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In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, cloud technology has become an indispensable tool for organizations seeking to streamline operations, scale efficiently, and drive innovation. Our recent study—the C2C Member Pulse—collected 461 responses in March 2023, from which we examined trends in the role of Google Cloud for our community members. Our analysis sheds light on the prevalent skill gaps within organizations and their priorities and challenges concerning cloud technology adoption.We also recognized the significance of the role of community in supporting and enriching the overall cloud experience. A vibrant and supportive community is pivotal for knowledge sharing, problem-solving, and collaboration. The perspectives we collected—from customer and partner members across various roles—will be instrumental to how C2C addresses member concerns, improves community programs, and empowers individuals.Whether you are an IT professional, a business leader, or simply curious about the future of cloud technology, the key takeaways in this article offer an excellent insight into what’s most relevant to a community full of Google Cloud users. By exploring what others are doing with Google Cloud, C2C members can gain a competitive edge, make informed decisions, and drive successful cloud initiatives within their organizations. Key Takeaways Based on the feedback and insights we gathered from community members like you, we have identified key areas where we can enhance your experience and foster a stronger sense of connection within the community. One of the top priorities highlighted in the report is the need for more guidance on cloud management and integration support. For 2023, respondents identified their top area of focus as cloud management, including cloud costs, optimization, and governance. We also recognize that navigating cloud integration can be challenging, though we believe the community will benefit from more members sharing success stories that include integration best practices such as data consolidation and dealing with incompatibility between products. Upskilling to meet digital transformation goals is crucial, and respondents rely heavily on Google Cloud training and certifications for this purpose. This is true for organizations filling skill gaps and for individuals seeking professional development. C2C has an opportunity to support members with more skills-based content, mainly because almost all respondents' organizations are relying on permanent staff learning Google Cloud skills on the job for projects. Key areas where skills are missing include cloud security and data protection, ML model training and deployment, and cloud architecture design and scalability. AI is on respondents' radar—it’s the top Google Cloud product area members are considering for future exploration. With generative AI making waves across the industry at all organizational levels, we can expect that members will continue to show interest in these topics. However, in-house development of AI tools is a low priority, and training ML models isn’t a skill every organization has. When it comes to AI, most organizations will benefit from preparing to begin the discovery phase.Identity and security, however, are at the top of the list of respondents' current needs as the most used solution area. Within Google Cloud, products for access management, security operations and automation, and monitoring will be more immediately important. When it comes to events, we want to emphasize the invaluable opportunities we provide in all the areas members identified as reasons they attend: networking, training, and direct access to other customers, partners, and product managers. By participating in C2C events, you can connect with fellow community members and gain insights directly from the experts behind the solutions you use. Most members will be attending a mixture of both virtual and in-person events in 2023. Join us in making the most of these incredible experiences. Who Participated in the Survey We saw a fairly even split between respondents coming from customer and partner organizations located in key geographic regions for C2C: North America, EMEA, Latin America, and JAPAC. Historically, our largest active member bases have been in the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, corresponding with the representation of responses we saw in this survey. Job role was one of the most impactful factors in the choices respondents made to behavioral questions about community and events. Understanding our members’ job roles and each of their requirements is crucial to identifying the professional development opportunities and networking events that most align with their career goals. View image full-scale here. Get the Most of Community As members of our community, your voices shape our initiatives. While we learned a lot about you collectively in this survey, we also want to meet your needs as an individual. Take a moment to update your profile today, and ensure you're receiving the most relevant and valuable content tailored specifically for your interests. Update Your Preferences
Palo Alto Networks, AMD, High Radius, Automation Anywhere, Rackspace, Michaels Stores, Lytics, Ancestry INC, Workspot Cloud Adoption Summit Sunnyvale, CA April 27th 2023 For organizations far along in their cloud journey or just at the beginning, this full day summit offered insightful perspectives on all stages of interaction with the cloud. The Cloud Adoption Summit in Sunnyvale featured a variety of Google Cloud customers that shared their stories surrounding securing cloud adoption, cloud cost optimization, and how to leverage AI when migrating to the cloud. The program at this 2Gather also featured an interactive partner panel led by Jim Anderson, the Vice President of North America Partners at Google, focused breakout sessions that featured shared experiences and challenges from key leaders, and a panel led by Olga Lykova @OlgaLykovaMBA , Head of Go To Market at Workspot, featuring speakers from Intel, Salesforce, Google and LinkedIn. Dwyane Mann, CISO & VP Of AI, Fraud and Data at Michaels Stores shared a cloud journey story that focused on the different options an organization is presented with when migrating to the cloud. The session discussed the distinction between creating a new infrastructure and a conventional cloud migration. These differences include cost structure, design frameworks, and team dynamics. Key takeaways and lessons shared with the audience include:Conduct MVP’s, which is the method whereby only core features that solve specific issues are deployed. Identify core features and cost management strategies with leadership early in the process to reduce friction points in the future. Effectively label each stage within a cloud migration and its functionality. Involve more teams in the cost project to increase transparency.
Please introduce yourself.My name is Olga Lykova. Actually, it’s Olga Ivanou. I’m newly married and getting used to using the new last name.I currently go by three titles. I work at Workspot and I have recently been promoted to run all of the go-to-market. I’m responsible for cloud partnerships with companies like Google, AWS, Microsoft, Intel, and NetApp. I also run our business development team and partner marketing, so a lot of the initiatives with C2C are under my realm.I’m also a founder of Women in Industries, which is a 10-year-old network. The network is known for their annual panels featuring executive women leaders who share their experiences in an open forum to help professionals discover how to build their dream career, overcome obstacles, build their support bench, find mentorship and sponsorship, and navigate specialization change in pursuit of a "dream job." It is rare that we can have open discussions about what an ideal career looks like. In the last 10 years we had multiple C-level executives from Google, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Adobe, and even the NBA join our panels, sharing their diverse experience with our network.My third title is Thought Leader for Forbes Business Council, I write articles on business trends and leadership insights. What is your secret to managing a team of people?I think this is a twofold concept. First is managing the partners, and second is managing the team. Managing partners is about determining what drives them and what their key motivators are, which has helped me a lot. Working with C2C, I view you as a partner, and it’s about bringing the right customers that will share an exciting story or thought-provoking content. I think about what a partner needs and then build a go-to-market strategy surrounding that. For companies who have a great product that fills a gap for a well-known brand, the best way to generate revenue is to attach themselves to the partner. It is a very different way of marketing because you have to become an extension of a different sales team, speak their language, and ensure ongoing transparency with customers and partners. When it comes to building my team, I don’t usually state a salary range when interviewing. My favorite question to ask is, “what would make you happy?” We define ourselves in a title role as well as the monetary component, and I don’t want to limit people to a certain number. I want to figure out what makes them happy in that role. That’s been my winning formula to get the right people who also feel appreciated by the company. I also always want to recognize the work of people who go above and beyond. When people get creative and push for new ideas, I try to recognize them in front of the executives on a weekly basis. How has your journey been becoming an official member of the Forbes Business Development Council?Every time I went to events, I would bring my notepad. At my first company, Apttus, I suggested the idea of turning my notes into a blog post about post-event content. When I joined Copper and was working with their marketing team, I thought we could elevate content further by discussing the journeys of start-ups, since we were working with many of them at the time. One of the CMOs suggested that I should write for Forbes, since I was already writing about webinars and doing a lot of content output. I applied, did the interview process and now I’ve been writing for them for 4 years.It’s all about different topics, and I love how it’s open. It’s similar to what C2C advocates for about sharing insights and best practices and staying away from a sales pitch. It’s easy to start making content look like a sales pitch, so I have to take a step back and remember to talk about what customers are asking for. My favorite article was writing about top tips I’ve heard over the years from leaders. A tip that has still stuck with me is anytime you have an issue, don’t hide behind an email. Pick up the phone and talk to the other person, no matter how uncomfortable it is. Works every time! What is the best advice you have ever received? One of my biggest motivators is Corinne Sklar, Vice President of Marketing at IBM Consulting. We worked together on multiple panels, and she has really inspired me. She once said, “do you have that crazy feeling of being excited and nervous in your stomach when you are doing something?” I said, always. She goes “keep that feeling, because that’s your motivator, and that’s how you know that you’re learning”. When I feel nervous about not knowing how to do something, I realize I'm actually in the process of learning and figuring it out. