Google Cloud announces BigQuery Omni multi-cloud analytics solution, and two new security offerings

  • BigQuery Omni allows seamless connection and data transfer across multiple public clouds
  • Confidential Computing encrypts data in-use while it is being processed

Google Cloud announces BigQuery Omni multi-cloud analytics solution, and two new security offerings

A recent Gartner research survey on cloud adoption found that more than 80% of respondents using the public cloud were using more than one Cloud Service Provider (CSP). That isn’t itself a bad thing, but it does generate a few problems of its own.

For one, this means that data is scattered across multiple public clouds. Moving data between cloud providers can be costly, and thus not sustainable for many businesses. At the same time, it can still be difficult to seamlessly work across clouds.

Google Cloud’s new BigQuery Omni is set to solve this issue. Announced at their recent Next ’20 virtual press conference, BigQuery Omni is a multi-cloud analytics solution powered by Anthos that allows customers to seamlessly connect directly to their data across Google Cloud, AWS (Amazon Web Services) and Azure (coming soon) for analysis without having to move or copy datasets.

This is done through a single user interface, which lets customers analyse data in the region where it’s stored, thus providing a unified analytics experience. All in all, BigQuery Omni provides enterprises with the flexibility they need to break down silos and create actionable business insights, all without having to pay expensive egress fees for moving data from other cloud providers to Google Cloud.

Anthos is described as a hybrid and multi-cloud application platform that provides a consistent development and operations experience for cloud and on-premises environments. Anthos is said to ensure a secure and seamless connection between Google Cloud and the other public clouds, so customers can securely run analytics with a fully-managed infrastructure

“For our customers, data is no longer one room in the house — it’s the foundation. However, moving data across different clouds is both cumbersome and expensive,” says Google Cloud general manager and vice president of engineering Debanjan Saha.

“With BigQuery Omni, customers will get a multi-cloud analytics solution that enables them to gain critical data insights, in one unified experience. We continue to invest in multi-cloud in an effort to democratise access to the best technologies for our customers, no matter what cloud provider they’re using today.”

BigQuery Omni is now available in Private Alpha for AWS S3, with Azure support coming soon. It supports Avro, CSV, JSON, ORC, and Parquet. Those interested can visit the Google Cloud blog for a technical deep dive.

Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google believes that “confidential computing is one of those game changers, that will affect cloud computing."

Adding security

During the Next ’20 press conference, Google Cloud also announced two new security offerings, namely Confidential VMs – noted as the first product in Google Cloud’s “Confidential Computing” portfolio; and Assured Workloads for Government.

“Customers across all industries are navigating the complexities of compliance and privacy in the cloud, especially those in regulated industries, such as financial services firms, healthcare companies, and government agencies,” says Google Cloud general manager and VP of security Sunil Potti.

“These companies want to adopt the latest cloud technologies, but strict requirements for data privacy or compliance are often barriers. Confidential VMs and Assured Workloads will help us better serve customers in these industries, so they can securely take advantage of the innovation of the cloud while also simplifying security operations.”

Confidential Computing encrypts data in-use, while it is being processed. Its environments keep data encrypted in memory and elsewhere outside of the central processing unit (CPU). This addresses one of the biggest concerns in moving workloads to the cloud – how to process sensitive data while keeping it private.

“Rarely do new technologies emerge that can fundamentally change the nature of cloud computing,” says Vint Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. “Confidential computing is one of those game changers that has the potential to transform the way organisations process data in the cloud, while significantly improving confidentiality and privacy.

Confidential VMs, on the other hand, offers memory encryption on top of Google Cloud’s variety of isolation and sandboxing techniques as part of its cloud infrastructure. Memory encryption here allows customers to further isolate workloads in the cloud. Google Cloud claims that it is the first major cloud provider to offer this level of security and isolation while giving customers an easy-to-use solution that doesn’t require changing code in apps or compromising on performance.

Confidential VMs are currently in Beta. For additional information, do check out the blog on Confidential VMs.

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