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Introducing Google Cloud, G suite and New Capabilities, More Regions to GCP

Google Cloud debuts as the unique and broad portfolio of Google’s Cloud Platform products, technologies and services.

Google Cloud products are for customers of all sizes, from the self-employed and startups all the way to the world’s largest enterprises, and are well integrated with systems that ensure service levels meeting the SLA for “whatever price point the customer chooses,” stated google.

In addition also today a new name for Google Apps for Work has been announced now calling it simply “G Suite”, a set of apps with real-time collaboration capability such as — Gmail, Docs, Drive, Calendar, Hangouts and more.

Google Apps for Work (back then Google Apps for Your Domain) was launched ten years ago. G Suite, better reflects the mission, where information can flow freely between devices, apps, people and teams, bringing in speed, agility so great ideas never get left in the margins again, google said.

“The best thing about these intelligent features is that they’ll continue to learn and improve over time, and save you even more time tomorrow than they save you today,” google stated.

New intelligent capabilities launched across G Suite include:

In addition to already available “Smart Reply” that empowers more than 10% of replies on mobile, Google adds machine intelligence across the suite–“Explore in Docs, Sheets and Slides Explore on the web, Android and iOS.”

  • Quick Access in Drive on Android will now offer the most relevant files easily accessible you need to work right when you open Drive. According to Google, “Quick Access saves about 50% of the time an employee would usually spend finding a file.”

    Quick Access uses machine learning to intelligently predict the files you need before you’ve even typed anything. “Quick Access predictions are based on an understanding of your Drive activity, as well as your interaction with colleagues and your workday patterns such as recurring team meetings or regular reviews of forecasting spreadsheets,” writes google.

    Quick Access will be available globally for G Suite customers on Android.

    Quick Access in G Suite

  • Smarter scheduling. when your list of invitees grows long and no times slots are available, Google Calendar will suggest times across the group where the conflicts are easiest to resolve, such as recurring 1:1 meetings.

    To make this happen, “Find a time” that lets you set up meetings much faster in Calendar on Android, will be available to iOS by the end of the year, the web. Additionally, with “smart room booking” you can now easily find a place to meet as well.

    “Find a time” suggests meeting times and available rooms based on your preferences thus saving you time and getting to everyone faster together.

    Powered by Google’s machine intelligence, “Time and room suggestions are smart too, as they don’t just identify the first free slot in a grid, they also locate the next best slots as a back-up,” google said. And although “Find a time” makes smart suggestions, “you’re always in control ust tap the grid to pick a time that’s a better fit.”

    For example, “when Calendar doesn’t find availability of your preferred time, it then looks for conflicts across the group that are easier to resolve, such as recurring 1:1 meetings.”

    Find a time in Google Calendar: G Suite

  • Smarter spreadsheets. you can now simply enter your question using natural language and Explore in Google Sheets will use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to translate your question into a formula and offer an instant answer.

    With Explore in Sheets, you can ask questions in words (not formulas) to get answers about your data, for example questions like “how many units were sold on Black Friday?,” “what are the top three items by sales price?,” etc. Less time crunching numbers + crafting formulas = more time to find key insights and use them.

    Additionally, also available today a new formatting suggestions to help make your data pop.

    Explore in Sheets : G Suite

  • Smarter documents. with Explore now in Docs with machine intelligence automatically recommend related topics as well as you can find a related document from Drive.

    As you’ll get instant suggestions based on the content in your document. “We’ll automatically recommend related topics to learn about, images to insert and more content to check out in Docs on your Android, iPhone or the web,” writes google.

    Additionally, there is already a research capability in Docs that help you find a related document from Drive or search Google, right in Explore.

    Explore in Docs: G Suite

  • Smarter presentations. with Explore in Slides, you are dynamically offered layout suggestions that help your content shine, and saves you over 30% of the time. In just a couple of clicks, “you’ll have slides so polished people will think you’re a professional graphic designer,” wrties google.

    As you work, Explore dynamically generates design suggestions, based on the content of your slide. Simply pick a recommendation and apply it with a single click — no cropping, resizing or reformatting required.

    Explore in Slides : G suite

  • Drive for teams. In order to keep pace, a new capability called “Team Drives” help managing content ownership and sharing at the team level, and new roles give more granular control over team content.

    G-suite: Drive for Teams

  • Meetings for teams. A new Hangouts meeting experience now “generates a short link and dial-in phone number so you can invite anyone without friction.” Your team now better connected with “updated user interface, up to 50 video participants, and seamless integration into Calendar and instant screen sharing.”

    Team Drives, and new Hangouts in preview today available to a small set of customers, however, more customers can get through an Early Adopter Program.

    G Suite: Meetings for Teams

Additionally, a significant lineup of new cloud technologies and machine intelligence capabilities as well as services are announced as well.

As with other products, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) also bringing in new capabilities to more regions, environments, applications and users than ever before.

We’re also sharing updates to our infrastructure to improve our ability to not only power Google’s own billion-user products, such as Gmail and Android, but also to power businesses around the world.

According to Google, its GCP now serves over one billion end-users through its customers’ products and services. And, to meet this growing demand, eight new Google Cloud Regions are launched today. Google notes, “more regions will be announced next year.”

Adding, it said, adding new regions improves performance and latency.