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? I think the industry that Workspot is in is at a pivotal point. The industry is on a peak of change, and I never worked for a company that had a product that was so ahead of the game until I worked at Workspot. I think the biggest opportunity for us is to amplify that message. The challenge I want to figure out is, while the industry is changing, I want to see how customers react to it and how we tackle industry changes. On a personal level, I’ve always wanted to create a one-stop shop where people can come and thrive. I started writing a book called “Rules to Thrive.” I was looking at the definition of thrive, and the word itself means “to grow vigorously, flourish, gain wealth or possession, and prosper”. I think that definition incorporates learning, growing and achieving success. I don’t believe it’s an end destination, because we’re always trying to grow. Once you achieve one dream, you start dreaming again. I want to unite young professionals and small businesses together to become that one-stop shop for successful career growth. The end goal after 5 years is to be that one place where people can network about a variety of subjects and topics through referrals as well as advocating for things that work. What is your favorite aspect of being a keynote speaker at our events? In that room, you have people who want to be there. It’s a gathering of people who are curious and want to do better for their company. You are in a place where the mindset is amazing, because they are not required to be there, they want to be there. My favorite part is not only do we get to talk about the lessons we have learned, but we also get to share things to avoid. We get a chance to be transparent about what’s possible and what’s not possible. I always encourage our customers to share what didn’t work and what could have been done differently. In the audience, I’d say one out of 5 people may have been considering a similar project, and as speakers we are giving them the tools to learn. I think when you share what didn’t work, they walk away with something tangible, where they can re-evaluate how to tackle something. Also, it’s just really fun! You feel like you’re a part of a community, not just an event. How does Workspot empower female employees? I think it’s about who wants to step in and help. I don’t think we differentiate who it is and who wants to do it. We know what the issues and gaps are within the company, and it’s about people who raise their hands to get stuff done. I think there’s room to grow, but for many people, it has to do with the ability to ask for it. I think many of us think, if I don’t fill two out of five requirements for a job, I’m not going to apply for it.Just recently, my mother was applying for a job and then didn't want to apply because she didn’t fit all the requirements. I told her that you can learn on the job and the company can teach you. This is the mindset that needs to change, because you don’t have to fit all the requirements for the job description, you just have to have the willingness to learn and to be able to ask questions. Workspot enables employees to do that, you just have to ask for the opportunity. What inspired you to become a founder of the Women in Industries Network? Apttus, now Conga, was the first tech company I ever worked for, and I didn’t really understand how to evolve in my role. Partnerships and go-to-market was a new concept for me, and these are newer roles in the industry all together. For me, I wanted to learn from my partners and start creating a community. We started doing events, and the first one was at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco, with around 50 people in attendance. After the event was done, I felt super motivated and received the insights that I wanted. A few months later, people were asking if we were going to do this again. It then evolved into more sessions, and just last year we hosted a female panel that talked about making six figures. Another topic that was covered was how we can help people to land their dream interview and prep them on how to stand out. It started from my own natural curiosity and then turned into a few thousand members10 years later. Check out our other Women in Cloud articles here:Women in Cloud: Meet Shobana ShankarWomen in Cloud: Meet Clair Hur
Please introduce yourself! My name is Shobana Shankar and I’ve currently been at Google for 5 years leading the ISV Sales Specialist team. I have been in a few previous roles at Google, such as initiatives related to resellers. However, the current focus right now is on ISVs. There is a lot of growth expected over the next few years for us in this area, which is very exciting! What were some of your hobbies and interests growing up that you think led to your current career path? I have had hobbies and interests all over the map. Growing up, I was highly involved in competitive sports. Track and field as well as volleyball were some of my favorites. I was also working towards joining the Olympics team during high school. Overall, I played a lot of sports for my district and for my state. I never really saw a classroom on a daily basis because all I wanted to do was be out there playing sports. The competitiveness, team dynamics, and the end goal of winning a game is what really drove me towards athletics. After my dad moved to the United States, my passions eventually switched. I found myself becoming involved with dancing. From hip-hop, modern contemporary, and Bollywood, I indulged myself in many different styles of dance.I’ve also always been interested in math and science, which naturally led me to pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer systems engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I was the only female in my class as well, but found myself very excited about the subject. I think teamwork, collaborating, and the idea of winning together are fundamental values that I have carried throughout my personal and professional life. I think of my team and I as one driving force trying to figure out how to succeed together, and my background in sports is what instilled my beliefs about team dynamics. What advice would you give women that are trying to break into this industry?I think any woman who wants to break out into this industry would benefit from finding a mentor. My mentor helped me to navigate difficult situations that I faced and I was able to follow the example of someone that I looked up to. They can also help you navigate the industry and connect you with people who can help you succeed. I also believe that representation is very important. There are now a lot of female leaders in the tech industry and success stories that are published and discussed, as well as success stories involving women. I think following those stories will inspire others to chase their dreams and eliminate any self-limiting beliefs. Believe in yourself and your passions and it will take you far! How can the tech industry demonstrate that it truly values female talent? I think there have been a lot of good changes that will continue to help. Organizations continuing to highlight female talent and creating an inclusive as well as equitable environment by celebrating the successes of women is making a positive impact. This also goes back to representation and showing women that this can be done and that they have the ability to do it themselves. Outside of that, Google is doing some amazing initiatives as well that involve promoting a culture that empowers female talent. What is your favorite aspect of working at Google Cloud?The people, hands down! The talent here is unmatchable, which leads to a great culture. There is a word we have here at Google, which is “Googleyness.” It’s hard to define at times, and everyone has their own unique perception of it. However, I think it’s a combination of grit and passion as well as doing things the right way. At Google, it is more about how you do it than what you do, which I think fosters a lot of positive energy and promotes collaboration. Could you share an empowering story that highlights being a woman in tech?Jim Anderson built a women’s community within the partner channel in our group that gets together on a monthly or quarterly basis. The group is rooted in sharing each other’s stories and how we’re navigating different environments as women. I shared a story as a part of the kickoff that was about me almost quitting full-time work to take care of my children. After the kickoff, I received so many messages from other women who shared a similar story. Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves, and we often tend to hide things that are going on, especially when you’re a mom. There’s so many scenarios that involve work and family that can often be stressful. I think it’s important to remember that there are many other people going through something similar who are trying to juggle 100 responsibilities at the same time. Having a supportive community and talking about it is what truly makes a positive difference. As a woman, how do you balance being career-oriented with other aspects of your life?I wish I had a magical answer for that question. It is not always the easiest, but I think taking it one day at a time is important. Thinking about your overarching goals and having a good support system is also helpful. When I just had my kids, COVID hit very hard, and I went from working in an office everyday to being fully remote with two small children, which was quite difficult. It was the leaders who made the difference during that time. For example, when I wanted to quit, It was the leaders who suggested taking two months to figure out what worked for me in terms of my working style. Within the first month, I was able to determine what would work for me, and it was the support from leadership that provided me with that flexibility. How did you realize Google Cloud was a good fit for you?I’ve always looked at Google as a great company to work for, since the beginning of my career. It’s known for its great talent, and we’ve all had a chance to use their products. Google Cloud reached out to me when I was working at a startup in San Francisco. Someone I worked with at Cisco who was at Google at the time reached out to me about the role. The interview process also reassured my positive perception of Google. The questions that were asked as well as discussing the culture demonstrated that Google truly cares about hiring the right leaders and people. The ground-breaking technology and amazing culture is why I know I’m at the right place. What advice would you give to women in tech who are still early in their career journey?Network! Look at people who are successful in the areas that you might have an interest in. Meet as many people as possible, explore different avenues, and definitely lock in that mentor. Have an open mind when meeting people, especially in tech. Networking can make a huge difference as you progress in your career and are looking for different transitions.
