native audio response to Dialogflow to complement existing Speech-to-Text capability.
- Contact Center AI: A new solution which includes new Dialogflow features alongside other tools to perform analytics and assist live agents.
- Agent Assist in Contact Center AI: Supports a live agent during a conversation and provides the agent with relevant information, like suggested articles, in real-time.
- Conversational Topic Modeler in Contact Center AI: Uses Google AI to analyse historical audio and chat logs to uncover insights about topics and trends in customer interactions.
- Managed Istio: A fully-managed service on GCP for Istio, an open-source project that creates a service mesh to manage and control microservices.
- Istio 1.0: Speaking of open-source Istio, the project is imminently moving up to version 1.0.
- Apigee API Management for Istio: Soon you can use your existing Apigee Edge API management platform to wrangle microservices running on the Istio service mesh.
- Stackdriver Service Monitoring: A new view for our Stackdriver monitoring suite that shows operators how their end users are experiencing their systems. This way, they can manage against SRE-inspired SLOs.
- GKE On-Prem with multi-cluster management: A Google-configured version of Kubernetes that includes multi-cluster management and can be deployed on-premise or in other clouds, laying the foundation for true hybrid computing.
- GKE Policy Management: Lets you take control of your Kubernetes environment by applying centralised policies across all enrolled clusters.
- Resource-based pricing for Compute Engine: A new way we’re calculating sustained use discounts on Compute Engine machines, aggregating all your vCPUs and memory resources to maximise your savings.
- GKE serverless add-on: Runs serverless workloads that scale up and down automatically, or respond to events, on top of Kubernetes Engine.
- Knative: The same technologies included in the GKE serverless add-on are now available in this open-source project.
- Cloud Build: Our fully managed continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform lets you build container and non-container artifacts and integrates with a wide variety of tools from across the developer ecosystem.
- GitHub partnership: GitHub is a popular source code repository, and now you can use it with Cloud Build.
- New App Engine runtimes: We’re adding support for the popular Python 3.7 and PHP 7.2 runtimes to App Engine standard environment.
- Cloud Functions: Our event-driven serverless compute service is now generally available, and includes support for additional languages, plus performance, networking and security features.
- Serverless containers on Cloud Functions: Packages a function within a container, to better support custom runtimes, binaries and frameworks.
- Cloud Healthcare API: By supporting standards-driven data formats and protocols of existing healthcare technologies, the Cloud Healthcare API connects your data to advanced Google Cloud capabilities while also simplifying application development and device integration.
- BigQuery ML: A new capability that allows data analysts and data scientists to easily build machine learning models directly from BigQuery with simple SQL commands, making machine learning more accessible to all.
- BigQuery Clustering: Creates clustered tables in BigQuery as an added layer of data optimisation to accelerate query performance.
- BigQuery GIS: New functions and data types in BigQuery that follow the SQL/MM Spatial standard. Handy for PostGIS users and anyone already doing geospatial analysis in SQL.
- Sheets Data Connector for BigQuery: A new way to directly access and refresh data in BigQuery from Google Sheets.
- Data Studio Explorer: Deeper integration between BigQuery and Google Data Studio to help users visualise query results quickly.
- Cloud Composer: Based on the open source Apache Airflow project, Cloud Composer distributes workloads across multiple clouds.
- Customer Managed Encryption Keys for Dataproc: Customer-managed encryption keys that let customers create, use and revoke key encryption for BigQuery, Compute Engine and Cloud Storage. Generally available for BigQuery; beta for Compute Engine and Cloud Storage.
- Streaming analytics updates, including Python Streaming and Dataflow Streaming Engine: Provides streaming customers more responsive autoscaling on fewer resources, by separating compute and state storage.
- Dataproc Autoscaling and Dataproc Custom Packages: Gives users Hadoop and Spark clusters that scale automatically based on the resource requirements of submitted jobs, delivering a serverless experience.
- Oracle workloads on GCP: We’re partnering with managed service providers (MSPs) so you can run Oracle workloads on GCP using dedicated hardware.
- Compute Engine VMs powered by Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory: Lets you run SAP HANA workloads for more capacity at lower cost.
- Cloud Firestore: Helps you store, sync and query data for cloud-native apps. Support for Datastore Mode is also coming soon.
- Updates to Cloud Bigtable: Regional replication across zones and Key Visualizer, in beta, to help debug performance issues.
- Updates to Cloud Spanner: Lets users import and export data using Cloud Dataflow. A preview of Cloud Spanner’s data manipulation language (DML) is now available.
- Edge TPU: Google’s purpose-built ASIC chip that’s designed to run TensorFlow Lite ML so you can accelerate ML training in the cloud and utilise fast ML inference at the edge.
- Cloud IoT Edge: Extends data processing and machine learning capabilities to gateways, cameras and end devices, helping make IoT devices and deployments smart, secure and reliable.
- Context-aware access: Capabilities to help organisations define and enforce granular access to GCP APIs, resources, G Suite, and third-party SaaS apps based on a user’s identity, location and the context of their request.
- Titan Security Key: A FIDO security key that includes firmware developed by Google to verify its integrity.
- Shielded VMs: A new way to leverage advanced platform security capabilities to help ensure your VMs haven’t been tampered with or compromised.
- Binary Authorization: Lets you enforce signature validation when deploying container images.
- Container Registry Vulnerability Scanning: Automatically performs vulnerability scanning for Ubuntu, Debian and Alpine images to help ensure they are safe to deploy and don’t contain vulnerable packages.
- Geo-based access control in Cloud Armor: Lets you control access to your services based on the geographic location of the client trying to connect to your application.
- Cloud HSM: A fully managed cloud-hosted hardware security module (HSM) service that allows you to host encryption keys and perform cryptographic operations in FIPS 140-2 Level 3 certified HSMs.
- Access Transparency: Provides an audit trail of actions taken by Google Support and Engineering in the rare instances that they interact with your data and system configurations on Google Cloud.
- New investigation tool in the Security Center: A new tool in the security centre for G Suite that 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.
- Data Regions for G Suite: Lets you choose where to store primary data for select G Suite apps – globally, distributed, U.S. or Europe.
- Smart Reply in Hangouts Chat: Coming soon to G Suite, Smart Reply uses artificial intelligence to recognise which messages need responses and proposes reply options.
- Smart Compose in Gmail: Coming soon to G Suite, Smart Compose intelligently autocompletes emails for you by filling in greetings, common phrases and more.
- Grammar Suggestions in Google Docs: Uses a unique machine translation-based approach to recognise grammatical errors (simple and complex) and suggest corrections.
- 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.
- The new Gmail: Features like redesigned security warnings, snooze and offline access are now generally available to G Suite users.
- New functionality in Cloud Search: Helps organisations intelligently and securely index third-party data beyond G Suite (whether the data is stored in the cloud or on-prem).
- Google Voice to G Suite: An enterprise version of Google Voice that lets admins manage users, provision and port phone numbers, access detailed reports and more.
- Standalone offering of Drive Enterprise: New offering with usage-based pricing to help companies easily transition data from legacy enterprise content management (ECM) systems.
- G Suite Enterprise for Education: Expanding to 16 new countries.
- Jamboard Mobile App: Added features for Jamboard mobile devices, including new drawing tools and a new way to claim jams using near-field communication (NFC).
- Salesforce Add-on in Google Sheets: A new add-on that lets you import data and reports from Salesforce into Sheets and then push updates made in Sheets back to Salesforce.
Google Cloud Next will be back next year on April 9 at the newly renovated Moscone in San Francisco.
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