Google Next OnAir event – Recap week 3: Infrastructure, Security

Google Cloud - Next OnAir EMEA - Recap - Week 3 Infrastructure & Security

The past week was dedicated to the infrastructure and security of the Google Cloud environment. This time no new announcements, but a lot of emphasis on the infrastructure and security announcements this summer.

In addition, Google once again put the spotlight on a series of European companies that have chosen Google. From the multitude of announcements we have selected one that we consider important in Europe.

What about the confidentiality of data on GCP?

Google has come a long way since its start in 1998. Together with billions of residents of our planet, we use Search to surf the Internet, Maps to take us smoothly to our next destination, YouTube to watch videos or listen to music, Android to operate our smartphone and that is only part of the story. But with all that success, a persistent perception has also been created. Google sits on a mountain of information. You cannot keep anything secret or confidential from them. Such an image is of course deadly if you want to enter the professional market. That is why Google is working to undermine that image and perception.

For many years, her credo has been that there is only one owner of professional data and that is the customer. Google will never use professional data for its own purposes or make it available to third parties in any form for commercial purposes. Your data remains your data even if that data is on Google’s servers. But words are just words. Such statements gain strength if you simply make it physically impossible for everyone within Google to access that data. And that is what Google has achieved.

Initially, this was done by encrypting data at two specific moments. First, if that data is in transit somewhere on the network (in transport). And two, when the data is stored (at rest). When encrypting you can choose to use standard Google keys, but also to select keys from a third party. You can also decide to keep those keys outside of the Google environment. When Google wants to use this data, they must request explicit content before they can use it. In addition, you can then check perfectly during an audit who consulted which data in what phase.

Confidential VM’s

But of course you haven’t covered the entire process with this. Because that data is of course also used in applications (in use) and at that specific moment the data was not protected. But by using a new functionality on the processors, Google can now also encrypt data on virtual machines and in containers. With this, Google makes it possible to physically shield data in all phases of the processing. And it guarantees to its customers that data confidentiality does not depend on the actions of its personnel, but is based on the architecture used.

Real-world examples of Google integrations

Next OnAir events are full of technology announcements. But the proof of the pudding is, as always, in the eating. Do those new products really make a difference? Google gave us three stories from Europe this week.

Logo BMG
There is music in Google Cloud

When Bertelsmann Music sold its music business to Sony in 2008, a part of that agreement didn’t transfer to Sony. ‘BMG Rights’ manages music rights (manages and collects those rights for the composers) and also supports both composers and performers in the marketing and worldwide distribution of their music. And like all other players in the music industry, BMG Rights Management has been confronted with the rapid digitization of the market in recent years. A market where permanent access to a wide range has become much more important than building your own music collection.

In other words. We don’t buy music anymore, we stream it. And it goes without saying that this has an impact on the operation of a company like BMG Rights. What they previously earned from the sale of one CD now requires streaming 1,500 songs.

The market is therefore changing very quickly. When the board asked their IT director in 2018 how he saw the digital transformation process, he was still completely convinced of the strength of his own data center and chose to continue on his own. Barely a year later, he told the board that this had been a wrong view and that BMG should immediately and 100 percent go for the public cloud. Why that sudden change of course?

The streaming market is a completely different market. You are not talking about the one-time sale of a CD, but about listening to the same song repeatedly. Moreover, this also happens worldwide. That led to an explosion of data. And to the request to also be able to share that data transparently with the customers (the artists). Scalability became the norm. And then public cloud is the solution.

But there’s more. In this changed world, knowledge and insight are essential. BMG’s IT team did have a few data scientists, but with their regular tasks they could only handle a few projects per year. And that was insufficient to be able to answer the question from the business quickly. BMG was therefore looking for a cloud partner who could also offer tooling for data analysis. The combination of BigQuery and AutoML, the ready-made Machine learning modules from Google together with the extensive pre-sales support and advice made BMG choose Google. In combination with their collaboration environment, business analysts all over the world can now quickly develop new analyzes themselves and thus help to make permanent policy adjustments.

BMG is now nine months into their full migration to GCP and has now migrated sixty percent of their servers. This puts them well ahead of the initial two-year schedule. And that makes you dream of more. Such systems are also useful for writers or game designers. Why not market their solution as a SaaS model?

It is clear that the switch to GCP has accelerated the innovation process at BMG. For the whole interview, click here.

Logo Rentokil
Pest Control is High Tech

Everyone knows Rentokil Initial, a company specialized in pest control and hygiene services. But the company is also an early and innovative user of Google. For example, they have been working with Gmail since 2007 and are now on Workspace with their 45K employees. In addition, they have used the Google IoT and cloud platforms to automate their pest control system. More on this here.

But this week’s presentation is mainly about their use of the Google Cloud VMware engine. Rentokil does not hide in the presentation that the applicative future for them consists of serverless applications in the Google cloud. And their digital transformation is completely based on that strategy.

Of course, this will take years to realize that switch. And the old environment must be maintained and possibly expanded – in the event of acquisitions or rapid market growth. Preferably without having to make additional hardware investments. The old VMware and the new cloud environment must work together perfectly so that the required latency values ​​can be achieved. With Google Cloud VMware environment, Rentokil can transfer its old environment to the cloud and connect it seamlessly to the new PaaS platform. Click here for the full story.

Logo Lloyds Banking Group
Keep it safe!

A very appropriate slogan lately. But certainly also applicable for the third case of this week, Lloyds Bank, the largest banking group in the United Kingdom. They are – like any company in the financial sector today – faced with the rapid transition to digital platforms. Somewhere in the conversation they cite the number of 20K registrations per minute on their banking system.

In this short interview, the bank mainly focuses on the drivers that made it choose GCP. The most important here seemed without a doubt security. Google is starting from “safe by design” in the construction of the cloud platform, an essential condition for the bank. This, in combination with the innovative character and the strengths in the field of analysis, was the deciding factor for them to choose Google.

The full interview is here.

Of course, these three examples are not randomly chosen companies. All three highlight specific USPs of Google. The innovative strength of the group, the strong focus on security, the belief in serverless as the definitive solution. And with the message that Google wants to help make a smooth and economical migration possible, through the strength of their analysis and ML environments, something that can really make a difference in digital transformation.

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