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Google launches a more flexible iteration of its cloud portfolio

Google Distributed Cloud is a collection of hardware, software and services that aren’t restricted to the public cloud.

The thinking seems to be to offer Google Cloud goodness to companies hesitant to go all-in on the public cloud, which seems sensible. In his blog announcing the development Google GM and VP of Product for IaaS, Sachin Gupta, was keep to empathise with organizations that can’t or won’t move their entire workloads to the public cloud for whatever reason.

“To ensure these workloads can still take advantage of what the cloud has to offer, today at Google Cloud Next ’21 we are announcing Google Distributed Cloud, a portfolio of solutions consisting of hardware and software that extend our infrastructure to the edge and into your data centers,” blogged Gupta.

While not specifically targeted at the telecoms sector, mention of the edge makes this a significant development for operators and telecoms vendors alike. In fact this portfolio is designed to exist in the operator edge, customer edge and Google edge locations, of which we’re told there are over 140 around the world.

It’s built on Google’s Anthos software, which Ericsson has recently had warm words for, so it looks like Google is continuing to try and play nice with the broader ICT ecosystem. Among its hardware partners are Cisco, Dell, HPE, Intel and Nvidia, while both Ericsson and Nokia are represented in the blog.

“The announcement of Google Distributed Cloud supports Ericsson’s vision of the network becoming a platform of innovation, enabling companies across the ecosystem to deliver the applications of the future the way they need to, unlocking the full potential of 5G and edge,” said Rishi Bhaskar, Head of Hyperscale Cloud Providers for Ericsson North America.

“This announcement builds on our on-going partnership with Google Cloud to develop Nokia cloud-native 5G core and Nokia radio solutions for Google’s edge computing platform,” said Nishant Batra, Nokia Chief Strategy and Technology Officer. “By extending this relationship into Google Distributed Cloud Edge, we will increase customer choice and flexibility, ultimately helping our global customer base with multiple cloud-based solutions to deliver 5G services on the network edge.”

You can hear from everyone else involved in the blog and Light Reading has some good analysis of what this could mean for the broader telco sector. As ever, operators need to think long and hard before selling their soul to a hyperscaler but maybe Google’s relatively flexible, collegiate approach will serve to calm their nerves a tad. Google has some catching up to do with public cloud leader AWS and this announcement may well help.


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