Google Cloud Launcher Ready To Kill 'Dead Software'

Google Monday launched a next-generation cloud marketplace that its technology partners can use to not only distribute software to their customers, but to keep their products up to date, secure, and fully supported after the initial provisioning.

The enhanced Google Cloud Launcher will empower ISVs building solutions for the Google Cloud Platform to help customers struggling with "dead software" -- a phenomena where unsupported software based on static images becomes dated and ultimately useless, Adam Massey, Google's director of global cloud ecosystem and partnerships, told CRN.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, also built into the new platform a mechanism customers can use to directly contact the partners for support, and for the partners to verify the requests are from verified buyers.

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"We have a vision for a new type of marketplace, one where we're providing a much tighter integration and experience between the customers and the software providers," Massey told CRN.

Google Cloud Launcher has been available as a platform for ISVs to distribute solutions hosted in the Google Cloud for about a year now. But Google considered that product to be in an early stage.

"Over the last six months, we spent a lot of time trying to re-architect our vision of it," Massey said. "We identified problem areas we're trying to fix."

The updated Cloud Launcher allows partners to build in functionality for maintaining the software they deliver to customers through the platform with active integration of version, patching and security updates, Massey said.

Security updates have gone live, and version and patching updates are in the works.

The platform also can notify ISVs when security updates are available from Google, he said.

"Customers can get the best version of partner software, the best integration possible," Massey told CRN. That stronger linkage to the vendor will enable more-sophisticated deployments.

Traditional software marketplaces succeed at enabling transactions around simple deployments based on static images, Massey said. But Google's latest version of Launcher is also technologically unique in that it can scale a solution across multiple virtual machines.

And ISVs using Google Cloud Launcher can also now use Google Cloud Deployment Manager, Massey said, which gives them a user interface providing a comprehensive view "under the hood" of their configurations, as well as preset templates that allow them to architect more complex underpinnings for their solutions.

Currently, Google distributes about 168 solutions through Cloud Launcher from its commercial and open-source partners.

Concurrent with Monday's upgrade, Google unveiled several new ecosystem partners, including Brocade, EnterpriseDB, StorReduce, Techila Technologies and SendGrid, that will begin peddling their wares on the platform.