Demi Ben-Ari

Highlights from Google Cloud Next 2018

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Like every year, I was really excited to be invited to Google Cloud’s flagship event, “Google Cloud Next” in San Francisco.

This time Google Next attracted more than 25,000 people (twice more than last year!). More so, it was great being invited to an exclusive event of the Google Cloud community which meant meeting other Google Developer Experts (aka GDEs) and Google executives allowing for deep feedback.

I also had the opportunity to present “Kubernetes Fueled Hackers”, a talk on Panorays’ usage of open source and Google Cloud to help assess cyber security posture

After attending the keynotes and sessions at the conference, as well as talking with lots of Googlers, here are my 5 takeaways from the conference. Not an easy choice considering that there were more than 100 new announcements:

  1. Kubernetes, Kubernetes, Kubernetes… 
    With so many announcements in the field of Kubernetes and containers, it sounded as though anything to do with development had to include Kubernetes.
    There were announcements in regards to machine learning on Kubernetes with Kubeflow and service mesh architecture with Istio. Other announcements were around running serverless on Kubernetes.
    However, one of the most exciting and revolutionary announcements geared towards the enterprise was the new ability to run a managed version of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). GKE until lately was offered only on Google Cloud services. Google’s announcement of GKE On-Prem alpha version allows now also for an On-Premises environment.
    I found the ability to control both Cloud and On Premises environments from one place and from one console pretty amazing. Undoubtedly, for enterprises that were having a hard time migrating and porting their solutions to the cloud, this capability will provide them with an easy and secure way to do so.

  2. Monitoring and DevOps-oriented announcements.
    These announcements were made in the context of StackDriver (Google Cloud Platform’s Monitoring stack).
    At Panorays, we widely use StackDriver in combination with Coralogix to accurately alert on application anomalies for the development and production environments.
    The cool thing about the StackDriver announcement is that Google has invested in additional logging, tracing, debugging and alerting capabilities. It already paid off for us - we implemented these into our platform, saving us time and effort, while allowing for a seamless integration with our Kubernetes clusters on StackDriver.
    With just one click (or API call) we defined that all of our product metrics and data would be transported to StackDriver. We now have full transparency to our whole environment. As a developer, this “NoOps” approach is true innovation.  All I’m missing now is that anomaly detection which would be nice to have in a single platform.

  3. Security
    How can we proceed without security announcements?! Google has invested a lot of effort in the security field too. For example, one of the great things announced was the Titan Security Key—A FIDO security key that includes firmware developed by Google to verify the user’s integrity. The key integrates with the Google Cloud and GSuite tools for contextual-based authentication, supporting enterprise grade security.
    Other announcements included the release of new tools for the secure development of containers and VM environments.
    Google also announced their online application protection through their Cloud Armor service.

  4. Case Studies
    GSuite and Google Drive were always considered a consumer-product. However, this year the two became first class citizens with enterprises and financial institutions adopting them.
    The new Google enterprise customers presented how they enhanced their own security and identity management processes as well as increased the productivity of their employees through the GSuite tools.
    As I see it, enterprises already have no choice but to adopt the Cloud. Obviously, the Cloud is the future for them - saving resources and shortening the time to market of their business.

  5. Developer Relations
    As a software engineer and a technologist, the most exciting sessions at the conference were those presentations and announcements made by the amazing Developer Relations team at Google. In fact, the whole third day was focused on Developer Relations.
    The day started off with an outstanding presentation by Kelsey Hightower (Developer Advocate). He went on stage, and with live coding, he created a fully functional weather application - using databases, machine learning, voice recognition and Web applications. He developed this weather application just by using Google Cloud services.
    Another fascinating presentation was by Miles Ward (Director, Solutions Architecture, Google Cloud) who in just 16 lines of code developed an AI-based photo recognition solution.
    Last, I have to share these oh-so-funny-yet-oh-so-true statements:
    1. “Remember, the price of admission to Kubernetes is a container image”
    2. “Good programmers copy; Great programmers paste"

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