Is Google worried about Amazon in the cloud?

Google cloud guy says it’s so early, winners haven’t yet been crowned


Google is seen by many as one of the big three public clouds in the IaaS market today, but by most analysts estimate it’s behind Amazon Web Services and some say Microsoft Azure too. What does the man who is largely responsible for building Google Cloud Platoform, Urs Hölzle think about that?

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Urs Holzle at Google Cloud Platform event Matt Rosoff

Google infrastructure chief Urs Holzle 

Hölzle says he doesn't’ worry about it too much because he can’t influence what others are doing in the market; he’s just focusing on Google. But he’s not intimidated. “I think people forget how early it is in the market,” Hölzle, who is Google’s senior vice president for technical infrastructure, told Cloud Chronicles during a sit-down interview at Interop. “It’s very early on, and it’s a growth market.”

Most of the apps that will end up in the cloud either haven’t been developed yet, or haven’t been migrated there yet. Hölzle says 99% of workloads have not been migrated to a cloud yet. That leaves huge market share ready for the taking.

Google will not get all those workloads. But neither will Amazon. Nor Microsoft. And that’s the point: It’s not a zero-sum game: Google and AWS can both be successful - it’s a big enough market.

Hölzle says consider the smartphone market: When Android was created it didn’t have to steal users from Apple. It was so early on that most users hadn’t chosen a platform yet. Hölzle says there’s a parallel in the cloud. The market could look very different in a matter of years.

Many Google cloud users also use Amazon or other cloud and hosting providers too.

So how should users decide which vendor to go with in the cloud? Hölzle is proud of Google’s innovation, from helping to create MapReduce and Hadoop to doing pioneering work on containers and many other projects. Customers should consider that when choosing a cloud provider, he says:

“You’re making a choice that’s not a single point in time choice; you’re really making a longer-term choice. You should think about (who) you really want to align with as an ecosystem; who do you think has the trajectory that gets you not just what you need today, but will give you many things in the future?”

Google is far from done innovating for itself or the cloud market, Hölzle says. In fact, it’s just begun.

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