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What’s new with Google Cloud’s infrastructure – Q2 edition

What a difference a quarter makes. In the span of just three months, Google Cloud teams deliver a raft of new, innovative capabilities for compute, networking, storage, serverless and containers. In this quarterly bulletin, we’re highlighting the key updates that dropped in Q2 2021, for each of the product areas that make up our Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) capabilities.

Which of our Q2 updates were the most exciting? Depends on who you ask. We each had our favorites from our respective teams, as did our colleagues in compute, networking and storage. Below, you can find a longer list of our top updates.

Compute

We made a bunch of great additions to our compute portfolio this quarter, but at the top of the list is the launch of Tau VMs, a new family of virtual machines optimized for scale-out applications and that deliver the best price-performance among leading cloud vendors. The first instances in the Tau family are based on the AMD Milan processors and deliver leading price-performance without compromising x86 compatibility. We are currently registering customers for Preview with availability planned for late Q3.

Here’s some other compute news of note: 

OS Configuration Management (Preview). Simplify compliance across large VM fleets with a new version of OS Configuration Manager.

ML-BasedPredictive Autoscaling for Managed Instance Groups. Improve response times for applications with long initialization times and whose workloads vary predictably with daily or weekly cycles.

We made several updates to Google Cloud VMware Engine in Q2. We are continuing to deliver innovative features making it easier to run your VMware workloads in the cloud, including autoscaling, Mumbai expansion, HIPAA Compliance, and more.

Migrate for Compute Engine V5.0 (GA) – The first offering of Migrate for Compute Engine as a Google Cloud managed service, making it simple and easier to migrate your VMs to Google Cloud.

Two new free white papers available for download. The first covers a simple framework — up, out, or both — for getting your cloud migration going. The second covers strategies on how to put your company on a path to successful cloud migration.

Fantastic story on how ServiceNow and Google Cloud are partnered with Sabre to optimize and improve their cloud migrations and operations

Insightful story on how PayPal leverages Google Cloud to flawlessly manage surges in financial transactions

Networking

On the networking front, we announced Network Connectivity Center, which “provides a single management experience so customers can easily connect and manage on-prem and cloud networks such as VPNs, dedicated and partner interconnects, and SD-WANs,” said Wendy Cartee, Director of Outbound Product Management for Networking. We added high-bandwidth networking options with 50/75/100 Gbpsfor N2 and C2 VM families for high performance computing. And in the security space, we launched Firewall Insights and Cloud Armor Managed Protection Plus, providing increased firewall metrics and ML-powered DDoS protection.

Here’s some other networking news to explore: 

Network Connectivity Center expanded its reach with new partners, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Versa Networks and VMware, allowing enterprises to embrace the power of automation and simplify their networking deployments even further.

High bandwidth networking with 100, 75, and 50 Gbps configurations for General Purpose N2 and Compute Optimized C2 Compute Engine VM families: You can now take advantage of these high-throughput VMs for tightly-coupled high performance computing (HPC), network appliances, financial risk modeling and simulation, and scale-out analytics. 

Firewall Insights provides metrics reports and insight reports on firewall rules to ensure they are being used appropriately and as intended. This report contains information on firewall usage and the impact of various firewall rules on your VPC network. 

Cloud Armor Managed Protection Plus is a managed application protection service that bundles advanced DDoS protection capabilities, WAF capabilities, ML-based Adaptive Protection, efficient pricing, bill protection and access to Google’s DDoS response support into a subscription.

GKE Gateway Controller is Google’s implementation of the Gateway API defined by the K8s community and manages internal and external HTTP/S load balancing for a GKE cluster or a fleet of GKE clusters. 

Network Intelligence Center now has Dynamic Reachability within the Connectivity Tests module generally available. You can get VM level granularity for loss and latency measurements for network troubleshooting, 

Storage

“For storage, the top-three most exciting things that happened in Q2 were around education, openness and innovation,” said Brian Schwarz, Director of Product Management for Storage. For education, we published a best practices blog for saving money with our Cloud Storage object store offering. We posted simple cheat sheets on block storage and transfer options and rounded it out with a peek inside our infrastructure (turns out we are really good at storage!). Later in Q2 we reaffirmed our commitment to an open ecosystem by announcing some enhancements with NetApp, and ended the quarter on a nice innovation note showcasing our new transfer appliance

Check out our other noteworthy Q2 storage news:

Cloud Storage Assured Workloads are GA, your path to running compliant workloads on Google Cloud.

Our latest Transfer Appliance is now available in 40TB and 300TB capacities, making it even easier for customers with limited connectivity or bandwidth constraints to transfer data into Google Cloud.

We’re excited to report that CMEK support is now available for composite objects in Cloud Storage, adding to the security options available to our customers.

For customers supporting performance-critical applications, our new Extreme Persistent Disk tier is GA. Achieve higher maximum IOPS and throughput, and provision IOPS and capacity separately so you can configure your storage to meet your exact needs.

FIlestore Basic Backups is now GA. Filestore Backups serves customers employing a disaster recovery and long-term data retention strategy, where having copies in a separate storage system or a different geographical region is a requirement. Read our documentation to learn more.

Our Storage Transfer Service has a number of new features, including support for hourly transfers and source/destination paths

Containers and serverless

Finally, in the container and serverless space, it was great to see some extra attention paid to cost optimization. Check out our recent blog post about it. Committed use discounts are a great deal for customers, and we added these for both GKE Autopilot and Cloud Run. We also delivered multi-instance GPUs that let you partition a given GPU across multiple containers. Instead of wasting a whole GPU if you only needed a fraction for a given workload, now you can efficiently distribute it across containers. Not only is Google Cloud the most innovative cloud, but we’re also the most cost-optimized option.

Here’s a recap of other major container and serverless news:

For GKE, we previewed and generally released key security and networking functionality including GKE Gateway controller, Seccomp, Dataplane v2, Networking Policy Logging, Container-native Cloud DNS, internal load balancer subsetting and Muti-cluster services

Anthos 1.8 is generally available. For vSphere clusters, you can see previews of cluster autoscaling, auto-sizing for user cluster control plan nodes, Windows container support, and admin cluster backup. Meanwhile, Workload Identity, an improved vSphere CSI driver, and more cluster authentication options are now all generally available.

For bare metal clusters, there’s a new edge-based profile (2vCPU, 4GB RAM clusters), new audit log options, new networking capabilities, and Workload Identity is GA.

Anthos Service Mesh now offers a Google-managed control plane. Move the Istio control plane to a service that we scale and secure on your behalf. Get the value of Istio, without the need to manage it.

Migrate for Anthos 1.7.x and 1.8.0 added new discovery and assessment tooling, more control over VM migration plans, and new runtime support for GKE Autopilot and Cloud Run.

Speaking of Cloud Run, we introduced a handful of powerful security features including Identity-aware Proxy support for Cloud Run, restriction of ingress for Cloud Run, Secrets Manager integration, Binary Authorization support, and customer-manage encryption keys.

Google Cloud’s infrastructure is the launchpad for you to accelerate digital business models, achieve faster time to service, and integrate best-in-class tools for data-powered innovations. Whether you’re just getting started on your infrastructure modernization journey, or you’re looking to try the latest features and tools to advance your infrastructure, we have resources for you. 

In between quarterly updates on our blog, you can stay up to date on the latest product news and releases by subscribing to our newsletter, visiting our release notes page, or talking to one of our sales experts.

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