What am I expecting at Google Next

I generally don’t attend tech conferences. They tend to waste time and dole out bad advice. Even when at a tech conference for other reasons, I rarely attend conference sessions. I make an exception for AWS re:Invent, where I learn and enjoy every minute of it. This week I am extending that exception to Google Next. The reason is simple. Google is has become a serious Cloud contender. I am still not at a point to extend this to a Microsoft conference. I am sure such a moment will come, but not yet.

With that, here are things I look for at Google Next:

Customers

I expect Google to feature several new customers that are not SNAP or Niantic. I expect them to have several enterprise customers ( Land of Lakes, HomeDepot ?) and I also expect to hear from some startups who have migrated from AWS to GCP. We will start to get an impression about the workloads that these customers are moving to GCP. A shocker here would be if Google brings someone like Walmart on stage and declare that they are abandoning their private cloud and moving to GCP. I would give it a 25% chance.

AI/Deep Learning/Machine Learning

Google leads this area by a mile. I expect GCP To feature several new products/features in this area. They will be primarily consumer use cases, but hoping to see few enterprise use cases. There is a slight chance that the ops leaders of GCP would de-emphasize ML and instead focus on provisioning billion VMs per minute. That would be a mistake. I am hoping that Google stays disciplined and feature their strength front and center in AI/ML.

Pricing

This is another area where Google has advantage over both AWS and MSFT. Google’s pricing does not have the baggage that AWS and MSFT have. AWS unfortunately is still stuck in rent-a-VM pricing model and Reserved Instances. Microsoft is still focused on selling monthly subscriptions. Google has the best pricing model of all three. But, Google is lagging in providing a developer friendly pricing model. Example: Google Spanner base price is out of reach for many dev teams. Google should consider making their pricing dev friendly. For example: a 50% discount for dev workloads. I look for Google to enhance their sustained use discounts model and also announce more price cuts.

Serverless

Google has ignored this so far. I am looking for them to move Google functions from Beta stage to production. I have a suspicion that many at Google do not understand or appreciate serverless. I am hoping that there is at least one person there who gets it and is pushing it forward. A shocker here would be if they do nothing.

Kubernetes

Google will open a big tent and invite the distraught Openstack folks into this tent. They will talk about Alchemy, Cloud Bursting and Black magic. I am going to ignore it. Its not that I don’t think Kubernetes is good. Its a very good tech, but I do not believe in hybrid cloud or cloud bursting. A shocker here would be if Google starts the conference with an acquisition of Docker ( which I think makes lot of sense ).

That’s all folks. Let me know your thoughts here or on Twitter.

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