NGIS’ Richard Greene attended Google Cloud Next 19’ last week in San Francisco. The conference convenes Google’s international network of partners, developers and anyone passionate about an accessible, scalable, socially responsible cloud to discuss expected product developments, news and releases.
Richard reflects on his week at the conference:
I arrived in San Francisco and headed to the Partner Summit reception. I was very pleased to meet with Fabrizio Blanco, Chief Technology Officer of Viant, who was attending the conference to speak about Viant’s use of BigQuery.
Fabrizio focused his talk on how BigQuery makes it possible to deal with the ingestion of multi megabytes of data every second. We spoke for a long time on subjects like innovation, how to inspire developers, setting up good DevOps practices and the directions Google may take BigQuery.
During the keynote address, it was clear to see that Google are very focused on high scale compute and that there are new Virtual Machine configurations expected soon. The star of the show was Anthos (formerly Cloud Services Platform), a service designed for the hybrid cloud which runs either locally or on multiple cloud environments.
There were also walk-on presentations from large corporations using Google such as Sanjay Poonen from VMWare and Alpna Doshi from Philips.
I began a mission to try and improve 3D support in BigQuery by raising it with Google’s development team. It is clear that BigQuery is an exciting area for all involved with Google, it had a large stand at the centre of the conference floor and plenty of interest from conference attendees.
There were also plenty of new announcements at day two of Next during the Product Innovation Keynote. TensorFlow has been given an upgrade and version 2.0 is now in Alpha, which greatly improves and simplifies the creation of Neural Nets and Machine learning models. Close integration with the Keras API, a high-level language extension adds a level of abstraction, removes issues faced when coding complex models.
GitOps was a new term I had not heard before and seems to be playing a big role in the Kubernetes space. GitOps is the art and science of using Git pull requests to manage infrastructure provisioning and software deployment.
Some other new releases on day two included; Cloud Data Fusion, BigQuery BI Engine and Connected Sheets. One of the most exciting announcements was Google’s AI Hub, a repository with one-click deployment for machine learning teams. Some new out-of-the-box prebuilt Machine Learning features include; Document Understand AI, Recommendation AI and Contact Centre AI.
On day three, I was able to try out Data Studio which was impressive, easy to use and its ability to scale to work quickly over billions of rows of data was amazing. I suspected it is trying to be a competitor to PowerBI.
Cloud Firestore has been improved with regard to default permissions, something that was needed to improve security. There is now a simulator developers can use for checking their custom security and data rules. Organisational level security controls are also available via Identity and Access Management roles and GCP user groups. Another welcome improvement was more descriptive error messages.
Stack driver, which performs monitoring, logging and diagnostics to help businesses ensure optimal performance and availability, has been given three new services:
Stackdriver Trace - a distributed tracing system that collects latency data from your applications and displays it in the Google Cloud Platform Console
Stackdriver Profiler - Generates usage data and provides visualisation for which processes are running slow
Stackdriver Debugger - An interesting service that allows developers take a product copy of everything at a specific time and then follow the code processing. This would be useful for any apps that are having issues and require additional support
All in all, it was a great week in San Francisco. My mission was to start the conversation about 3D support in BigQuery, did I get the attention of enough Googlers to make it happen? We will have to wait and see!
If you couldn’t be there, you can view the proceedings on the Next On-Air Archive. For a free opportunity to learn Google Cloud, you can attend the forthcoming 'Cloud Study Jams' around Australia. More information via this link.
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