GCP This Month

GCP This Month: Google Cloud Next ’21 special panel discussion with BigQuery news & session reviews

Episode description

Mattias, Broadus and Joe bring you the best GCP news, with a special Google Cloud Next panel discussion. We ask our Google experts about their favorite announcements, sessions, and top takeaways. Hear about BigQuery Omni in GA, Vertex AI Workbench, and new Google Spark support, and get insights on must-see sessions like the spotlight on disability with Vint Cerf and Jim Hogan, and deep dives into serverless.

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Quick jump to the Google Cloud Platform news:Introduction (0:00)
Thoughts on the Developer Keynote: technology trends (1:09)
Diving into ML & AI with Vertex AI Workbench (2:58)
Introducing Google Distributed Cloud (4:47)
Thoughts on Google’s multicloud focus (6:51)
Introducing BigQuery Omni in GA (8:30)
A focus on what’s new in GCP serverless (10:41)
What’s new for Cloud Run (13:28)
Google workflows and working with Document AI (15:35)
Welcoming first-class Spark support (16:57)
Must watch: A conversation with Vint Cerf and Jim Hogan on disability in tech (17:42)
Must watch: Developer Keynote with Urs Holzle (19:03)
Final takeaways from Google Cloud Next 2021 (21:21)

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Series description

Welcome to GCP This Month! We've created this new show to let you all know about the awesome news, happenings, events and analysis on what Google is doing in the cloud space.In each episode, join our hosts Mattias Andersson and Tim Berry as they go through GCP quick bites to give you rapid-fire updates on various releases. We'll then move into the GCP Gems segment, and mention ACG's hand-picked releases from GCP, which are the releases we've found to be most interesting. We'll then finish up with any other notable news from Google or GCP. Finally, we'll end off with our GCP edition of Guru of the Month!

Hello, cloud gurus, and a welcome to a special episode of GCP this month, where we take a look at some of the top takeaways from the Google cloud. Next 21 conference that was held October 12th to 14th, I'm Mattias Anderson. And today I'm joined by fellow GCP Gurus Broadus Palmer and Joe Lowery. I'm looking forward to chatting about what announcements we all found most exciting and what sessions we found most memorable. But before we jump into that, let's meet today's contestants.

I mean our esteemed panelists. Would you mind starting Broadus? Yeah. Hello everyone. My name is Broadus Palmer. I'm a GCP training architect here at a cloud guru or slash Pluralsight. And I'm so happy to talk about what the amazing things that we encountered on Google next 21. And I'm Joe Lowery. Hello everyone. Um, I too am a training architect specializing in Google cloud and coming to you from upstate New York.

Well hey, I would love to hear what your favorite announcements were. Uh, what stood out to you guys? Well, I have to admit I had something that wasn't really a favorite announcement. Like most conferences. A lot of times I go, I go for the demos, you know, I want to see something hot and fresh and new and great, and they delivered for me. So at the opening of the developer keynote Urz Holzle, and I'm really apologizing for butchering his name, please forgive me, senior VP of technical infrastructure for Google.

He started and he spoke in five different languages, one sentence right after another. He did English, French, I think it was Hindu, Spanish and then German. And he was not fluent in any of these except probably English and, uh, maybe German, but his voice was used as the model and that speech was reproduced so that he could speak. So this is a spinoff by Google research and deep mind, and it's a spinoff of a project Euphonia, which is a really nice Google project where they use their speech to text technology, trying to help people who have difficulty being understood, be more widely understood so that at first the digital devices can understand them. And then we can bridge that gap and then have people understand the digital devices. And I was, as I was thinking about this, it was,

I thought, wow, wouldn't this be a really wild kind of down the road application where maybe we would see for language dubbing in an actor's own voice. My mind just blew. So that was my hot moment. So that's pretty cool that's, that's, that's pretty dope. Um, for me, um, it was diving into more of a machine learning and AI, right. You know, I'm, I'm a person that's trying to get to understand more about that.

And one thing I liked was the Vertex AI workbench. Um, not only learning about that, but Google next did a, um, quick start on it. They took a customer lifetime value, uh, model. And what they did was they uses bigquery, um, and for analysis, and then used TensorFlow with vertex AI, and they, uh, analyzed how much a customer was spending, how often the customer was spending and they created a baseline from that. And Then they created a training model, uh, using, um, Docker containers with TensorFlow and vertex AI.