Cloud cost optimization is the process of minimizing resources without impacting performance and scalability of workloads within the cloud. Cloud cost best practices are rooted in determining methods to eliminate costs by identifying unwanted resources and scaling services accurately. There are many external factors including inflation and a changing labor market that force businesses to restructure financial priorities.Though many models of cloud computing offer flexible payment structures and pay-as-you go methods, cloud cost optimization strategies will allow businesses to tighten their grip on controlling resources. Additionally, cloud cost optimization tips will also highlight if the amount of resources being used are in alignment with the infrastructure and business goals of an organization.The following are strategies that will help run applications in the cloud at lower costs. 1. Eliminate Resources One of the most simple, yet effective cloud cost-saving strategies is to eliminate resources that are not fully benefiting a business. For example, users may allocate a service to a workload that is temporary. Once the project is complete, the service may not be eliminated instantly by an administrator, resulting in unwanted costs for the organization. A solution would be to examine the cloud infrastructure and look for servers that are no longer needed within the environment if they aren’t serving business needs. Cloud cost optimization strategies are not just about eliminating spending but also ensuring that costs are in alignment with an organization’s objectives. If a particular server or project is no longer serving a business, eliminating this resource will be beneficial as it enhances cloud infrastructure optimization.This can be accomplished through routine scanning and testing to identify resources that are idle. 2. Rightsize Services Rightsizing services is allocating cloud resources depending on the workload. By allocating resources, rightsizing allows users to analyze services and adjust them to the appropriate size depending on the needs of a business. By evaluating each service task and modifying the size until it matches a specific need, cloud computing services will maximize capacity at the lowest possible cost, resulting in cloud cost reduction. In addition, many businesses rely on vendors to deploy cloud resources when they do not understand operational goals. The solution to this problem is to develop rightsizing approaches that are customized to your business, strengthening cloud resource optimization. Customized approaches develop transparency by creating a clear view of what resources are needed for your specific cloud infrastructure. Rightsizing services will also assist with analyzing the volume of certain metrics that are being used and can inform business decision makers to either upgrade or terminate specific services. 3. Create A Budget Develop a clear budget between engineers, product managers, and other team members in regard to utilizing cloud computing services by setting a monthly budget rather than an arbitrary number. Building a culture that is rooted in transparency and cost awareness will also influence how users utilize cloud services. 4. Monitoring Cloud computing platforms may have some small incremental changes when it comes to pricing. However, users should keep an eye out for any unexpected spikes that may impact cloud spend optimization and overall spending. A solution here would be implementing an alert when cloud computing costs are going over the budget. Detecting the root of these large increases and analyzing the cause can also ensure that overspending on this particular factor will not occur again, allowing for stronger cloud cost control. 5. Select Accurate Storage Options Organizations need to consider many factors when selecting an appropriate storage option. Performance, security needs, and cost requirements are all components that should be taken into consideration when selecting an appropriate storage model. Selecting a storage tier that is user-friendly and is also aligned with a budget is critical to cloud cost efficiency. Storage tiers that are underused should also be removed for cloud cost reduction purposes. 6. Use Reserve Instances (RI’s) If an organization is using resources for a specific amount of time, consider purchasing a cloud cost optimization tool, such as a reserved instance. These are prepaid services that are discounted and are similar to saving plans that are ideal for steady workloads that have a clear timeline. When purchasing an RI, the organization selects the type, a region and a time frame that may vary depending on the purchase. 7. Manage Software License Costs Software licenses can often have high costs and monitoring them can be challenging in regard to cloud cost management. There are often forgotten fees that are associated with licenses and many organizations face the risk of paying for licenses that they have stopped using. Conducting a thorough software audit will not only help you to understand what software is being used within the business, but it will also demonstrate what software is critical and what licenses are no longer needed. 8. Define Clear Metrics Highlight what metrics are most important to your organization. Metrics, such as, performance, availability, and cost can also help to create reports and dashboards that outline activity in the cloud. Major cloud providers have a process whereby metrics are tagged which allow an organization to create a detailed report that provides insight on cloud cost analysis. These reports should be used to track spending as they outline trending patterns in regard to finances. 9. Schedule Cloud Services It is common for organizations to have services that are idle and not being used during certain times of the day. Reduce spending by scheduling services during specific time slots in order for them to be fully used. A duty scheduler tag can be used, and the scheduled services will then be implemented. Leveraging a heatmap can also help to establish when services are being underused in order to determine an effective scheduling arrangement. SADA, an organization that serves as a cloud consultant and helps other businesses in their own cloud journey, recognizes how effective this strategy can be. SADA’s Director of Customer FinOps, Rich Hoyer, states that “Of these strategies, we have found that scheduling cloud services’ runtimes are often one of the largest overlooked savings opportunities we encounter. Specifically, non-production workloads, such as testing, development, etc., are commonly left running full-time, 24/7, instead of being scheduled to run only when used. The potential savings of running those workloads only during business hours are often surprisingly large, and they can usually be realized via simple automation and modest revisions to maintenance schedules. The first step is to analyze exactly what is being spent on these resources during the hours they sit idle. The number is often large enough to quickly motivate the implementation of a workload scheduling regime!”
C2C’s Startups community kicked off 2023 with a quality virtual discussion about anything and everything related to Google Cloud! Attendees brought questions, solutions, and roadblocks that they were interested in working through with our team. This AMA invited startups currently enrolled in the Google for Startups Cloud Program who are facing challenges or need assistance with Google Cloud tools.At this 2Chat, Sprint into 2023 AMA with Google Cloud, our speakers covered:Assistance with Google Cloud tools An overview of the Google for Startups Cloud Program Tips on how to scaleWatch the full recording here: Not enrolled in the Google for Startups Cloud Program? You could be eligible for access to startup experts, Cloud cost coverage (up to $100,000 for each of the first two years), technical training, business support, and Google-wide offers. To receive benefits, you must have an active Google Cloud account.Apply here.Browse our previous Google Cloud Startups content and join the C2C Startups Community to continue the conversation. Extra Credit:Google for Startups Cloud Program Application Google for Startups Accelerators Google Cloud's Identity and Access Management (IAM) System Overview Creating and Managing Schemas Cloud Architecture Guidance and Topologies
Businesses adopt cloud technology first and foremost to transform and scale. In the foodservice industry, norms are changing every day, and technology that can keep pace with emerging pressures and needs will keep restaurants and foodservice providers modern. In a recent article for QSR Magazine, C2C President Josh Berman reviewed the biggest technological challenges the foodservice industry is facing in an increasingly remote world, from the growing popularity of takeout and delivery to the advent of “cloud kitchens,” or fully remote service establishments, and the Google Cloud strategies and tools available to businesses hoping to combat them, including CloudSQL, the Google Kubernetes Engine, and Google Maps Platform. In Josh’s long-term vision, “In the future, whatever its business model looks like, one way or another, every kitchen will operate on the cloud.” Read the full text of the article at QSR. Extra Credit: Josh also recently contributed an article about the five phases of response to supply chain disruption to the print edition of Inbound Logistics. If you didn’t catch it, an online version just went live! Read the full text of the article at Inbound Logistics.
Cost is a key issue for startups. If you are just thinking about how to build your company, predicting what you will pay for using Google Cloud can be challenging. Learning how the different products are priced will ensure you’re not met with any surprises when you receive your bill.Fernando Olvera (@ferolvera), Customer Engineering Manager, and Jeremy Massey (@jeremymassey), Startup Success Manager, Google Cloud, joined C2C for a 2Chat event to help you better understand how Google Cloud pricing works, covering topics such as:A Google Cloud pricing overview examining various scenarios How to get a clear understanding of your cloud infrastructure costs Useful pricing resources every Google Cloud customer should know how to find Watch the full video here: Extra Credit:Resources to Help Forecast Spend on Google Cloud Best Practices for Cost Optimization and Architectural Planning in GCP Browse our previous Google Cloud Startups content and join the C2C Startups Community to continue the conversation!
