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Cloud Computing Analyst on Google Moves: 'Watch Out AWS!'

Forrester Research Inc. analyst Robert Stroud had some words of warning for public cloud computing market leader Amazon Web Services Inc. (AWS) in the wake of Google's recent refocusing of its cloud operations.

"Watch out AWS!" read a blog post authored by Stroud yesterday with the title, "Will the answer to public cloud be Google?"

The Forrester analyst was commenting on Google's Nov. 19 announcement that it was investing in a cloud future it sees as brimming with untapped potential. "Diane Greene will lead a new team combining all our cloud businesses, including Google for Work, Cloud Platform and Google Apps," Google CEO Sundar Pichai said in a blog post. "This new business will bring together product, engineering, marketing and sales and allow us to operate in a much more integrated, coordinated fashion."

Greene is an industry veteran who co-founded VMWare Inc. and served as that company's CEO, while also holding a seat on Google's board of directors, a post she will continue to keep.

"I'm equally excited that Google has entered into an agreement to acquire a company founded by Diane," Pichai said. "Bebop is a new development platform that makes it easy to build and maintain enterprise applications. We think this will help many more businesses find great applications, and reap the benefits of cloud computing. Bebop and its stellar team will help us provide integrated cloud products at every level: end-user platforms like Android and Chromebooks, infrastructure and services in Google Cloud Platform, developer frameworks for mobile and enterprise users, and end-user applications like Gmail and Docs. Both Diane and the Bebop team will join Google upon close of the acquisition."

Forrester's Stroud indicated the possible significance of Greene's hiring and the acquisition of Bebop. "Clearly, Google is looking to take advantage of the changing paradigm of compute," Stroud said of Google's news. "Google already has a presence in the Cloud arena including its Google Cloud Platform. The focus of the cloud business is to channel its resources to create serious momentum in the market. Now the journey to success will not be overnight. That said, with its resources that include people and cash, application stack offerings and market awareness it has the components to differentiate and compete in this rapidly growing market."

While showing great momentum, that market has even more room to grow, Pichai said. "Only a tiny fraction of the world's data is currently in the cloud -- most businesses and applications aren't cloud-based yet," the Google CEO said. "This is an important and fast-growing area for Google and we're investing for the future."

That investment should set off warning bells at AWS and its cloud competitors, Forrester's Stroud said. "AWS, Microsoft, IBM and the other cloud vendors should be concerned with this new entrant into the market," he opined. "That said, they all have the advantage of being established. Also, without investing in innovation and moving beyond the highly commoditized Infrastructure-as-a Service play, they too could be in a discount spiral that could be a feature of cloud in 2016."

Developers and other users of public cloud infrastructure will benefit from the increased competition, Stroud said. "The real winner here will be the consumer of cloud services," the Forrester analyst continued. "With the refocused entry of Google, not only will there be continued price pressure, the acceleration of innovation will accelerate, making public cloud an even larger component of your compute workload options."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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