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Run data and AI anywhere with new Google Distributed Cloud services

As enterprises and government organizations navigate their digital transformation journey, they face many challenges: connectivity constraints, the need for low-latency connections, or industry-specific compliance and data sovereignty requirements. These challenges can make it difficult to fully adopt a public cloud.

Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) is designed to meet the unique demands of organizations that want to run workloads at the edge or in their data center, but still want the functionality, flexibility, and scale of cloud services. GDC is a fully managed hardware and software solution built for AI and data with a rich set of services, a range of extensible hardware form factors and the ability to be operated either connected to Google or fully air-gapped. Today at Google Cloud Next ‘23, we are excited to share enhancements to our distributed cloud portfolio to help you run your workloads anywhere. 

Unlock AI and data optimizations anywhere

Today, we are announcing three new AI and Data offerings for Google Distributed Cloud:

Vertex AI integrations – pipelines, predictions, and document translation: today, Vertex AI on GDC Hosted offers pre-trained models for speech, translation, optical character recognition (OCR), and Workbench, a managed notebook service that supports the full machine learning (ML) lifecycle through integration with the most popular ML frameworks and tools. We are bringing Vertex Prediction, which helps automate serving custom models, and Vertex Pipelines, which manages ML operations at scale, to GDC Hosted. We are also introducing Document Translation API service, which supports on demand document translation for Microsoft Office and PDF formats, with formatting retained, saving developers and their end users valuable time and resources. These services will be available in preview in Q2 2024.

“Our mission is to offer modern and easy-to-use digital services to the public. Disconnected cloud solutions like Google Distributed Cloud Hosted, with built-in AI and analytics capabilities, offer improved security, privacy, and compliance benefits that enable us to achieve this goal.” – Patrick Houtsch, Director, The Government IT Centre (CTIE), Luxembourg

AlloyDB Omni: Database Service for GDC Hosted will now support AlloyDB Omni as a new managed database engine in preview. AlloyDB Omni offers the benefits of AlloyDB, including high performance, full PostgreSQL compatibility, and simplified management with machine learning-enabled autopilot systems — all at a fraction of the cost of legacy databases. In our performance tests (March, 2023), AlloyDB Omni was more than 2x faster than standard PostgreSQL for transactional workloads, and delivered up to 100x faster analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL. AlloyDB Omni also supports the pgvector extension, so you can store, index, and query vector embeddings — numeric representations of data generated by LLMs that are used to represent the semantic meaning of the underlying data. 

Dataproc Spark: Many organizations use open-source technologies like Apache Spark for data processing and analytics. With Dataproc, Google Cloud’s managed service for running open-source data tools, our customers can run Spark with a 54% lower TCO (as of April 2022). GDC Edge will now support Dataproc so you can achieve better savings, security, and manageability, while supporting data residency and regulatory requirements. The service will be available in preview in Q4 2023.

“With Google Distributed Cloud and Dataproc, we are heading towards dynamically managing and analyzing data with AI, in a secure and uniform way from on-prem to cloud.” – Steve Jarrett, Global Head of AI and Data, Orange

Build with flexibility and scale 
Google Distributed Cloud comes in different sizes and configurations to give you the independence and control you require with your deployments. You can choose from a variety of deployment sizes, ranging from tens of thousands of three-node deployments for far edge locations, to hundreds of racks in your own data centers. We are also excited to introduce a suite of new infrastructure capabilities to make it easier for your deployment to grow as your needs evolve:

Next-generation hardware: We are introducing next-generation Google Distributed Cloud machines with increased performance, flexibility, and modular scaling options. The new Google Distributed Cloud hardware stack features the 4th Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable Processors and high-performance network fabrics with up to 400 Gbps throughput. 

The new GDC Hosted hardware comes with improved vCPU performance, DDR5 high bandwidth memory, Gen5 PCIe I/O performance, 400G/100G network links, and specialized GPUs for AI workloads with Nvidia A100 chips to power AI and data processing applications in your air-gapped cloud environment.

We are also introducing new hardware configurations for GDC Edge. This includes three small form-factor servers – in small, medium, and large, with different vCPUs, RAM, and storage capacity – that are ruggedized and optimized for retail stores and restaurants. The new configuration is designed to be resilient against inconsistent network connectivity. With a streamlined deployment model, you can use GDC Edge to leverage fully managed, highly available on-premises Kubernetes clusters in thousands of locations, to scalably manage in-store applications from a central place.