On May 12, C2C hosted its first east coast event at Google’s New York office. We believe in-person connections are invaluable to everyone in our community, especially when our members are able to immediately converse with amazing speakers who are sharing their journeys and business outcomes.The stories from this event—presented on stage from Google Cloud customers, partners, and employees—can all be reviewed below. A Warm Welcome from C2C and Google Cloud Opening the event was Marco ten Vaanholt (@artmarco), who leads C2C initiatives at Google Cloud. To kick things off, Marco prompted the audience to get to know each other, and all enthusiastically turned to their table neighbors. After Marco covered the history of C2C and our early adventures in hosting face to face events, Marcy Young (@Marcy.Young), Director of Partnerships at C2C, followed to reiterate our mission statement: we’re here to connect Google Cloud customers across the globe. Since March of 2021, when the C2C online community first launched, our community has grown in size to make valuable connections with people like Arsho Toubi (@Arsho Toubi), Customer Engineer, Google Cloud, who followed Young to introduce C2C’s partner speakers.All three introductory speakers emphasized the excitement of being able to make new connections in person again. As ten Vaanholt put it, peers introducing themselves and initiating new relationships is “the start of community building.” When Toubi announced “I received some business cards, and that was a fun experience I haven’t had in two years,” the room responded with a knowing laugh. Toubi also asked the Googlers in the room to stand up so others could identify them. “These are my colleagues,” she said. “We’re all here to help you navigate how to use GCP to your best advantage.” Getting to Know AMD and DoiT C2C partners and the sponsors for this event, DoiT and @AMD shared updates of the partnership between the two companies focused on cloud optimization.Michael Brzezinski (@mike.brzezinski), Global Sales Manager, AMD Spenser Paul (@spenserpaul), Head of Global Alliances, DoiTBrzezinski framed the two presentations as a response to a question he received from another attendee he met just before taking the stage, a question about how the two companies work together to enhance performance while reducing cost. One half of the answer is AMD’s compute processors, which Brzezinski introduced one by one. To complete the story of the partnership between the two companies, Spenser Paul of DoiT took the stage with his Labrador Milton. “I’m joining the stage with a dog, which means you won’t hear anything I’m saying from here on,” he said as he took the microphone. “And that’s totally okay.” The key to minimizing cost on AMD’s hardware, Paul explained, is DoiT’s Flexsave offering, which automates compute spend based on identified need within a workload. A Fireside Chat with DoiT and CurrentSpenser Paul, Head of Global Alliances, DoiT Trevor Marshall (@tmarshall), Chief Technology Officer, CurrentPaul invited Marshall to join him onstage, and both took a seat facing the audience, Milton resting down at Paul’s feet. After asking Marshall to give a brief introduction to Current, Paul asked him why Current chose Google Cloud. Marshall did not mince words: Current accepted a $100,000 credit allowance from Google after spending the same amount at AWS. Why did Current stay with Google Cloud? The Google Kubernetes Engine. “I like to say we came for the credits, but stayed for Kubernetes,” Marshall said. Paul wryly suggested the line be used for a marketing campaign. The conversation continued through Current’s journey to scale and its strategy around cost optimization along the way.When Paul opened questions to the audience, initially, none came up. Seeing an opportunity, Paul turned to Marshall and said, “Selfishly, I need to ask you: what’s going to happen with crypto?” Just in time, a guest asked what other functionalities Current will introduce in the future. After an optimistic but tight-lipped response from Marshall, another moment passed. Marshall offered Paul a comforting hand and said, “We’re all going to make it through,” before fielding a few more questions. Panel Discussion All our presenters, with the addition of Michael Beal (@MikeBeal), CEO, Data Capital Management reconvened on stage for a panel discussion. Toubi, who moderated the conversation, began by asking Michael Beal to introduce himself and his company, Data Capital Management, which uses AI to automate the investment process. Beal ran through Data Capital Management’s product development journey, and then, when he recalled the company’s initial approach from Google, playfully swatted Marshall and said, “The credits don’t hurt.” Toubi then guided Beal and Brzezinski through a discussion of different uses cases for High Performance Computing, particularly on AMD’s processors.When Toubi turned the panel’s attention to costs, Paul took the lead to explain in practical detail how DoiT’s offerings facilitate the optimization process. “I have an important question,” said Toubi. “Can DoiT do my taxes?” Then she put the guests on the spot to compare Google Cloud to AWS’s Graviton. Brzezinski was ready for the question. The initial cost savings Graviton provides, he explained, don’t translate to better price performance when taking into account the improved overall performance on Google Cloud. Other questions covered financial services use cases for security, additional strategies for optimizing workloads for price performance, and wish-list items for Google Cloud financing options.Marco ten Vaanholt kicked off the audience Q&A by asking what a Google Cloud customer community can do for the customers on the panel. Marshall said he’s interested in meeting talented developers, and Beal said he’s interested in meeting anyone who can give him ideas. As he put it, “Inspiration is always a very interesting value proposition.” After a couple more questions about estimating cost at peak performance and addressing customer pain points, Toubi asked each panelist to offer one piece of advice for someone considering using Google Cloud who isn’t already. Again, Paul saw a shot and took it. “If you’ve never been to Google before,” he said, “Come for the credits, stay for the Kubernetes.” Winding Down Following the presentations, all in attendance broke away to connect during a networking reception. To read more about it, check out the exclusive onsite report linked below in the Extra Credit section, and to get involved in the customer-to-customer connections happening in person in the C2C community, follow the link to our live event in Cambridge, MA to register and attend. We look forward to seeing you there! Extra Credit
The centerpiece of C2C’s virtual Earth Day conference, Clean Clouds, Happy Earth, was a panel discussion on sustainability in EMEA featuring C2C and Google Cloud partners HCL and AMD and cosmetics superpower L’Oreal. Moderated by Ian Pattison, EMEA Head of Sustainability Practice at Google Cloud, the conversation lasted the better part of an hour and explored a range of strategies for enabling organizations to build and run sustainable technology on Google Cloud.According to Sanjay Singh, Executive VP of the Google Cloud Ecosystem Unit at HCL technologies, when advising customers across the value chain evaluating cloud services, Google Cloud becomes a natural choice because of its focus on sustainable goals. Connecting customers to Google Cloud is a key part of HCL’s broader program for maintaining sustainable business practices at every organizational level. “What you cannot measure, you cannot improve” says Singh, which is why HCL has created systems to measure every point of emission under their purview for carbon footprint impact. In alignment with Google Cloud’s commitment to run a carbon-free cloud platform by 2030, HCL plans to make its processes carbon neutral in the same timeframe.Suresh Andani, Senior Director of Cloud Vertical Marketing at AMD, serves on a task force focused on defining the company’s sustainability goals as an enterprise and as a vendor. As a vendor, AMD prioritizes helping customers migrate to the cloud itself as well as making its compute products (CPUS and GPUS) more energy efficient, which they plan to do by a factor of 30 by 2025. On the enterprise side, Andani says, AMD relies on partners and vendors, so making sure AMD as an organization is sustainable expands to its ecosystem of suppliers. One of the biggest challenges, he says, is to measure partners’ operations. This challenge falls to AMD’s corporate responsibility team.Health and beauty giant L’Oreal recently partnered with Google Cloud to run its beauty tech data engine. In the words of architect Antoine Castex, a C2C Team Lead in France, sustainability at L’Oreal is all about finding “the right solution for the right use case.” For Castex, this means prioritizing Software as a Service (SaaS) over Platform as a Service (PaaS), and only in the remotest cases using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). He is also emphatic about the importance of using serverless architecture and products like AppEngine, which only run when in use, rather than running and consuming energy 24/7.For Hervé Dumas, L’Oreal’s Sustainability IT Director, these solutions are part of what he calls “a strategic ambition,” which must be common across IT staff. Having IT staff dedicated to sustainability, he says, creates additional knowledge and enables necessary transformation of the way the company works. As Castex puts it, this transformation will come about when companies like L’Oreal are able to “change the brain of the people.”As Castex told C2C in a follow-up conversation after the event, the most encouraging takeaway from the panel for L’Oreal was the confirmation that other companies and tech players have “the same dream and ambition as us.” Watch a full recording of the conversation below, and check back to the C2C website over the next two weeks for more content produced exclusively for this community event. Also, if you’re based in EMEA and want to connect with other Google Cloud customers and partners in the C2C community, join us at one of our upcoming face-to-face events: Extra Credit:
When building assets like applications, databases, or AI/ML interfaces on Google Cloud, should you prioritize keeping costs down or building the best architecture you can? With the right strategies in place, you don’t have to choose between the two. Patrick Booher, SVP Cloud Solutions at Zazmic, Inc., and Anil Sharma, CEO and Founder of Trillo, are two executives in the Google Cloud customer community working on a daily basis to help their own customers find solutions that balance architectural planning with cost optimization. In this C2C Deep Dive, Anil and Patrick review a wide variety of practices supporting these solutions, as well as real-world stories of the customers putting them to successful use. Watch the full recording below, and use the list below to navigate to the topics most relevant to you: (1:00) Introduction, Objectives, and Challenges (5:30) Writing Requirement Specifications (8:30) Discover Architectural Patterns (11:45) Isolated Functions and Centralized Data (21:55) Functions and Services (34:50) Non-Functional Requirements (38:00) Cost Optimization (41:05) Utilization (45:20) Cost Controls (49:20) Thank you and Q&A
Results of the 2022 ASUG Pulse of the SAP Customer Research among Google Cloud Platform users identified key insights for organizations in 2022, including top focus areas and challenges experienced when migrating SAP instances to cloud. View image as a full-scale PDF here. Extra Credit:
The Google Cloud SAP Executive Council covered the latest strategy and solution updates and roadmap items for Google Cloud’s SAP business. Both expert Google speakers and current customers provided their insights. Watch a full recording of the Asia, EMEA, and Japan event below to learn from the best in Google Cloud and SAP, and use the following timestamps to navigate to the main segments of the program: (0:00) - Welcome from Steve Wainwright, EMEA SAP Director (5:00) - Introduction to C2C Community from Geoff Scott, Chief Community Champion (12:10) - SAP Business Update from Edy Sardilli, Global Partnerships & Business Development (28:14) - Data Cloud Update from Miguel de Luna, Senior Product Manager Data Analytics (1:00:00) - Solution Engineering Update from Abdul Razack, Vice President, Solution Engineering (1:22:04) - Cortex Innovation Update from Alison Hettrick, Head of SAP Strategy & Architecture
