This year we've heard a lot about AWS's growing dominance and its eye-popping revenue numbers with the most recent projections bursting over $7 billion. We've heard about Microsoft Azure climbing the charts, and while it's not threatening AWS, it sure is growing fast. That leaves Google Cloud, and if you think about it, we haven't heard much at all.
Google always seems to get thrown in as a dominant player in the cloud infrastructure market, but the fact is it doesn't turn up in many conversations I've had about the cloud. I hear AWS, then Azure, and not very much Google. Perhaps the folks at Google have noticed that too because it appears the company could be trying to make some moves to change that.
Google has 14 worldwide data centers, with seven data centers in the U.S., one in Chile, two in Asia, and four in Europe. According to a recent article in Fortune, it is looking for creative ways to expand without necessarily having to open new data centers.
This involves using Google's 70 data caching facilities around the world. These act in the same way as a content delivery network, leaving copies of popular web pages and other content close to their delivery points to speed up delivery. Google might want to make use of these endpoints to increase compute capacity without actually building new data centers.
According to the Fortune piece:
Those endpoints are key pieces of what Google calls its "peering and content delivery network.” The idea, which both sources said is under discussion, calls for these Google outposts to be outfitted with additional computing capacity so they would become sort of mini data centers.
It's unclear if this will happen or not, but it shows that Google is looking at ways of increasing its compute capacity, which makes sense because AWS, Microsoft, and IBM all have more physical data centers across the world than Google.
This matters because the law in some countries requires that data be stored within its borders. If Google doesn't have a presence, it can't accommodate those types of requirements.
Google is not standing still
Last month Google bought bebop (lower case b), which should give it Platform as a Service capability, but more than that, the CEO of bebop was former VMware CEO (and co-founder) Diane Greene. The consensus is that Greene brings some real enterprise chops to Google and should help drive Google's enterprise cloud strategy moving forward.
The company also announced it was reorganizing the cloud unit to bring a more integrated approach to the cloud, and with Greene at the helm, someone who clearly understands the needs of an enterprise audience, it could help boost the entire strategy.
Google was a company born in the cloud, and one which has a strong grip on the consumer side. As we move into 2016, these moves could boost its business chops to give it a stronger market position to compete with AWS and Microsoft in the year ahead.
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