How Computing Has Evolved, And Why Multi-Cloud Is The Future

Data’s potential is still blunted, but new tools are opening analytics doors.

Customers adopt multi-cloud strategies in an attempt to increase agility, minimize vendor lock-in, take advantage of best-in-breed solutions, improve cost efficiencies, and increase flexibility through choice.

Information is everyone’s most important technology asset. Whether it’s customer and product records, supply chain and third-party knowledge, or financial information, people get the most from information when it’s accessible to all relevant individuals and teams. Quality information is vital now, when insights have never been more important for companies, institutions, and individuals.

Too often though, outdated industry practices and hard-to-use tools still keep people from making the most of their data.

That is changing, thanks to the deep influences that have for decades ensured that technology becomes more broadly useful. The increasing power and utility of computing, through things like Moore’s Law, open source, and cloud computing, play a large role. Healthy market pressures help turn expensive and custom-made things into easy-to-use mass-market products, in a process that turns scientific and technological discoveries through engineering into tools and services for businesses and consumers. Ideally, these tools and services can seem to disappear into the background, the way electric light and clean water do now in much of the world (with more to be done to make these commonplace for everyone).

It’s a similar story with cloud computing, which has promised cheaper storage and computing costs, data inputs from more sources, and the capability for better analytics. It’s a big reason why there’s been a data explosion over the past decade. It’s why we have ride-sharing businesses, social media, internet-connected products, and public databases for health research.

Yet the potential is still blunted. Data remains siloed in on-premises infrastructure or in the proprietary systems of third-party cloud service providers. What can be collected is often incomplete, slow to update, and cumbersome to analyze. It isn’t moving well enough on that magic curve of cheaper costs, better access, and more utility.

The how and why of multi-cloud computing

It’s worth noting that the term “multi-cloud” can mean different things to different users and customers. For some customers, multi-cloud refers to leveraging multiple public cloud technologies at once, others refer to it as using public cloud in parallel with traditional non-cloud systems, and still others mean using multiple public clouds simultaneously for different workloads. All these are viable and correct representations of multi-cloud (and we could likely keep discussing those definitions).

Customers adopt multi-cloud strategies in an attempt to increase agility, minimize vendor lock-in, take advantage of best-in-breed solutions, improve cost efficiencies, and increase flexibility through choice.

"93% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy." Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report

Google Cloud is at the forefront of this innovation with Anthos, a modern applications platform for both hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Anthos was released last year as the solution to the data dispersion problem, enabling customers to run their vast software portfolio—including apps, data, and infrastructure—either on-prem, in one cloud, or across multiple clouds, in a unified way.

To help organizations to move into a hybrid or multi-cloud solution, Google Cloud and Intel introduced the Anthos reference architecture, Intel® Select Solutions.

Intel® Select Solutions for Google Cloud's Anthos helps simplify the move to a multi-cloud solution by offering pre-tested solutions

With 93% of enterprises now pursuing multi-cloud strategies, Anthos can function as their means to efficiently collect and utilize their data from all points. It’s particularly sought after by customers in areas like finance, where data is both closely managed and the primary source of value and growth. Because it’s built upon open standards, customers have the freedom of choice to chart their own cloud journey.

What tomorrow’s data looks like

We’ve not stopped there, a recent announcement we’ve just made exemplifies and illuminates solutions at play. We’re extending analytics to your data in other public clouds with BigQuery Omni. BigQuery Omni is a flexible, multi-cloud analytics solution, powered by Anthos, that enables you to analyze data from a single pane of glass across your datasets in Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Azure (coming soon).

With BigQuery, Google Cloud’s enterprise data warehouse, data analysts with a basic knowledge of SQL can do petabyte-scale data analysis on data. BigQuery allows organizations to easily predict business outcomes with built-in machine learning. And with BigQuery Omni, it’s now possible for you to get that power in more places.

We’re seeing so many benefits in how people use information, with more to come, as multi-cloud computing moves from a better way to access data to a platform for using information better.

In a similar spirit of helping your data do more for less, Google Cloud recently announced Data QnA, which helps business users conversationally analyze petabytes of data stored in BigQuery and federated data sources. It’s designed to work in the context of a user’s workflow, so they don’t need to switch contexts and make ad hoc requests to often-overburdened business intelligence teams. For example, a sales manager might pose a question to a chatbot to find information like revenue trends for products by region and month. That can save weeks of time, propel insights, and empower business analysts to do higher-value work.

We’re seeing so many benefits in how people use information, with more to come, as multi-cloud computing moves from a better way to access data to a platform for using information better. All these multi-cloud capabilities are designed to offer customers flexibility and choice to run their applications in the most efficient manner.

These innovations reflect many values that resonate deeply with Google, including organizing information to its maximum possible utility, using the innovation velocity and freedom of open-source software, and giving customers maximum access and decision-making power to their most valuable technology asset: their data. Our BigQuery Omni on Anthos announcement follows our earlier initiative for multi-cloud API management, using Apigee on Anthos. We’re seeing increasing momentum with partners and customers to use more kinds of multi-cloud services, and we’ll have future additions and improvements to enhance Anthos as an open, multi-cloud developer platform.

We know that COVID-19 has remade much of life, now and perhaps into the future. Like our customers, we are eager to take stock of the changes to our social landscape, our public health understanding, our work, and our markets. Data from more places, used better, will be a big part of creating that understanding. Amid so much change, it’s satisfying to offer revolutionary technologies built in the spirit of a timeless industry good.

Google's Guide to Innovation

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

7 secrets of successful remote IT teams