The Google Cloud SAP Executive Council covered the latest strategy and solution updates and roadmap items for Google Cloud’s SAP business. Both expert Google speakers and current customers provided their insights. Watch a full recording of the Americas event below to learn from the best in Google Cloud and SAP, and use the following timestamps to navigate to the main segments of the program: (2:00) - Session Starts/Welcome from Edy Sardilli, Global Partnerships & Business Development (9:40) - Introduction to C2C Community from Geoff Scott, Chief Community Champion (21:15) - SAP Business Update from Snehanshu Shah, Managing Director, SAP Solution Engineering (37:29) - Cortex Innovation Update from Alison Hettrick, Head of SAP Strategy & Architecture (56:35) - Solution Engineering Update from Abdul Razack, Vice President, Solution Engineering (1:19:05) - Data Cloud Update from Bruno Aziza, Head of Data & Analytics (1:50:00) - Customer Presentation from Calvin Leong, VP of Information Technology, DistributionNOW (2:08:00) - Customer Presentation from Roberto Oikawa, CTO and CIO, Casa dos Ventos Energias
“Cloud repatriation,” like “cloud migration” and “cloud native,” is a tech term borrowed from the language of social science: all of these terms describe a relationship to a place of origin. What each really describes, though, is where someone, or something, lives. In social science, that someone is a person, someone born a citizen of one country or returned there after displacement by conflict or other political circumstances. In tech, the something born in or returned to its place of origin is an asset or a resource an organization controls: it’s your organization’s data, its software, or whatever else you need to store to be able to run it.After years of cloud migration dominating the conversation about software and data hosting and storage, the term “cloud repatriation” is emerging as a new hypothetical for migrated and cloud native organizations. So many organizations are now hosted on the cloud that a greater number than ever have the option, feasible or not, to move off. Whether any cloud-native or recently migrated organization would actually want to move its resources back on-premises, to a data center, is another question. To discuss this question and its implications for the future of the cloud as a business solution, C2C recently convened a panel of representatives from three major cloud-hosted companies: Nick Tornow of Twitter, Keyur Govande of Etsy, and Rich Hoyer and Miles Ward of SADA. The conversation was charged from the beginning, and only grew more lively throughout. Sensing the energy around this issue, Ward, who hosted the event, started things off with some grounding exercises. First, he asked each host to define a relevant term. Tornow defined repatriation as “returning to your own data centers...or moving away from the public cloud more generally,” Govande defined TCO as “the purchase price of an asset and the cost of operating it,” and Hoyer defined OPEX and CAPEX as, respectively, real-time day-to-day expenses and up-front long-term expenses. Ward then stirred things up by asking the guests to pose some reasons why an organization might want to repatriate. After these level-setting exercises, the guests dove into the business implications of repatriation.The question of cost came up almost immediately, redirecting the discussion to the relationship between decisions around workloads and overall business goals: Govande’s comments about “problems that are critical to your business” particularly resonated with the others on the call. Govande briefly elaborated on these comments via email after the event. “In the context of repatriation, especially for a product company, it is very important to think through the ramifications of doing the heavy infrastructural lift yourself,” he said. “In my opinion, for most product companies, the answer would be to ‘keep moving up the stack,’ i.e. to be laser focused on your own customers' needs and demands, by leveraging the public cloud infrastructure.”These sentiments resurfaced later in the discussion, when the group took up the problem of weighing costs against potential opportunities for growth: The more the group explored these emerging themes of workload, cost, and scale, the more the guests offered insights based on their firsthand experiences as executives at major tech companies. Tornow used an anecdote about launching the game Farmville at Zynga to illustrate the unique challenges of launching products on the cloud: During the audience Q&A, a question about TCO analysis gave Hoyer the chance to go long on his relevant experiences at SADA: As soon as the conversation began to wind down, Ward put the guests on the spot again, to ask Tornow and Govande point-blank whether either of them would consider repatriation an option for their company that very day. Unsurprisingly, neither said they would: By the time Ward handed the microphone back to Dale Rossi of Google Cloud, who introduced and concluded the event, the conversation had lasted well over an hour, leaving very few angles on the subject of repatriation unexamined. Many hosts might have felt satisfied letting an event come to an end at this point, but not Ward. To leave the guests, and the audience, with a sense of urgency and resolve, he treated everyone on the call to a rendition of “Reveille,” the traditional military call to arms, arranged exclusively for this group for solo Tuba: Repatriation may not be a realistic option for many if not most businesses, but discussing the possibility hypothetically illuminates the considerations these same businesses will have to confront as they approach cloud strategy and workload balance. “Nobody on our panel had heard of anyone born in the cloud ever going ‘back’ to the data center,” Ward said in an email reflecting on the event. “Any infrastructure cost analysis is a ‘complex calculus,’ and there's no easy button.” For Ward, there is one way to make this complex calculus manageable: “To get maximum value from cloud, focus in on the differentiated managed services that allow you to refocus staff time on innovation.”When you hear the word “repatriation,” what comes to mind for you? What does it imply for your organization and the workloads your organization manages? Are there any relevant considerations you consider crucial that you want to talk through in more depth? Join the C2C Community and start the conversation! Extra Credit:
The following article was written by C2C Global President Josh Berman (@josh.berman) as a member exclusive for TechCrunch. The original article is available here. The past two years have been exciting periods of growth for the cloud market, driven by increased demand for access to new technology during COVID-19 and the proliferation of the “work-from-anywhere” culture. IT leaders worked to shift workloads to the cloud to ensure business continuity for the remote workforce, leading to skyrocketing adoption of cloud computing. This momentum is expected to pick up in 2022 and beyond. For many businesses, the pandemic accelerated their digital transformation plans by months, or even years. Reliance on cloud infrastructure will only continue to grow as organizations adjust to the hybrid work model. Gartner projects that global spending on cloud services is expected to reach over $482 billion in 2022, up from $313 billion in 2020. As we start the new year, C2C, an independent Google Cloud community, has identified six cloud computing trends to watch in 2022. More people are harnessing new technologies The pandemic inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs. Whether out of necessity from mass layoffs, a desire for a more flexible lifestyle, or finding the inspiration to finally pursue a passion, millions have started their own ventures. As their businesses grow and digitize, entrepreneurs across industries are embracing the cloud and adopting technologies like machine learning and data analytics to optimize business performance, save time and cut expenses. There are countless benefits to small businesses and startups. For one, the cloud makes data accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, enabling the seamless collaboration necessary in a hybrid work environment. Without having to spend on expensive hardware and software, entrepreneurs can invest in other areas as they scale their businesses. We often see founders leveraging the power and ease of use of Google Cloud Platform AI and ML tools to rapidly prototype and build applications. They’ve used this technology to create unique and exciting solutions, like tools that use ML to analyze English pronunciation or ML that predicts one’s mood from their breath. There’s an increased desire for more direct access to product developersAs more users shift to the cloud, there is an increased desire to connect and network with product developers who have worked behind the scenes to bring the latest technologies to market. Online communities, like C2C, make having these conversations possible and easy. These conversations ultimately help users secure the right applications they need and successfully deploy them to ensure operational success. Greater emphasis on security in the cloud Last year, businesses looked to the cloud to reshape their operations and become more agile. While cloud computing certainly offers the benefits of that flexibility and productivity, it also puts organizations at risk of becoming more vulnerable to cyber threats and data breaches. For that reason, security is going to become a larger part of the cloud conversation throughout 2022 and beyond. This reality is going to influence a greater emphasis on building more security into the cloud. As the world continues to go digital, organizations are being tasked with ensuring security within the cloud is properly integrated into evolving business models. More organizations will seek out data solutions Almost all enterprises operate in multi-cloud environments. As a result, a lot of valuable data is spread across systems, creating a need to make data accessible to more analytics tools. Cross-cloud analytics solutions are on the rise to help data analysts manage all their insights. At C2C, we’ve discussed the noticeable rise in the number of people and companies looking at data solutions, specifically BigQuery, Google Cloud’s fully managed, server-less data warehouse. These companies are typically mapping out their data strategy, but, interestingly, some companies that are trying to work with AI and ML realize they need a solution that makes their data consistent and easy to store. Productivity tools will become even more sophisticated When the world was forced into a remote work model overnight during the pandemic, many companies were not prepared for the challenge of immediately shifting their processes to a virtual format. The ongoing challenge for many companies that have transitioned to a hybrid model has been determining how to best keep both remote and in-person team members engaged. This opened doors for cloud-based collaboration tools like Google Workspace, which are only going to become a bigger part of our day-to-day operations. These solutions have capabilities like document collaboration, integrated chat features, virtual whiteboards and more. Much of that growth has already occurred: Nearly 80% of workers are using collaboration tools for work in 2021, up from just over half of workers in 2019, according to Gartner research. Not only are more companies going to adopt these cloud-based collaboration solutions, but the solutions are going to be enhanced and evolve as the needs of the hybrid workforce change. Cloud certifications are becoming more sought after by employers As industries accelerate remote adoption of cloud technologies, certifications and other IT credentials are becoming increasingly important and sought after by employers. And more IT professionals see the benefits of earning these certifications as well. More than 90% of IT leaders say they’re looking to grow their cloud environments in the next several years, yet more than 80% of those same leaders identified a lack of skills and knowledge within their employees as a barrier to achieving this growth. It turns out, the next big challenge for companies will not be how to manage cloud technology, but how to find enough qualified workers certified in it.