New IaaS services to support modern workloads: GDC Hosted now offers support for new guest operating systems, customer-managed VM images, a package repository for VM runtime configuration, simplified networking, backup and restore tooling, and streamlined APIs and Command Line Interface (CLI). Together, these enable modern workflows for your VM-based workloads, while dedicated network connectivity provides a direct physical connection between your on-prem network and your organization, providing greater isolation, flexibility, and scale. To help with container management, GDC Hosted now includes managed services for Artifact Management, which lets you easily store and access your container images from a private repository. These services are available in preview.

Today at Next, we also launched GKE Enterprise, a new premium edition of GKE, that can allow customers to increase velocity across multiple teams, easily and securely run their important business-critical workloads, and reduce total cost of ownership with a fully integrated and managed solution from Google Cloud. GKE is included in all Google Distributed Cloud products, and the newly launched GKE Enterprise will be included in all Google Distributed Cloud deployments at no additional cost.

Expanded partnerships: An open cloud strategy is core to Google, and we have built GDC on an open ecosystem, enabling you to use leading open-source tools and ISVs to accelerate application development. To make it easier for developers to build their disconnected applications, we’re also expanding our marketplace offerings, providing familiar services including ElasticSearch, MongoDB Enterprise Advanced, and SAP on Google Distributed Cloud. Deploying these integrated services in air-gapped environments will be easier than ever.

“We are expanding our partnership with Google Cloud to serve public sector customers that have the strictest regulatory and compliance requirements. In addition to Elastic on Google Cloud, we are proud to now bring Elastic to Google Distributed Cloud. This will enable customers to build compelling search and AI powered applications, monitor their apps and infrastructure and protect that infrastructure, while still meeting their compliance requirements.” – Steve Kearns, VP Product, Elastic

“We are deepening our partnership with Google Cloud by going further to meet even more customers where they are. In addition to MongoDB Atlas being already available in the Google Cloud Marketplace, customers will be able to take advantage of MongoDB Enterprise Advanced on Google Distributed Cloud to modernize applications in a fully air-gapped, secure, and sovereign environment.” – Ben Cefalo, Vice President, Product Management, MongoDB

“SAP Business Technology Platform on Google Distributed Cloud Hosted aims to enable customers across the Public Sector and Regulated Enterprises to have the independence and control they need for their most sensitive data and mission critical business processes. Customers that require an air-gapped environment can innovate faster by integrating business processes with artificial intelligence, data and analytics, application development, and automation.” – Michael Ameling, SVP, Head of BTP Foundation & Intelligent Enterprise, Technology & Innovation, SAP

New security and availability capabilities: GDC is architected from the ground up to support the needs of your applications, including workloads that have strict data and operational sovereignty requirements. GDC provides comprehensive security services and features to help protect workloads at every stage of the lifecycle including perimeter protection, customer managed keys, data protection at rest, logging, and managed SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) and SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) services. 

Today, we are happy to announce additional security and availability features available in preview: 

Boundary proxy on GDC Edge provides visibility and auditability for GDC Edge by inspecting and logging all management traffic between Google Cloud and GDC Edge. 

Bastion host on GDC Edge enables you to easily view and control Google Cloud’s access to GDC Edge for troubleshooting purposes, supporting you with operational sovereignty and compliance requirements.

Key tracking on GDC Hosted automatically creates and provides the resource mapping for all your managed keys, which can give you full control and visibility of your data. 

BYO-certificate on GDC Hosted enables you to upload certificates issued by a third-party certificate authority.

Survivability mode enables you to continue on-prem operations on GDC Edge even if you lose connectivity to Google Cloud, running your workloads for extended periods of time while disconnected from the network. With survivability mode, you can now deploy Google-managed infrastructure on-prem while minimizing operational disruptions due to unreliable networks.

We’re just getting started

These are just a few of the services and features that organizations in a variety of industries can use with Google Distributed Cloud to build modern AI applications — while enjoying state-of-the-art infrastructure and operational features, giving you your cloud, your way. 

If you’re interested in bringing the power of Google Cloud to the edge or your data center using Google Distributed Cloud, reach out to us or to any of our accredited partners.

Register today for a complimentary digital pass to watch all Google Next ‘23 keynotes and get unlimited access to on-demand sessions including:

SPTL 202 What’s next for architects and IT professionals 

ARC 100 Mind the air gap: How cloud is addressing today’s sovereignty needs

ARC 101 Running AI at the edge to deliver modern customer experiences

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