ArchiTECHt Daily: Google's flexes its engineering muscle in cloud battle

On any other day, the cloud press might have been going crazy over AWS's new WebEx-style communicatio
ARCHITECHT
ArchiTECHt Daily: Google's flexes its engineering muscle in cloud battle
By ARCHITECHT • Issue #18 • View online
On any other day, the cloud press might have been going crazy over AWS’s new WebEx-style communication service Chime, and perhaps AWS’s new Elastic Block Store volumes, as well. But yesterday was not any other day: It was the day that Google announced its long-awaited Spanner database as a service (more detail on that later).
What we’re seeing in the increasingly heated battle between the two companies, encapsulated by yesterday’s news, is that AWS has inherited the DNA of its parent company, betting on retail-style bulk as a winning strategy. Google, meanwhile, is banking on its DNA in distributed systems engineering and betting users will buy into its technocracy.
Jay Kreps—who helped create Apache Kafka (among other things) while at LinkedIn, and current co-founder of big data startup Confluent—summed it up in similar, but slightly different, terms on Twitter:
And yesterday, if my networks and news feeds are any indication, technocracy won. Google trotted out its VP of infrastructure, and CAP Theorem creator, Eric Brewer, to blog about about how Spanner essentially turns his theorem on its head (it also could have chosen Spanner creator Jeff Dean for the job). Google solicited a detailed trial case study by early-access user Quizlet, documenting Spanner performance over 30 nodes. And people ate it up.
Part of this is because Spanner is a remarkable technology, and people are rightly excited about the new Cloud Spanner offering. But I also assume that people—and I mean everybody from journalists to cloud users to CIOs—are just suffering from AWS fatigue, and they’re rooting for anybody who can make things interesting. (Microsoft Azure might be the presumptive No. 2. in terms of cloud revenue, but Microsoft seems content to do its own thing without making much of a splash.)
Don’t get me wrong: Amazon Chime may yet prove to be the best business decision announced yesterday (the cloud is a platform play, after all, and market leader AWS was lacking a conferencing feature) but people really do like what Google is up to. The big question now is whether enough of them favor technical superiority over breadth of products and proven operational efficiency, and by how much.

Source: Google
Source: Google
Around the web: The Cloud Spanner edition
My apologies if you read the intro to this newsletter and were like, “What the heck is Cloud Spanner?” 
In a nutshell, Spanner is a distributed relational database system, developed by Google, that can be distributed across the globe and still provide ACID transactions. From an engineering perspective, it’s a pretty big deal. Cloud Spanner is Google’s new hosted cloud version of it. 
Here is a collection of links from Tuesday that explain in more detail what it is and why people are so excited about it:
Source: Quizlet
Source: Quizlet
Around the web: Security
Around the web: Cloud and infrastructure
Source: University of Pittsburgh
Source: University of Pittsburgh
Around the web: Artificial intelligence
Around the web: All things data
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ARCHITECHT delivers the most interesting news and information about the business impacts of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other trends reshaping enterprise IT. Curated by Derrick Harris.

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