The full recording from this C2C Deep Dive includes panel discussion on:Defining terms for repatration, total cost of ownership (TCO), operational expenditures (OPEX), and capital expenditures (CAPEX) Understanding motivations, payoff, and pitfalls of repatriating workloads off of cloud Workload considerations from applied knowledge at Twitter and EtsyWho spoke at this event? Miles Ward CTO, SADA Rich Hoyer Director of Customer FinOps, SADA Keyur Govande VP Infrastructure and Chief Architect, Etsy Nick Tornow Platform Lead, Twitter
In early 2021, Rich Hoyer, Director of Customer FinOps for SADA, published an opinion piece in VentureBeat that refuted the findings of an earlier published article about the cost of hosting workloads in the cloud. In his rebuttal, Hoyer called the article (which was written by representatives of Andreessen Horowitz Capital Management) “dead wrong” with regard to its findings about cloud repatriation and costs.Hoyer’s expertise and his views on doing business in the cloud make him an ideal participant for a C2C Global panel discussion taking place on January 20, at which he will appear alongside representatives of Twitter and Etsy to talk about whether or not enterprises should consider moving workloads off the cloud and into data centers. Hoyer predicts the panel conversation will lean away from the concept of repatriation and more toward the concept of balancing workloads.“I don’t think repatriation is the right term,” Hoyer says. “To me, it’s much more a decision of what workloads should be where, so I would phrase it as rebalancing—as more optimally balancing. Repatriation implies that there’s this lifecycle. That’s just not the way it works. How many startups have workloads that are architected from the ground up and not cloud native? You don’t see that. If you’re cloud native, you start using the stuff as cloud native.” The panel discussion will focus on hybrid workloads, he says, with a specific eye toward what works from a cost standpoint for each individual customer. “We want cloud consumers to be successful, and if they have stuff in the cloud that ought not to be there, they’re going to be unhappy with those workloads,” Hoyer says. “That’s not good for us, it’s not good for Google, it’s not good for anybody. We want only things in the cloud that are going to be successful because customers know they’re getting value from it, because that’s what’s going to cause them to expand and grow in the cloud.”From his FinOps viewpoint, Hoyer says he will be advocating for the process of making decisions around managing spend in public cloud, and the disciplines around making decisions in the cloud. “The whole process of trying to get control of this begins with the idea of visibility into what the spend is, and that means you have to have an understanding of how to report against it, how to apply the tooling to do things like anomaly alerting,” he says. I expect the discussion to be less about whether there should be repatriation, and the more constructive discussion to be about the ways to think about how to keep the balance right.” The overall goal of the panel is to present a process for analyzing workloads. And according to Hoyer, that’s not a one-time process—it’s iterative. “I’ll encourage anyone who has hybrid scenarios—some in the data center and some in the cloud—to be doing iterated looks at that to see what workloads should still be in the cloud,” Hoyer says. “There should be an iteration: Here’s what’s in the cloud today, here’s what’s in the data center today, and in broad terms, are these the right workloads? And then also, when stuff is in the cloud, are we operating it efficiently? And that’s a constant process, because you’ll have workloads that grow from the size they were in the cloud. And we’ll hear that same evaluation from the technology standpoint—are we using the best products in the cloud, and are there things in the data center that ought not to be there?”Be sure to join C2C Global, SADA, Twitter, and Etsy for this important conversation and arm your business with the tools needed to make intelligent and informed decisions about running your workloads and scaling your business. Click the link below to register.
When organizations need to pivot to a different process or adopt different tools to enable more productivity, they can tend to leap into that new system without first conducting up-front research to determine its feasibility. This method of adoption is possible, but it can cause many decision-makers to pivot again after a few months once unforeseeable costs come to the forefront.Take cloud adoption and virtualization, for example. In the early 2000s, companies like Google, Amazon, and Salesforce introduced web-based services to manage digital workloads and make computing more efficient. Quickly, companies adopted multi-cloud or hybrid cloud solutions to manage their businesses and protect their employees’ and clients' information.Now the workforce is going through another revolution. Working from home is more common, many aspects of our day-to-day lives are digital, and companies have a greater need for the level of security and compliance that only private cloud infrastructures can offer. Why, then, has there been such a shift in recent years toward cloud repatriation? Read on to find out more about measuring cloud computing costs and building a cloud computing infrastructure that enables your team to work more efficiently. Measuring Cloud Computing Costs Has Caused Many CIOs to Reconsider Their Cloud Solution Early adopters have the benefit of being at the forefront of the latest technology and innovation. However, being an early adopter comes with its risks, and many CIOs and decision-makers who quickly merged their company’s processes and assets with the cloud are starting to measure their cloud computing costs and choosing to repatriate.When cloud computing is costly, misuse is often to blame. Used incorrectly, cloud computing can seem to cost more, but planning the provision process and accurately configuring assets can correct this miscalculation. Most cloud providers deliver reports and suggestions to help administrators reduce costs.Every major cloud provider uses calculators to estimate costs. Even after provisioning, watch your cloud usage and review configurations. Most cloud configurations can be adjusted to lower budgets and scale resources back. What is TCO in Cloud Computing? One of the first steps of building a cloud computing infrastructure is calculating the foreseeable costs of the move. To do so, decision-makers can use total cost of ownership (TCO) as a helpful metric to compare the cost of their current infrastructure to prospective costs of going hybrid or multi-cloud.But what is TCO in cloud computing? And is it a useful tool for weighing the cost-effectiveness of application modernization? Total cost of ownership refers to the total associated costs of an asset. This includes purchase price, adaptation, and operation. In cloud computing, specifically, TCO refers to all of the associated costs of purchasing and operating a cloud technology.Several factors make up TCO, including administration, capacity, consulting fees, infrastructure software, and integration. To properly calculate TCO, administrators must create a plan for migration and factor in the costs of maintaining the environment after the business relies on cloud resources. Conducting a Cloud TCO Analysis & Determining ROI Another important metric in cloud migration cost analysis is ROI, or return on investment. Many stakeholders and decision-makers may be familiar with ROI as a business term, but less familiar with the term in the context of cloud computing.TCO measures ROI. After the initial investment, the cost savings should be greater than the costs of running the environment every month. Cost savings will be higher than the initial investment if the company runs with a lower budget than it did using on-premise resources.An organization’s ROI is impacted by more than just the cost of infrastructure. It’s also impacted by performance, availability, scalability, and the human resources necessary to maintain it. For example, the costs of running cloud resources every month could be cheaper than on-premise costs, but slow systems reduce productivity and could cost more in constant bug fixing and troubleshooting. Measuring the Risks of Cloud Repatriation After conducting a TCO analysis on your cloud solution, you may realize that there’s room for improvement, or savings, in your cloud strategy. But repatriation, or shifting from a public cloud model to an on-premise private server, comes with its own host of risks and potential migration costs that CIOs and company leaders will need to assess in determining when to shift and when to stay. Repatriation CostsRepatriation is the process of “reverse migration,” which means bringing data and applications back in-house. The costs of repatriation add strain to an IT budget, so migration back to on-premises infrastructure must be planned. Costs include the bandwidth required to migrate data and applications, the hardware necessary to support users and services, security tools, the personnel needed to support and maintain the resources, and any downtime costs. Administrators usually avoid repatriation unless it’s necessary due to the costs, training, and downtime associated with migration. Security & Compliance RisksOne of the most popular reasons for building a cloud computing infrastructure on public platforms is security assurance and compliance. However, this solution may not continue to be feasible for smaller organizations as the cost of cloud services continues to rise. If cloud resources are not configured properly, data breaches can occur. Small organizations with few security resources may find that the risks associated with migration, including compliance regulations surrounding cloud-hosted data, outweigh the associated savings. Consider Your Previous Cloud Migration StrategyYour original cloud migration strategy will play a big role in determining the feasibility of repatriation. For instance, if your team migrated by replatforming, it may be too expensive or time consuming to move back on-prem. Conversely, if your organization took a more “lift-and-shift” approach, there may be an opportunity for you to shift back, if doing so won’t compromise security and compliance.It’s not uncommon for organizations to try cloud migration with limited sample data and applications, and then later move more critical applications. The previous plan and migration process should be analyzed, and lessons learned should be carried into the next migration. This next migration should be smoother, with less downtime. With a test migration, a large overhaul of your system migrated to the cloud could potentially cost less.Do any of these concerns resonate with you? Are you thinking about moving your workloads off the cloud? Come to our Deep Dive on cloud repatriation on January 20, 2022:
