Google Cloud ramps up its migration partnerships

Google cloud logo near a suspended catwalk

SAP, VMware and Microsoft Windows workloads can now be migrated to Google Cloud, the company announced at its Next 19 event in London.

The new capabilities will allow customers to migrate the workloads without having to change tools or use different functions - lifting them "as is" according to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.

"Our mission at Google Cloud is to enable organisations around the world to transform their business using digital technology," he said during his keynote. "And to do so offering the best infrastructure, a digital transformation platform and industry-specific solutions to help you transform your organisation."

The first announcement was for Google customers running VMware workloads on-premise. Kurian said that Google Cloud now allows them to move their VMware workloads to the cloud, using existing VMware tools, processes and operational practices. He said it allows workload migration while maintaining business continuity.

This is possible through the company's acquisition of CloudSimple, an enterprise migration platform and former partner that Google absorbed on Monday. The firm is recognised worldwide as an expert in running VMware and has proven technology to move VMware workloads to the Google Cloud, Kurian said.

His second announcement was for the 'SAP Cloud Acceleration Programme', another service to move workloads to Google's Cloud - again, due to a number of its partners already running SAP applications in its cloud. Kurian said this was because it lets them upgrade SAP systems without downtime.

The third announcement was for Microsoft Windows, where NetApp storage will be used for broader support for both Windows desktop and server applications to be moved to Google Cloud. NetApp is a hybrid cloud data service and management company which is conveniently led by Thomas Kurian's twin brother George.

There were also new security features, announced by Google Cloud's VP of engineering, security and trust, Suzanne Frey. The first of which is an External Key Manager, due to launch soon. It allows customers to integrate their own third-party encryption keys with the Google Cloud key management service. Customers can keep their encryption keys completely outside of Google's infrastructure, either on their own premises or in a third-party key management service.

To go with this, Frey also announced Key Access Justification, which works with the External Key Manager and provides a reason each time a key is accessed - forcing Google to request to decrypt customer data.

"Using these services together, you can deny us any access to your data," Frey said. "And as a result, you are the ultimate arbiter of access to your information."

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.