What's (Google) Next?

Ahead of Google Next 2019, CTO for North America, Chris Williams, shares his top tips for making the most of the event and provides his predictions for the key product announcements. Get those comfy shoes ready, register for sessions in advance and watch out for those sushi boats!

It is that time of year again; the time when excited cloud people gather together at the Moscone Center seeking an answer to the question, "What’s Next?" The aptly named Google Next conference, set in the heart of Silicon Valley, seeks to show us the bright and shiny next generation of the public cloud over April 9-11, 2019. Given that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) already provides the best platform services around Big Data and Machine Learning, this year promises to be the most exciting and announcement-filled event ever for GCP. As Cloureach’s CTO of North America, I am happy to share a few of my thoughts and recommendations that may help you take full advantage of this amazing event.

Know Before You Go

San Francisco is largely a casual place where pretty much everything goes, so you likely won’t need fancy dresses or suits, but you are always welcome to bring them. The most critical item I generally recommend is really great and comfortable shoes. The sheer size of the event can be overwhelming, but even more so if your feet hurt. Yes, it is an odd thing to prioritize, but trust me, by Day 2 you (and your feet) will thank me. Other than that, pack comfortably and consider layers, as the weather may be mild, but the temperature in the rooms, halls, and after hour events can vary wildly.

If you haven’t already, be sure to book your sessions (keynote and breakout). If you haven’t registered for a session, the lines for "just showing up" can grow without bounds and you will likely miss the talks and breakouts you want to see. Trust me, stop reading and go to the "My Schedule" page right now and hit the “Reserve” button on your desired sessions. I recommend seeing my colleague Zef Delgadilio’s presentation titled The Road to intelligent Transportation as it is going to be incredible.

I will wait…

Trust me, go do this…

Still waiting….

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Thanks and welcome back!

So now imagine you have hopped on your preferred mode of transport and are magically at San Francisco near the Moscone Center. My next big tip is: do not bring anything you don’t need. It will help you rush through security if you minimize your load. Trust me, I saw a lot of people with a lot of things hold up a lot of other people. Don’t be that person, not cool (…not cool).

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While in line, waiting to get in, I suggest setting up localized feeds so you can track down cool events and impromptu meet ups that happen throughout the day and into the evening. I find these moments to be the most fruitful and fulfilling; nothing like a deep conversation about the socio-economic impacts of artificial intelligence over a sushi boat. Never done that? This is your chance!

My Predictions

As with every Google Next, I expect there to be a large volume of announcements of new services and platforms that will accelerate and reduce the complexity of data pipeline and processing workflows. That is, after all, the key differentiator and focus of GCP from other cloud service providers, so it’s only natural they would double down on that specialization. I expect to see a wealth of new toolkits for Machine Learning, supporting GCP’s well-established trend to democratize the power of AI for all companies and people. You might even see some of the Cloudreach team members who have helped to implement and democratize that power at or near the stages. Please don’t hesitate to say hi and ask us anything, we are happy to help. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see the big 1.0 release ofKubeflow, the machine learning toolkit on Kubernetes, as part of this event since it dovetails and unifies GCPs strategy around the Open Cloud when assembled with Istio on GKE (likely to go GA release), GKE-on-prem (likely to go GA release), and Knative. In short, a lot of exciting stabilization and new concepts ready to change the world, again.

Furthermore, I predict a strong continuation of the trend to "Enterprise-ify" GCP as a whole. As such, I predict that we will see an increase in tooling around Security and Data Protection, both in-flight and at-rest building even further on last year’s GKE Policy ManagementCloud HSM, and other similar announcements. I expect we will see a lot of integration and improvements in the Cloud Security Command Center product as it becomes the central point for security and compliance reporting within GCP, making enterprise adoption easier and more direct. I expect we will see some connectivity between the existing and new security features in GCP with the impressive and still growing Cloud Build hosted CI/CD pipeline service. From this vantage point, there are a lot of great building blocks for anyone, enterprise to startup, to swiftly elevate their digital discussion out of Infrastructure-as-a-Service all the way up to data flows and machine learning - it is quite an exciting time.

Of course, these are all speculations. One key tip I strongly recommend, and hope they do again, is to grab the "Day Announcements" sheets located when you first come into the keynotes. They have fun doodle style drawings of all the new features and highlight all the new and exciting things discussed. Grab a couple to spread around back at your place of work. They are quite fun and very concise ways to share what was announced.

Here to help

This year the Cloudreach team is in full force with our booth conveniently located between the security entrance and the taproom (we’ll be at booth 1815!). I’d encourage you to stop by and say "hi!", ask the team anything from how to get out of a data center to how to build a machine learning driven secure data platform - we have done it all on GCP and will be happy to help you do the same! I will personally be running around the event but I am always happy to meet up while I am out at Next '19! If you want to meet up, the best way will be to message me on Twitter at @voodootikigod. I will be watching Twitter regularly for those AI conversations over sushi boats.

Most importantly, enjoy your time at Google Next 2019!

Find out more about Cloudreach’s plans for Google Next 2019here.

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