Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Google and the Cloud

Next session focused on Google's cloud offering with some new features announced.

First a few more stats/points.
Consumer technology is racing ahead. It has continued to innovate when the enterprise slowed down.
Out of room of 300 attendees, 50%'of room have an iPad with them, and about 30% support them in enterprise.

Information is overwhelming. 294billion emails are sent every day. That's 50 emails for every person on planet. Wonder how many of them are spam?
There's 1.2zb digital information in the world. (What's a zigabyte?)
Every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
Average office worker spends 13 hours a week dealing with email

Collaboration is key, and mobile work is common. IT is more complicated than ever. It's expensive. Unleashes more security vulnerabilities. There's a sense of inertia once there's a lot of capital and time invested in infrastructure which is difficult and slow to change .

Cloud provides way for us to provide some of these new services users want. It's flexible, lower cost. more secure. Allows speed. Integration, collaboration and particularly innovation. New functionality can be added with no upgrades on client or server side very quickly.

4 key aspects of google cloud:
Scale. Big data centres. Very big. Google earth picture showed new data centre being built with the size of a football pitch marked for scale. Hundreds of thousands of servers. Google has 3rd largest IP network in world. Completely custom stack at every level. Can add new capacity where needed.

There's Geographic redundancy with data centres in various countries.
Logical redundancy as servers will fail! Service will recognize failure and failover and heal.
Replication of data so it stays available to users.
Transparency over failures and status with status dashboard available.

Has to be open and flexible and integrate with other systems. Get rid of silos.
Developers can build apps on the google cloud using App engine, or can buy apps from google market place.
Take your data and run. Data exchange into and out of google cloud. Strong migration tools provided. In and out. No lock in

V important. Need to protect users and data. At the technology level, user data chopped up into small pieces, encoded and stored on different discs.
In terms of people and processes there are policies, tools and procedures in place. More on security later.

Biggest vulnerability is passwords. They can be weak, snooped, hacked, phished or cracked.
New feature just announced, two-stepu verification.
You need 2 pieces of information, something know (a password), and an object which gives you a token. In this case the object is the mobile phone. There are apps for android, blackberry and iPhone to deliver the token, or it can be delivered by SMS or voice. Available from today.
Demo looked good.

Then we had a demo of other features:

Google translate, intelligently recognizes language of emails, and translates instantaneously using the computing power of the cloud.

Google apps can now render attachments on server side eg big PowerPoint files and stream them to you.

Priority inbox. If can block bad mail, ie spam, can do things like looking at common people you mail, categories, subject lines and come up with suggestions of what is important.

Can bring in real time data sets into spreadsheets

And then a pre-announce ( Google speak for a feature not yet released but about to be)
Google docverse, which is basically integration between google apps and MS Office

They also pre-announced the ability to edit google docs on the iPad, iiPhone and any mobile device running android.

1 comment:

George Credland said...

"Google Translate" for email.

I've been using the Babelfish plugin for Firefox to translate web pages for some time now. Ultimately its a crude translation so you get an idea of what the person said. This works well with overseas Facebook friends for example.

That said automated translation is often garbled. You often get words it doesn't understand and the translation often doesn't make sense when taken literally such that I'd be uncomfortable relying on it to translate text to send in another language. Hopefully it'll improve over time.