Managecore, a Foundational Gold Partner of C2C and Premier Google Cloud Partner, recently collaborated with NextGen Healthcare to migrate SAP to host on Google Cloud. In less than six months, Managecore supported moving NextGen’s SAP workloads in addition to upgrading to the latest version of HANA Here to discuss the project on the C2C virtual stage were panelists from each company:Karen Bollinger — Vice President Business Applications, NextGen Healthcare Frank Powell — President/Partner, Managecore Key Discussion Points:An introduction to NextGen Healthcare and the problems they were trying to solve by introducing an hyperscaler to their SAP environment and partnering with Managecore Using managed services from Google Cloud to open up new agile business opportunities and improved performance, confidence, stability, and availability Considerations for security and HIPAA compliance when migrating a healthcare company’s SAP data workloads to a new cloud environmentWatch the entire conversation here:
Migrating SAP applications to the cloud can be a complicated, time-consuming undertaking. The road to a successful cloud migration project and a stable cloud environment is often filled with twists, turns, and hurdles. Yet, there are steps your organization can take to ensure success. Earlier this year, NextGen Healthcare migrated from a private cloud landscape to a public cloud landscape with Google Cloud while also upgrading to the SAP HANA database in the same project. “This project is not as simple as moving to a different location,” said Karen Bollinger, Vice President of Business Applications at NextGen Healthcare.To ensure a successful migration project, the healthcare technology organization partnered with Managecore, a technical managed services company focused on SAP. Bollinger emphasized that collaboration was one of the keys to the project’s success and set NextGen Healthcare up with a stable cloud landscape and laid a foundation for future growth on Google Cloud.“If done properly, the promise of the cloud can truly be achieved,” he said. “You just need the right team.” The Need for a Change Before beginning this project, NextGen Healthcare had been leveraging SAP for about a decade. The company was running several SAP solutions, including SAP ECC, SAP Business Warehouse, SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, SAP Financial Accounting, and SAP Controlling. NextGen Healthcare already had an existing partnership with Managecore when Bollinger approached the organization to assist with doing some security-focused work on NextGen Healthcare’s SAP landscape.The conversations between the two organizations evolved into how NextGen Healthcare would transition to Google Cloud. NextGen Healthcare had been thinking about moving its SAP landscapes from another hyperscaler. Bollinger noted that NextGen Healthcare hoped to work with a managed service provider that offered increased transparency and more flexibility with their cloud environments. Making the Transition In addition to migrating to Google Cloud, Managecore also updated NextGen Healthcare’s SAP database, implementing SAP HANA in under six months.“When we are moving organizations to the cloud, we are always trying to get the biggest bang for our buck,” Powell said.This led NextGen Healthcare to see a significant improvement in the stability of its SAP landscape, better up times, and overall improved performance. Managecore also helped NextGen Healthcare decrease its monthly hosting costs and gave the organization a foundation to improve its SAP landscape in the future.“The world is their oyster,” Powell said. “NextGen Healthcare is in a perfect position, from a technology standpoint, to take advantage of the Google Cloud Platform.”Bollinger noted that this transition has NextGen Healthcare in a position to migrate from SAP ECC 6 to SAP S/4HANA, giving them both the ability and the agility to tackle that project in the future. Keys to Success According to Bollinger, one of the keys to this project’s success was having Managecore as a partner.“You need a great partner,” she said, emphasizing that organizations need to collaborate with partners that have both expertise and experience. Powell highlighted the caliber of the team working on this migration, noting that successful teams need to know how to “tune” SAP applications to run in Google Cloud efficiently. Both Bollinger and Powell emphasized that this was a collaborative effort and that the project’s success is due to the expertise and partnership among the project’s team. Learn More About Success in Google Cloud While many organizations are migrating their SAP workloads to Google Cloud, some are still showing trepidation about tackling such an expansive and complex project.“If you haven’t thought about moving to the cloud or you aren’t convinced, talk to someone who has been successful with one of these projects,” Powell said.Both Bollinger and Powell will be sitting down on Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. CT for a C2C Navigators webcast focused on this project. They will be going into further depth about the ins and outs of their success, and they’ll be able to help attendees figure out how to complete a successful and fast migration. They’ll also discuss how the two organizations have worked together to ensure this success continues after the go-live—interested in digging deeper into this story? Register here and save your spot! Extra Credit: Looking to connect with your peers or expand your network? Join the SAP on GCP Community here on C2C.
In 2019, the public cloud services market reached $233.4 billion in revenue. This already impressive number is made even more impressive by the fact that this was a 26% year-over-year increase from the previous year; a strong indication that app modernization and cloud migration continue to be winning strategies for many enterprises.But which cloud strategy should a decision-maker choose? When should they migrate their legacy applications into a hybrid, multi-cloud, or on-premise architecture? There may not be single definitive answers to these questions, but there are certainly different options to weigh and considerations to make before officially adopting a new process. Read on to find out more about multi-cloud vs hybrid cloud strategies for startups, and join the conversation with other cloud computing experts in the C2C Community. What is a Hybrid Cloud Strategy? A hybrid cloud strategy is an internal organization method for businesses and enterprises that integrates public and private cloud services with on-premise cloud infrastructures to create a single, distributed computing environment.The cloud provides businesses with resources that would otherwise be too expensive to deploy and maintain in house. With on-premise infrastructure, the organization must have the real estate to house equipment, install it, and then hire staff to maintain it. As equipment ages, it must be replaced. This whole process can be extremely expensive, but the cloud gives administrators the ability to deploy the same resources at a fraction of the cost. Deploying cloud resources takes minutes, as opposed to the potential months required to build out new technology in house. In a hybrid cloud, administrators deploy infrastructure that works as an extension of their on-premise infrastructure, so it can be implemented in a way that ties into current authentication and authorization tools. What is a Multi-Cloud Strategy? Conversely, a multi-cloud strategy is a cloud management strategy that requires enterprises to treat their cloud services as separate entities. A multi-cloud strategy will include more than one public cloud service and does not need to include private services, like in the case of hybrid cloud. Organizations use a multi-cloud strategy for several reasons, but the primary reasons are to provide failover and avoid vendor lock-in. Should one cloud service fail, a secondary failover service can take over until the original service is remediated. It’s an expensive solution, but it’s a strategy to reduce downtime during a catastrophic event. Most cloud providers have similar products, but administrators have preferences and might like one over another. By using multiple cloud services, an organization isn’t tied to only one product. Administrators can pick and choose from multiple services and implement those that work best for their organizations’ business needs. What is the Difference Between a Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Strategy? Though the differences might be slight, choosing the wrong cloud strategy can impact businesses in a big way, especially those just starting out. One of the primary differences between a hybrid and a multi-cloud strategy is that a hybrid cloud is managed as one singular entity while a multi-cloud infrastructure is not. This is largely due to the fact that multi-cloud strategies often include more than one public service that performs its own function.Additionally, when comparing multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud, it’s important to note that a hybrid cloud will always include a private cloud infrastructure. Now, a multi-cloud strategy can also include a private cloud service, but if the computing system is not managed as a single entity, it is technically considered both a multi-cloud and a hybrid cloud strategy.Infrastructure is designed differently, but the biggest significance is cost. Hosting multi-cloud services costs more than using one service in a hybrid solution. It also requires more resources to support a multi-cloud environment, because it’s difficult to create an environment where services from separate providers will integrate smoothly with each other, and requires additional training for any staff unfamiliar with cloud infrastructure. Which Cloud Strategy Has the Most Business Benefits? Every cloud strategy has its benefits, and most organizations leverage at least one provider to implement technology that would otherwise be too costly to host in-house. For a simple hybrid solution, use a cloud service that provides a majority of the resources needed. All cloud services scale, but you should find one that has the technology that you need to incorporate into workflows.Multi-cloud is more difficult to manage, but it gives administrators better freedom to pick and choose their favorite resource without relying on only one provider. A multi-cloud strategy also provides failover should a single provider fail, so it eliminates the single point of failure that most hybrid solutions experience. A cloud provider has