Google Cloud reveals edge-focused Distributed Cloud portfolio

The tech giant unloads a suite of new services for edge services and sustainability during virtual Next 21 event

Google Cloud has announced a distributed cloud portfolio of fully managed hardware and software services that can be accessed from the edge or a customers' data centre. 

The new portfolio was one of the biggest announcements to come from the first day of Google Cloud's virtual Next 21 conference on Tuesday.

The Google Distributed Cloud has been built on Anthos and is aimed at businesses that need to migrate or modernise applications or process data locally with Google Cloud products, whether that's databases, machine learning (ML) or even third-party services from other leading vendors

It can run across multiple locations, according to Google Cloud, including Google's network edge, operator edge, customer edge and also customer data centres. The first products to be announced within this portfolio were Google Distributed Cloud Edge and Google Distributed Cloud Hosted.

The latter is designed to run sensitive workloads and doesn't require a connection to Google Cloud at any time in order to manage infrastructure, services or APIs. It simply uses a local control portal that's managed in Google's Anthos, and will be available in preview during the first half of 2022.

"Our goal is to make your journey to the cloud easy," Sachin Gupta, the GM and VP of product for IaaS at Google Cloud, said. "With transformative capabilities to help you innovate faster and save money, we follow an open approach to give you the greatest flexibility and choice as your organisation evolves." 

Elsewhere, the cloud giant also unveiled data-centric updates such as Vertex AI Workbench, a unified service to build and deploy ML models faster to accelerate time-to-value. The company also revealed an autoscaling and serverless service in partnership with 'Spark'. Available now in preview, it aims to enable customers to get started in seconds and scale infinitely, regardless if they start in BigQuery, Dataproc, Dataplex or Vertex AI. 

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There were also multiple announcements around sustainability, such as Carbon Footprint Reporting, which provide actionable reports of the carbon footprint associated with a customer's Cloud usage. Google Earth Engine, which will become available for select enterprise customers, lets organisations combine the power of cloud computing, satellite imagery and AI to decarbonise their operations.

What's more, Google Cloud will also proactively alert customers of all idle cloud instances and their associated carbon footprints with Carbon Reduction Recommendations. If customers choose to delete them, they'll reduce their cloud carbon footprints.

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