Google ups the Cloud ante. Should others worry? — My take

Janakiram wrote a fine piece at Forbes about Google’s newfound focus on Google Cloud Platform and wonders whether Amazon and Microsoft should worry. This triggered the part of my brain that produces random nonsense and I started writing a comment on LinkedIn. Since its rather a long comment, I thought I’d publish it here too. For posterity :)

Yes, Amazon and Microsoft should worry. Going by history, its not a good idea to bet against Google

With these three giants fighting it out, I think the end user will ultimately benefit. While AWS will lead this race for foreseeable future, I think that these three companies will try to get better in each other’s territory. Azure PaaS (App service, Azure ML, SQL Azure, Azure SQL DW), AWS IaaS (well, EC2, general ecosystem and range of services), Google’s Big Data (BigQuery, DataProc, BigTable) are world class and second to none. At the peak of Android vs iPhone war, google and apple tried relentlessly to get better at what the competitor does best. For Google it was design (hello, Matias Duarte) and for Apple it was the urgent need to get better at internet(ever used Apple Maps?). We all know how that played out. I foresee similar things happening in cloud computing too. The only difference is — we have three awesome companies now instead of two in android vs iphone.

If I were AWS, I would be worried more about Google than MS. While AWS will continue to compete with Azure for enterprise workloads(I am talking about domain controllers, sharepoint/CRM dynamics and Oracle financials/SAP type of workloads) Google will slowly eat into all the other IaaS workloads which run on open source technologies. Though AWS has like 85% mindshare in today’s cloud market, Google’s new found focus will quickly win more mindshare pretty quick. These are the kind of workloads that tend to stay away from Azure thinking Azure is more windows friendly. So the cool kids who go ecstatic today with every problem you can solve with AWS lambda will soon cheer for similar products and services from GCP and there is a tangible chance of GCP becoming a second choice to run all *nix workloads. AWS currently enjoys the privilege of having no serious competition for certain workloads today. This might soon change as GCP becomes more mainstream. This and the fact that GCP is lighter on your pockets compared to AWS makes me think that GCP will soon be a tough competitor.

Fortunately for me, I work with all these three platforms on a daily basis and love them all equally for different reasons. Its great watching these giants fighting it out and witness the breathtaking pace of innovation. So much to learn. So much to do :)

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