minimal downtime, but downtime occasionally happens. With a multi-cloud strategy, administrators can keep most business workflows working normally until the primary provider recovers.It’s hard to stand squarely on the side of one cloud strategy over another. Every business has its own unique variables and dependencies that may make a hybrid model more desirable than multi-cloud, or vice versa. The benefits of an on-premise cloud infrastructure may also outweigh those of both hybrid and multi-cloud. The decision to go hybrid or adopt a multi-cloud strategy resides with the decision-makers of said enterprise. There are, however, some considerations businesses of any size and lifecycle can take into account before finalizing the decision. What to Consider When Switching to a Hybrid Cloud Strategy Before choosing a provider, you should research each provider’s services, feedback, and cost. It’s not easy to choose a provider, but the one integrated into the environment should have all the tools necessary to enhance workflows and add technology to the environment. A few key items that should be included are: Authorization and authentication tools Speed and performance metrics Backups and failover within data centers Different data center zones for internal failover Logging and monitoring capabilities Usage reports Convenient provisioning and configuration Most cloud providers have a way to demo their services, or they give users a trial period to test products. Use this trial wisely so that administrators can determine the best solution for the corporate environment. Multi-Cloud Vs. Hybrid Cloud for StartupsAgain, deciding between a multi-cloud strategy vs. hybrid cloud strategy depends on the needs of the company. For startups, there may need to be a greater emphasis on security and disaster recovery, in which case a multi-cloud management strategy would provide a company at the beginning of its lifecycle the protection it needs to grow.Conversely, to bring up one of the key differences between a hybrid cloud and multi-cloud strategy, if an entity uses private cloud services, a hybrid cloud model would provide the startup with the flexibility it needs to make changes to their computing infrastructure as they become more established. Do Startups Benefit From an On-Premise Cloud Infrastructure?The short answer is yes, startups can benefit from an on-premise cloud infrastructure. Taking any services in-house, whether it's managing payroll or IT services, can help reduce costs and give businesses more visibility into their workflow. If there is a need to hold on to an on-premise cloud infrastructure, a multi-cloud strategy will allow that enterprise to maintain that computing system while also managing additional public cloud services separately. What Does the Resurgence of IT Hardware Mean for Cloud? Even though cloud adoption has been surging for some time among businesses (Gartner reported in 2019 that more than a third of organizations view cloud investments as a “top 3 investing priority”) IT hardware and in-house services have also experienced a resurgence in popularity. Many believe this new phenomenon, referred to as cloud repatriation by those in the IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) industry, is the result of a lack of understanding around proper cloud management and containerization among IT decision-makers. They may initially make the choice to migrate certain applications into a hybrid cloud strategy only to abandon the effort because of workload portability. In light of this shift, hyphen-cloud strategies, like multi-cloud vs. hybrid cloud, still reign supreme as a cost effective and secure way to manage legacy applications and workloads. It may take a fair amount of planning and strategizing to decide which cloud strategy matches the company lifecycle to which it applies, but cloud adoption certainly isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
DoiT, a global multi-cloud software and managed service provider with deep expertise in Kubernetes, machine learning and big data hosted a webinar with AMD and Google Cloud to discuss key differences between Amazon Redshift and BigQuery. For Startups evaluating their Cloud options, this is an excellent conversation that covers common questions like, “Why should I move to the cloud?” and “What are the best options for me, multi-cloud, hybrid, or all cloud?” and of course, any question related to financing the expense. Watch the video below to hear from Matthew Porter, Senior Cloud Architect with DoIT International, Meryl Hayes, East Coast Team Lead at DoIT International, John Mansperger, Principal Solutions Architect at AMD and Dan Chang, Enterprise Partner Sales Manager at Google Cloud. Thank you to our partner, DoIT International and 2020 Google Cloud Global Reseller Partner of the Year, for sharing this webinar with the C2C Community.
Cloud security is an emerging technology, and even some of the most seasoned professionals in the cloud community are still learning how it works, or at least thinking about it. If all of your data is stored on the cloud, and all of your apps are running on it, you want to know that those apps and that data are secure, and knowing that the cloud is an open, shared environment might not be an immediate comfort. Luckily, the cloud offers all kinds of security resources you can’t access anywhere else. Understanding how these resources can protect your data and assets is crucial to doing the best work possible in a cloud environment. Vijeta Pai is a C2C contributor and Google Cloud expert whose website Cloud Demystified provides comics and other educational content that makes cloud security accessible and intelligible to the average Google Cloud user. C2C recently invited Pai to give a presentation and host a discussion on all things cloud security, from threat modeling to shared responsibility arrangements to best practices, drawing on her work with Cloud Demystified as well as the content she’s published on the C2C blog. Watch her full presentation below, and read on for some of the key conversations from her C2C Talks: Cloud Security Demystified. After providing some background on types of cloud providers (public, private, and hybrid) and the different elements of cloud security (technologies, processes, controls, and policies), Pai broke down the STRIDE threat model. This model defines every type of cybersecurity attack a cloud security system might be required to prevent. The six types are Spoofing, Tampering, Repudiation, Information Disclosure, Denial of Service, and Elevation of Privilege. Watch below for Pai’s breakdown of the definitions and associated security considerations of each one: Next, Pai explained the different possible models used to share the responsibility for security between an organization and a cloud provider. The three models are Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), and each allocates responsibility for people, data, applications, and the operating system (OS) differently: Pai kicked off the open discussion portion with a comprehensive review of cloud security best practices, which referred back to a post she wrote for the C2C blog, 10 Best Practices for Cloud Security in Application Development. As she does in the post, Pai went through these strategies one by one, from Identity and Access Management Control to Data Encryption to Firewalls. For anyone in the process of actively implementing their cloud security measures, Pai’s full answer is worth the watch: A unique opportunity for C2C members is the ability to ask questions directly to the experts, and Pai fielded several questions about specific aspects of the technology of Google Cloud itself. The first question came from C2C member Dickson Victor (@Vick), who was concerned with whether the cloud can support better security than an on-premise system. Pai’s answer spoke to the heart of the issue for most prospective cloud users: the policies, processes, and resources available in an open environment like the cloud versus those available in a locked, private system. Her response was nothing but encouraging: Pai also took a moment to let C2C community member Lokesh Lakhwani (@llakhwani17) plug the Google Cloud Security Summit, the first-ever tech summit on cloud security: The discussion wrapped up with a question about cybersecurity insurance and whether it might become an entire industry once cloud security becomes a new standard. Pai wasn’t sure how quickly the industry would explode. Still, she thinks there is room out there for growth and innovation, precisely because of the extent to which technology has become a necessary part of day-to-day life for so many people living through the COVID-19 pandemic, including Pai’s mother, who lives and works in India. Moreover, the more we live our lives on the cloud, the more we will need cloud security, which, to Pai, means there is plenty of opportunities right now for cybersecurity insurance companies to make their mark: Do you have questions or concerns about cloud security that Pai didn’t answer in this session? Feel free to share them in the comments and also to connect with Pai directly. You can find her on LinkedIn or join C2C to keep up with her work and get in touch with other tech professionals working in the cloud security field.
Michael Pytel (@mpytel), co-founder and CTO at Fulfilld, shares stories from the team’s wins and losses in building out this intelligent managed warehouse solution.The recording from this Deep Dive includes:(2:20) Introduction to Fulfilld (4:10) The team’s buildout requirements for a cloud-based application, including language support, responsiveness, and data availability (9:15) Fulfilld’s Android-based scanner’s capabilities and hardware (12:25) Creating the digital twin with anchor points (14:50) Microservice architecture, service consumption, and service data store (19:35) Data store options using BigQuery, Firestore, and CloudSQL (23:35) Service runtime and runtime options using Cloud Functions (28:55) Example architecture (30:25) Challenges in deciding between Google Cloud product options (31:40) Road map for the warehouse digital assistant, document scanning, and 3D bin packing algorithm (39:00) Open community questions Community Questions AnsweredWhat does the road map include for security? Did using Cloud Functions help with the system design and partitioning codings tasks by clearly defining functions and requirements? Do you give your customers access to their allocated BigQuery instance? What type of data goes to Firestore versus CloudSQL?Other ResourcesGoogle Cloud Platform Architecture Framework Google Cloud Hands-On Labs on Coursera Google Cloud Release Notes by ProductFind the rest of the series from Fulfilld below:
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