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Google's Diane Greene: Here's why enterprises want our cloud

Eric Knorr | May 23, 2016
Google's new senior VP outlines her plans to grow the company's enterprise cloud business -- and what she sees as the top benefit of Google's cloud

InfoWorld: How essential do you feel that a hybrid cloud story is in luring enterprise customers?

Greene: I think you need a hybrid story that lets you be multicloud and on-prem and off-prem. The smaller the company, the more likely they'll settle on one cloud provider. Any sizable company is going to be on two clouds. We're seeing that. I'm surprised by how many people on AWS are now, "OK, we want to do something with you, because we want to be on you, too."

Then they have their data centers -- you have to interoperate with the on-prem. But anything new people are doing, they're coming to the cloud, they're coming to us. I'm sure they're going to AWS too. The data shows that. But the data is going to show how much they're coming to us I think soon, because we're certainly seeing it.

I think one of our ways we're going to be able to do that is we have things like Kubernetes for managing containers, if you have your stuff in containers. If Kubernetes is open source, then that can run across everything and you can have a nice hybrid story.

InfoWorld: With Azure and Windows Server, Microsoft is developing a very strong hybrid strategy.

Greene: With on-prem and off-prem, not necessarily across platforms.

InfoWorld: That's true, but ...

Greene: Customers want to go across clouds.

InfoWorld: I'm thinking in terms of workload portability between on-prem and the public cloud in particular. Microsoft's Azure Stack running on Windows Server 2016 will essentially duplicate the Azure public cloud environment. That's great for the Microsoft crowd. With both Kubernetes on-prem and in Google Cloud, are you looking toward that same sort of portability for container workloads and Linux, that sort of a hybrid strategy?

Greene: That's one. We're pursuing a lot of hybrid strategies, and you'll see more coming from us over the next year. Do we have the huge enterprise footprint Microsoft has? No, we don't, but people moving to the cloud are seeing a way to ...

InfoWorld: What about your partnership with Red Hat? It has a huge enterprise footprint. It is also the largest contributor to Kubernetes outside of Google.

Greene: We have Brian Stevens here who was CTO and head of engineering at Red Hat, and he runs product in the cloud and is good friends with [Red Hat executive VP of products and technologies] Paul Cormier. They are a natural ally of ours because we're so committed to open source.

InfoWorld: Do you see containers as a replay of the virtualization era?

Greene: It's kind of an evolution. Containers are very integrated with the operating system, which nobody was about to do when VMware came out. You needed the full virtual machine with no changes to the OS because it wasn't a market yet. But Kubernetes is definitely our fastest-growing product. BigQuery is up there too.

 

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