Google 'Not Competing With Our Partners' By Building Private Cloud Offering, Company Says


A report published by The Information on Monday said that Google cloud services could soon be reaching into private enterprise data centers. The tech giant was reportedly building and testing custom-designed devices for private data centers.

A spokesperson for Google on Monday, however, told CRN; "We can confirm that we are not building customized appliances for external sale."

The report published Monday, citing two people with knowledge of the project, said that Google is going beyond facilitating hybrid cloud computing by building computers that will combine server, storage and networking functions for a group of large customers to run in their private data centers. The devices have been designed to help with specific customer challenges, such as providing online services to large numbers of users with high performance and minimal networking delays, according to the sources.

The report said it is unknown whether Google will open the hardware up for sale to more customers in the future, but that the large customers with access to the devices today are running "popular internet services."

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Google, for its part, said that it won't be competing with its partners in the private cloud business, such as Nutanix, whose stock declined nearly 12 percent on Monday to $46.43 on the news. "We value our partnerships highly and can also confirm that we are not competing with our partners in this area," the spokesperson told CRN.

[Related: Why Kubernetes May Be Big Business For Solution Providers]

There's no doubt that even the largest public cloud leaders have jumped onboard to the increasingly popular hybrid cloud trend. At Google Next in July, the company unveiled its managed container service, Google Cloud Services Platform. The offering is a combination of the Google Container Engine (GKE) managed Kubernetes orchestration integrated with Istio, an emerging open source service mesh technology. Google Cloud Services Platform marked the first time this version of Kubernetes software, an open source container orchestration originally developed by Google, could run on-premises to give customers a hybrid approach to the cloud.

Google recently hasn't been quiet about its strategy to go after more enterprise customers. Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene in July told partners and customers that making Google more enterprise-friendly was her mission.

"If you think about it, Google is an enterprise company but we're just a very modern enterprise company," Greene said At Google Next 2018.

Having a hybrid cloud strategy is helping the company attract new enterprise customers who haven't been ready or able to offload their mission-critical applications or workloads to a public cloud provider.

Cloud rival Microsoft today sells a version of its public cloud product, Azure, that businesses can run in their own data centers as a hybrid cloud option.

Google parent company Alphabet reported $32.7 billion in revenue during its most recent earnings call in July. Google doesn't break out its cloud revenue specifically, but its "Other Revenues" segment, which houses Google Cloud, Play store and YouTube financials, contributed $4.4 billion during Q2 2018.