Google Plays San Francisco's Warfield: 7 Scenes From Cloud Developer Event

Treading Hallowed Ground

The Warfield theater is one of the San Francisco's most famous landmarks, and some of the world's greatest entertainers and musicians have performed there since it opened in 1922.

Al Jolson, Charlie Chaplin, Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead and even the dog Rin Tin Tin have performed onstage at The Warfield. In mid-June, the legendary venue added Google's Cloud Platform team to the list.

During a two-hour presentation, Google executives pitched developers on the advantages of building apps using its public cloud. One main theme: Google has tons of experience running global-scale services like YouTube, search and Google Apps, and it's now making this technology available in its cloud services.

Following are some scenes from the event.

Why Public Cloud Is Making Server Purchases Obsolete

Brian Stevens, the former Red Hat chief technology officer who joined Google last September as vice president of cloud platforms, told attendees that he has "always been a big believer" in public cloud.

One big advantage of public cloud is that it lets startups avoid the capex costs associated with buying and deploying servers, Stevens said.

"Startups don't need to buy servers," Stevens told attendees. "Deploying servers is going to be a thing of nostalgia down the road."

Inside The Warfield Theater

It's not often that a tech vendor holds an event in a place like The Warfield, which holds about 2,300 people and has two levels of seating. Attendees in the foreground concentrated intently on laptops and mobile devices as they waited for the event to kick off.

What's Unique About Google's Cloud?

Carl Schachter, vice president of cloud platform and Google For Work, joined Google in September 2012 from, where he spent 12 years in a variety of senior executive leadership roles.

Microsoft and Amazon Web Services both like to talk about how their public clouds are a productized version of technology they use in-house to run other parts of their businesses.

Schachter said Google believes its competitive advantage lies in the fact that it actually invented many technologies that helped make cloud computing possible.

"We set out to build a better cloud for us, and we're now giving it to you," said Schachter in a keynote at the event.

The Google Cloud Experience

Google wants developers to use its cloud to build apps, and based on the fact that the Google Developer Twitter account has more than 1.3 million followers, it's already got a pretty large following.

What Google is offering is more than just a cloud; it's an experience developers can create for users by harnessing all of the technology Google has developed -- and is now making available as services.

Google is also playing up its low pricing and unique offerings like per-minute pricing and sustained use discounts, where pricing goes down the longer a customer uses a service, as competitive advantages.

Front And Center

The area in front of the stage at The Warfield is usually bedlam during concerts, but there wasn't any dancing to be observed as attendees prepared themselves for Google's cloud event to begin.

Ornate Ceiling

The Warfield has no shortage of interesting things to look at. Gaze at the ceiling and you'll see all kinds of interesting murals and ornate lamps and other features that were in vogue when the venue opened for business nearly a century ago.