And this was to, you know, serve an end point, uh, for the model to use what vertex AI prediction, uh, going through that, uh, quick start really helped me understand a little bit more about vertex AI and how it's used from the managed notebooks that you can use with a TensorFlow enterprise, from a new notebooks that you could create on your own as well. So it was a pretty amazing tool, and I'm glad I took that deep dive to learn more about it. So I feel smarter already. You know Broadus the, um, this whole emphasis on AI is really one of Google's main thrusts straight across the business, almost everything that they do. They're really trying to bring this in more and more, and you can see it begin to bubble up in different areas and different services across the board. That's really exciting. So, Mattias,

what was your biggest takeaway? Uh, well, you know, I'm always a sucker for all the serverless announcements, but I'm sure we'll get to those in a minute as well. Um, but one of the things that did stand out to me was, uh, the Google distributed cloud. Google distributed cloud is a really interesting packaging of all of their different ways of managing stuff everywhere for you. Um, I was going to mention, uh, about how much I love managed services when you were talking about the vertex AI workbench, uh, because then doing the work for us is really what I appreciate. Right. Um, and so having them then reach out into so many more places, um, with, uh, Google distributed cloud. I think that's a really interesting thing.

So they had, uh, four categories of locations where they're managing things for you. Um, there's the Google network edge with all of their points of presence, 140 of those around the world or whatever. Um, there's the operator edge where they, they interact with telecoms and manage responsiveness right at the edge of, of like cell phone and other connected devices. Um, there's the customer edge. So like on a factory floor or in a retail business that store or something like that, um, where they need to do processing right there and have a responsiveness or offline capability or whatever, possibly. Um,

and then also the customer data centers. So not even just Google's cloud but the customer data centers, colo facilities or whatever, and that's not even getting into how they have, uh, now a newAPI for multicloud. Um, so they demoed at one point, um, deploying to both GCP and Azure, um, through the multicloud API for Anthos and they're just, they're rolling it out everywhere, right? So if you want to have Google manage stuff for you, that's the way to do it. So I thought it was a lot of really interesting things that came together, um, to, to sort of put that, um, that package together for, for a lot of organizations that are looking at multi-cloud and wanting that sort of functionality, but also want the benefits of not having to manage stuff. Yeah. You know,

I think this really does reflect a lot of Google's worldview and something that you and I have talked about is often comes into the, even the exams where they don't look at it, like, Hey, everybody come onto our platform and we'll just teach you our platform. No, what they want to have you know, is how to work in the real world. And they realize that not everybody is on the cloud, but people are moving there. And so they want to make that easier. They're basically going to where the customers are, you know? So whether you're dealing with a hybrid cloud situation, working with your on-prem and, uh, hopefully Google cloud, but maybe not, or trying to, uh, go multicloud and take advantage of some services that Azure have that are better or AWS that are better. And combine those with, uh, the Google cloud services that are top-notch. So this whole approach,

this distributed cloud, uh, way of working, I think really, I don't know, it's kinda, to me, it was kind of like, this is the Google worldview. This is how they see reality. Yeah, I totally agree. Um, and especially when it comes to data too, right. Understanding that, uh, siloing data even on a cloud environment is, error prone as well. So, you know, understanding that, you know, to allow their customers to query data based on different cloud platforms is the reason that, you know, now BigQuery Omni is now in GA. So, you know, um, this is something that I think Google realized a long time ago, even with, you know, creating Kubernetes.

Hey Broadus, I'm really glad you mentioned bigquery Omni, because I think that bigquery Omni is a really interesting thing in what it represents. So we've all heard of a bigquery. Um, if we've been looking at data warehousing and whatnot, we've seen how much bigquery is loved, um, to be able to in a serverless way, query against all of your data. Um, and, uh, you know, use SQL queries even, right. And it doesn't, it scales madly, but doesn't require you to have a noSQL database. So being able to access bigquery through bigquery Omni on AWS and Azure, having that generally available is really awesome.

I'm really excited that that is now available, but I'm also really excited in what that means. Uh, because I think that it means that Google is taking a look at other technology that they've got that those Google engineers, which are all obviously really smart people, that what they've built, we love GCP because of that great stuff. I think that they're looking at taking more of those things out to the other clouds as well. And so I'm definitely interested to see what they bring down the road. Sure. I think what Google, you know,

like you said before you or Joe, when you said, you know, Google is now becoming a platform and it's not about, 'Hey, come to our platform and use our products' but what they're doing to me, looking on on the outside, looking in is being able to figure out what the other cloud platforms need, right? What their customers need. So now AWS and Azure would need their services to operate. So using Google services, now they're just collecting data, analyzing how it works, how it helps, how it integrates. And then innovation will come where they're bringing a service that is going to be needed by those cloud platforms itself. So eliminate the competition, but collaborate.

