Tuesday, 05 March 2019 10:22

Google 'needs more than data centres to expand cloud market share'

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Google 'needs more than data centres to expand cloud market share' Pixabay

Google's plans to expand its data centre network in the US will have to be complemented by an increase in the feature set of its cloud offering if it wants to grow its cloud market share, the head of a hybrid cloud management platform claims.

Sash Sunkara, chief executive and co-founder of RackWare, told iTWire that Google was aiming at a bigger market share in the business space and this footprint was something that impressed business clients.

Last month, Google said it was expanding its US data centre, spending US$13 billion on new data centres and office facilities in 2019.

"If you go back in history, when IBM bought SoftLayer, it was, in part, for the technology, but mostly for SoftLayer’s large data centre footprint," Sunkara said.

"Rather than buying a company with a footprint of that scale, Google is choosing to build. That’s their way of putting a big bet on the enterprise cloud market."

But he said the question that big clients asked was not merely how many data centres a provider had. "They’re asking larger questions like: ‘How easily can I move my enterprise applications into Google Cloud? Can Google Cloud handle my storage architectures? Can it handle my networking architectures?'," he said.

"They have specific enterprise requirements around what they’re doing, and they don’t want to change the way they’re managing the resources in their IT resource pool."

Sunkara said it would finally come down to whether Google had the enterprise feature set and support to pull in more business clients.

"I still think Google will do more acquisitions to make their cloud more enterprise-friendly..., but this latest investment definitely escalates the cloud wars," he said.

"Google will have to adjust to understand how enterprise data centres manage resources and their user community. More changes will be required in order for them to be truly competitive in the enterprise space."

There were rumours that Google would be making more acquisitions and buying an enterprise sales force to grow faster. "Obviously, [Google Cloud chief executive] Thomas Kurian comes from an enterprise background, and that’s one move. But data centre architects care about whether Google Cloud can handle their applications, and how much work they have to do to move those applications into their environment or manage them," Sunkara said.

"They’re not going to rewrite a bulk of their applications to be able to run in their cloud. A sales force is good, data centres are good, but it’s going to be the feature set of their cloud that will win the day - hopefully, they’re thinking about that."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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