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Google today on Google Cloud Next 2021 revealed that Workspace (formerly G Suite) is expanding with improvements to Google Meet, Chat and Spaces. In an accompanying announcement, the company detailed Distributed Cloud, a portfolio of solutions designed to expand the infrastructure for data centers and edge hardware.
The updates come as organizations embrace digital collaboration, motivated by pandemic-related migrations toward teleworking. According to Omdia, only 24% of employees will have permanent residence in an office and work at a single desk, while 58% will either be purely domestic workers or hybrid workers.
The switch to digital accelerated cloud recording even before the pandemic – IDG reports that the average cloud budget increased from $ 1.62 million in 2016 to as much as $ 2.2 million in 2018. But some workloads can not move to the public cloud completely or with it the same due to industry- and region-specific compliance and data sovereignty needs as well as low latency and local data processing requirements.
Distributed Cloud is built on Anthos, Google’s open source-based platform for managing infrastructure and apps in local, edge and public clouds. Customers can use it to migrate apps and process data locally with Google Cloud services in addition to third-party products such as Cisco, Dell, HPE and NetApp.
Distributed Cloud is architectured to run multiple locations, including network edge, operator edge, customer edge, and customer data centers. Google points out that the solution can leverage its over 140 edge placements around the world. Distributed Cloud can also benefit from 5G and LTE services from communications service providers (CSPs), whether they are distributed across retail stores and factory floors or local server banks and co-location facilities.
Distributed Cloud Edge is available in preview and allows businesses to run 5G core and radio access networking features on the edge with enterprise apps. It supports utility cases such as Computer vision and AI connections, local computing, low-latency edge-calculated workloads, and implementation of private 5G and LTE solutions. Dealers can e.g. Deliver apps on a Google Network location using Distributed Cloud Edge, while CSPs can offer high-speed private 5G bandwidth and localized computing to their customers.
Meanwhile, Distributed Cloud Hosting, scheduled to launch in the first half of 2022, supports public customers and businesses that have strict requirements for data service, security or confidentiality. It does not require a connection to Google Cloud to manage infrastructure, services, APIs or tools according to Google, and it uses a local control plane provided by Anthos for operations.
The rollout of Distributed Cloud follows Anthos’s general availability two years ago and expanded support for Amazon Web Services and Azure a year ago. In addition to services like Anthos Config Management, Anthos Service Mesh and Migrate for Anthos, Distributed Cloud is part of Google Cloud’s reported, ambitious plan to beat market rivals by 2023, when the public cloud computing market barrels at $ 482 billion in value.
“Now, more than ever, organizations are seeking to accelerate their cloud adoption. They want easier development, faster innovation and efficient scale, while reducing their technology risk, ”Google wrote in a blog post. “As the work continues to evolve, we are particularly committed to the concept of equal collaboration: the ability for everyone to participate and create influence regardless of their location, technical skills, language preference or unity… We continue to strengthen frontline workers and IT teams alike . ”
On the Gmail page, Google brings AppSheet, its app without code and automation development platform, to email inboxes with a new integration. Using it, customers can perform tasks like approving budgets and vacation requests, updating inventory and asset management systems, and more directly from Gmail.
Google acquired AppSheet in 2020 for an undisclosed amount. At the time, Google Cloud VP Amit Zavery said the acquisition would complement Google’s strategy of “resuming the application development space” with “help[ing] [businesses] innovate ”with workflow automation, app support and API management. “Customers will be able to develop richer [apps] on a scale that utilizes not only Google Sheets and Forms that are already popular with customers, but other top Google technologies like Android, Maps and Google Analytics, ”Zavery wrote in a blog post.
And on the Workspace front, Google is releasing a new Atlassian code-developed Jira integration for Google Chat and Spaces that allows users to create new tickets, view previews, and monitor active issues. It’s based on Atlassian’s Trello integration with Gmail, which Atlassian’s chief product officer Joff Redfern says has been installed by more than 7 million people to date.
“Modern work requires people to change contexts and tools faster than ever before. We believe that an open ecosystem and tight integration between the tools that users trust every day are crucial to their success, ”Redfern said in a statement. “[We] is pleased to build on the partnership between Atlassian and Google to further accelerate the collaboration with Jira with Google Chat and Spaces. ”
Google says Workspace now has over 3 billion users and 5,300 public apps. To date, these users have completed 4.8 billion app installations in Workspace.
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