And that creates a bigger cloud market. So that's where I see it going. Oh, and they also, they have with a bigquery Omni taken an existing service and expanded it. And, uh, you mentioned serverless before, and I know you're kind of chomping at the bit to get to the serverless things. And so I'm going to beat you there because, uh, because I, I agree, you know, and I, I took a look at, um, uh, what's up with serverless and what's new and serverless, um, that session. And, uh, that was fascinating because they said we went through all the big changes for, uh, cloud functions and cloud runs into a lesser extent, uh, cloud build. But,

uh, they really are taking their strengths and building on those and making them better than ever. So for example, cloud functions, they've added more runtimes. Uh, they have Ruby now, .net core, PHP even, and they've updated their Python to more recent versions, like three dot nine. And node.JS is, uh,

they even are previewing six version 16 of that. So they're really moving forward with that, but they've also expanded what cloud functions can do, how you work with them for build customization. So you have private worker pools. So rather than having just the completely out of your control, how the cloud function is built, you can now specify a private worker pool and even build environment variables for that. And one of the best things is they've added minimum instances to the functionality, and that will help people avoid the cold start of a function, which spins up very quickly. But still,

if you have a warm cloud function already set to go, you avoid that cold start timeframe completely. Well, as much as I'm a serverless purist. Um, I was gonna mention that being able to set minimum instances for cloud functions is actually a good thing. Uh, same with cloud run actually, um, that where, you know, you can pin it and have them running, uh, to do background processing and all that sort of stuff. It really does fit, uh, circumstances that aren't just the event driven, um, sort of a model.

And I think what it does is it helps more organizations adopt these technologies in a way that works for them. Yeah. I don't know how many times that comes up in conversation in dev teams like, oh, well, what are we going to do? Like, do we have to reimplement the whole thing? And I mean, how often does that get approved? Right. Um, unless it's a super quick thing. It really doesn't. Yeah. So, um, being able to get that much further forward by adopting what works for your circumstance, and then take a look at tweaking things, changing them down the road, um, incremental progress is always a great strategy to consider, right? So. And you mentioned cloud run as part of, uh, some of the enhancements that are coming.

And I was really also taken with what was happening there that now they've, they have a, what they call a second generation execution environment that you can opt for, which offers increased network and CPU performance. They have full Linux capabilities and even network file system support. And I thought that was kind of phenomenal. And as you said, they now allow you to develop locally, uh, your cloud run apps with a new emulator, and they can even deploy locally with a three word command. I mean, you've got to love the three word command. I've always been kind of jealous, um,

with, uh, with app engine, you go G cloud app deploy and you go ZING! And, you know, all the other G cloud commands are 15 words with double, uh, dash flags and everything. So Cloud run now has climbed onto that ship, and now it can slide this flag G cloud run deploy. And so, uh, they're often running very quickly and it's all, it is again, taking a service, that's getting a lot of traction and improving on it and adding a lot of more security to it as well. And they've done that, that also seemed to be a theme of the conferences were bolstering security across the board. Well, I definitely appreciate the short command lines cause I pay per character.

Like there's, I have to put more quarters in on the side here. Otherwise you are subs working. Right. So yeah, definitely important. Uh, no, I'm just being silly of course, but, uh, the usability from a developer's perspective is a really big deal, right? So not having things that are really complicated, uh, and being able to, to then deploy in debug, locally, uh, in an emulator. I mean, that's a really big thing because for a long time, the development story of serverless has been one of the harder, um, worst parts of, uh, of going in that direction, that strategy. Um, and, uh, I love that these things are now getting so much more attention.

They're getting more support. Yeah. That's an interesting, uh, point Mattias and also working with, uh, Google workflows as well, where you have now implemented HTTP callbacks, uh, GCP API connectors, where, you know, uh, at Google next it was talking about working with Document AI, the new API from GCP. That's really gonna be, uh, I see it a, more of a competition with a service like Typeform, where now you can use artificial intelligence and, uh, typical machine learning to, uh, understand the type of documents that you need. Right. And look at where a document structure and

how your documents should be placed as far as whether you have invoices contracts, anything that you're really presenting. Um, workflows is a, a great tool that's really connected with that and more memory and concurrency as well. So, uh, I've seen some exciting stuff with Google workflows, especially with the document AI, which I think is a pretty interesting thing to put on your playlist to check it out because, you know, they have some, uh, uh, git hub that you can pull from, even do a deep dive into how that works, where, you know, creating the service accounts and everything and deploying and looking at, uh, what does that look like as far as the real world scenario? So, yeah, pretty exciting things. Another cool thing was the first class spark support, actually, because now Google will be managing spark for you. Um, and that, that is, I like it when Google manages stuff for us. Right. Um,

so one of the things is the serverless, even so devs can just ignore the, all of the clusters jobs and all that. Well, you just submit a job and then Google will take care of provisioning clusters, and auto-scaling it all for you making sure that that job runs. So taking away all of that stuff you don't need to care about is definitely a great thing. And there's also, first-class spark support in other places. Now these are in private preview, but you can get it in bigquery, in vertex AI and DataPlex. Uh, so those are definitely some extra interesting goodness for people who use Spark.