These new locations will become publicly available throughout 2017.

google cloud platform (gcp) adds eight new regions

Further company said, they’re actively updating Google Container Engine (GKE) to the new version 1.4 of “Kubernetes,” open source container management system (developed and open-sourced by Google).

Kubernetes 1.4 improves Cluster Federation to support straightforward deployment across multiple clusters and multiple clouds, wrties google. Now, “GKE customers will be able to build applications that can easily span multiple clouds,” whether they are “on-prem, on a different public cloud vendor, or a hybrid of both.”

Kubernetes will also bring “the ability to monitor cluster add-ons, one-click cluster spin-up, improved security, integration with Cluster Federation and support for new Google Container-VM image (GCI),” writes Google.

Data analytics is also at the foundation for the next wave in business intelligence — machine learning —new updates includes:

Google BigQuery, managed data warehouse now enable cloud data analytics as well as “support for Standard SQL is now generally available.” Other new features include:

  • improving compatibility with more data tools and foster deeper collaboration across your organization with simplified query sharing.
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM) integration allows businesses to fine-tune their security policies.
  • unlimited flat-rate pricing that pairs unlimited queries with predictable data storage costs.

Cloud Machine Learning is now available to all businesses, helps enable businesses to easily train quality machine learning models on their own data at a faster rate. Additonally, it integrates with data analytics and storage cloud services such as Google BigQuery, Google Cloud Dataflow, and Google Cloud Storage, it

Also, introducing today is a new “Customer Reliability Engineering” (CRE), comprised of Google engineers it “integrate with customer’s operations teams to share the reliability responsibilities for critical cloud applications,” google said.

Google also showed how a cross-section of customers and partners use and work with Google Cloud.

In this end, Accenture and Google entered into a new alliance to to deliver solutions to customers in a number of industry-specific verticals, including retail, healthcare, energy, finance and others.

Accenture and Google will “provide dedicated resources from each company with expertise in cloud solutions architecture, mobility and app development to help bring these solutions to large enterprise clients,” writes google.

The solutions will combine technology from across Google’s products and platforms.

Finally, in a post today, Google explains how Niantic’s Pokémon GO came to life on Google Cloud by highlighting some of the key components powering one of the most popular mobile games to date (verbatim):

  • Pokémon GO game world was brought to life using over a dozen services across Google Cloud.
  • Pokémon GO was the largest Kubernetes deployment on Google Container Engine ever. Due to the scale of the cluster and accompanying throughput, a multitude of bugs were identified, fixed and merged into the open source project.
  • To support Pokémon GO’s massive player base, Google provisioned many tens of thousands of cores for Niantic’s Container Engine cluster.
  • Google’s global network helped reduce the overall latency for Pokémon Trainers inhabiting the game’s shared world. Game traffic travels Google’s private fiber network through most of its transit, delivering reliable, low-latency experiences for players worldwide. Even under the sea!, writes google.

Last month Google unveiled support for Visual Studio, C#, PowerShell, Microsoft SQL Server and more on the Google Cloud Platform.

With so many new features, it is easy to gloss over some of the technical aspects of the announcement, especially the fact that all of the developer tooling and libraries are open source and available on GitHub.

In a post today, the team walks you through some of the details behind the new C# libraries, PowerShell cmdlets, and Visual Studio extension, read here.

Update 10/01: Kubernetes 1.4 available to all Google Container Engine customers introduces following improvements:

  • One-click alpha clusters can be spun up as easily as a regular cluster, so testing Kubernetes’ alpha features like persistent application support is a one-click operation.
  • Support for AppArmor in base image gives apps deployed to Container Engine multiple layers of defense-in-depth.
  • Integration with Kubernetes Cluster Federation allow adding a Container Engine cluster to existing federation, greatly simplifying cloud bursting and multi-cloud deployments.
  • Rich support for Google Cloud Identity & Access Management allows you to manage GKE clusters with the same multi-faceted roles you use across your GCP projects.
  • Monitoring of all cluster add-ons ensures that all key functions for your cluster are available and ready to use — one less thing to think about when running a large distributed application.

Additionally, new Google Container-VM Image available to Kubernetes makes upgrading a breeze and allows new upgrades to be automatically installed with a simple reboot.

This spring, Google introduced its “Container-VM Image” beta under GCP.

The company notes that the work is undergoing to improving and adding new features to Container-VM Image. In the meantime, those interested in deploying application or a service provider on Google Compute Engine, are recommended to understand the underlying technology:

Container-VM Image is based on the open-source Chromium OS project, is “a vetted source code base for this new operating system,” google said. In addition, “its allows using of powerful build and test infrastructure built by ChromeOS team,” google added.

The Docker container runtime is pre-installed on Container-VM Image, and the “root file system is kept to a minimum by only including software necessary to run containers.” “Allowing software dependencies to be packaged in the container image along with the application.”

And since, the root file system is “mounted as read-only,” and its “integrity is verified by the kernel during boot up”, “it’s difficult for attackers to permanently exploit the system,” stated google.

“Having full control over the build infrastructure combined with a minimal root file system allows us to patch vulnerabilities and ship updated software versions very quickly. Container-VM Image also ships with an optional “in-place update” feature that allows users to stay up-to-date with minimal manual intervention.”

The Container-VM Images are available in the “google-containers” GCP project.

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