Great man. And I want to talk about the must watch segments on Google next as well. Um, it was an interesting, um, I guess it was a session, not a keynote, but a conversation with Vince Cerf and Jim Hogan on the disability in tech where, uh, Jim Hogan was talking about himself being autistic and not really being comfortable with, uh, putting that out there to his peers and his employers, but the home that he found at Google where not only did, uh, he felt accepted and felt, you know, nurtured, but he felt that Google was actually making a statement by training other employees, to be able to understand what it's like, you know, for people with disabilities and how to communicate and connect with them as well. I think that was a pretty awesome, uh, session to look at and just to see, uh, Google take that initiative, that a lot of companies wouldn't even dare to try to even understand. Being able to have that inclusive ecosystem to help everyone thrive.

I think that's, that's huge kudos for Google. Yeah. I caught that session too. It was definitely a, um, a great one to, to watch, um, encouraging and it gives us, um, it gives us the ability to, to take a look at some of our assumptions, uh, when we're interacting with people, what are we assuming about that? Um, and how can we do a better job? So I was going to go back and recommend that people watch the developer keynote if they hadn't had an opportunity to do that because not only does it have that great demo that I mentioned, uh, with the text to speech and different languages, uh, and have a nice reference to project Euphonia and a link to that, um, that is very interesting in and of itself, but they really hit the, uh, main key points of why they are a company for developers. And they went over a lot of the toolings, which you may be familiar with, like cloud shell, but went into it with some more depth, really explaining and revealing some things that I had not known or had not remembered or some of the capabilities of it. Um, and that's always expanding. Well,

one other thing that I wanted to mention was the, uh, security is, was kind of really a really big thread throughout the entire conference. And, uh, it was specifically mentioned that Google is now adhering to salsa, which is an industry standard, not just a delicious dish, but they are using it for their Anthos service mesh and their cloud build hybrid systems, which allow full compliance and allow Google to implement binary authorization where, so that a policy can be set to make sure that what's being deployed is something that your company wants to be deployed. binary authorizations is one of those things that doesn't sound very exciting, Yeah, but it, uh, it actually protects the business and the development, uh, pipeline. Right. So, um, it's a really important thing. So I'm really glad to see also that they're incorporating that more places.

So that's cool. So you mentioned some themes, you mentioned security was one of the themes. Um, I think we talked also about, um, diversity and inclusion, uh, as one of the themes that came up a bunch. Um, another theme I saw a lot actually with sustainability and environmental impact. Um, I saw that they have a number of new tools for people to use to identify their environmental impact with the workloads that they're running. Um, so those are definitely some interesting things. So,

Hey, do we have any final takeaways? How about you Broadus? You know, I think with my final takeaways is not that Google was focusing on more new services this time. Um, but more improvement to the already existing services and the relationships that they're trying to build with, uh, other companies and other cloud service providers. I mean, for me, once again, it was, it was pretty, uh, right in front of your face that Google is trying to just, you know, have their customers be able to interact with other cloud service providers. And then I think, you know, in maybe a year or two to come innovate some more, uh, solutions that they can continue to do that and also help other cloud service providers thrive as well in the ecosystem. So, you know, it was all about, you know, like you said, sustainability security, um, more about artificial intelligence and machine learning where the future is going to be. And Google has it all in their hands.

One of the key innovations that none of us have talked about, I think we really should focus on is how Google has managed to just improve the efficiency of the conference. I mean, last year, what was it? Nine weeks of conferences. And now look at them, they've gotten it down to three days. I mean, that's phenomenal. You've got to admire that efficiency. Well, I have to thank you both.

I really have had a great time chatting with you both about Google cloud next 21. And I'm looking forward to chatting with you guys about other stuff, the other times we bump into each other, but, uh, I'm sure that all of our viewers have gotten a good value out of hearing your perspectives on these things. And I should also mention that these two fine gentlemen have lots of GCP based courses on our platform. So you should definitely check that out. Um, we have a link to that as well. Um, and one of the important things that you should know is that we do have a free plan that you can check out.

You don't even have to put in a credit card number and you can start taking real courses. I'm not sure if any of yours are in the rotation this month, but maybe next month. So sign up for the free plan now. Well, Hey, that's about all the time we have for now, but we would love to continue the conversation with you. So why don't you join our discord and let us know what you thought about Google cloud next 21, thanks to Broadus and Joe for joining me and chatting all things next 21, it's been a bunch of fun and all of you watching take care, stay safe and keep being awesome. Cloud gurus.

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