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Google Cloud is Crushing Rivals – Top 10 Reasons Why

The cloud pie is expanding in its diameter and multiple layers much like a massive storm. It is impacting every industry on the planet through major players as Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

The order of significance seem to be AWS, Azure and GCP for now. But it’s not hard to predict Google Cloud will hit the ball out of the park and snatch all marks in less than 5 years. It will dominate the leaderboard and become the captain of cloud game.

Google Cloud is secretly crushing rivals, and here’s 10 wide-spread reasons why:

1. Its Trainings are a Game-Changer

When Cisco started practically inventing the internet, its most significant contribution and dominance was in the network training arena. They had no rivals. They supported engineers all over the world with deep and wide network certification programs that were prestigious, highly technical and generous. They printed books, produced trainings, flew engineers to convention centers and raised network stars with a love for Cisco technologies. They conquered telecom stack through trainings.

Just like how Cisco did it, Google is dominating the cloud training through their very own courses, labs and events. With mind-boggling number of courses instructed by Googlers on Coursera (over 350), Google is a top instructor of the famous platform. It has 3.1 million students and the courses provide both high quality content and quizzes, and direct access to Google Cloud through Qwiklabs.

Google is also providing tons of valuable and highly technical content through its Youtube Channels, Cloud Next and I/O events, advocate videos, blog posts and whitepapers.

Google is certainly rocking the training arena.

2. Its Documentation is Rock-Solid

Documentation pages are the single source of truth to all cloud services and they are very important for engineers building on top of the cloud. Without strong docs, engineers are left high and dry, making building and troubleshooting a massive drudgery.

A quick look at Google Cloud docs and even a comparison with its rivals will tell you a very interesting story: Google Cloud has a huge belief in technical documentation and its making the doc pages as human readable and reliable as possible to its customers of all levels.

Google is dissecting its products and services in many angles: product pages, user stories, overviews, use cases, technical details, architecture references, white papers, best practices, code libraries, templates, quick starts, and everything that will make the life of executive, presales and technical staff easier and help them decide faster.

It would be an understatement to say that it is dominating this area. Google is paving the way to rock-solid documentation and teaching its alternatives how it should be done.

3. Becoming the Apple of Cloud

Many people would describe Apple products as beautifully designed, masterfully built, cutting-edge technological artworks. It’s not surprising that Apple is conquering the consumer market with its innovative, elegant products.

Google Cloud is no different. Serverless and managed services such as BigQuery and Dataflow, specialized offerings spanning in all stages of data and machine learning lifecycle such as Dataprep, Vertex and Looker, and rich client libraries, sample labs and templates are removing friction and pain from migration, development, production, and insight stages for all kinds of applications.

The branding, grouping and launching of cloud services are also pretty neatly executed. Google is the powerhouse of cutting-edge technologies especially in data and machine learning services and APIs are designed to be easily used out of the box. Cloud certifications are pretty neat too. Hence, I’m personally convinced that Google Cloud is resembling Apple-level quality here. Amazon is doing a great job too!

4. Productionalizing Every Ounce of Its Data

How is Google using data? Let’s use analogies.

Face masks are simple. Once you apply, the mask learns the surface of your face. Machine learning resembles the face mask in a way. It learns from the face of the data to predict new data. You feed in the photos, computer crunches in numbers to make data points, mold them into a shape to resemble the patterns, hence learn from data.

But nobody likes blurry photos. The photos where you barely recognize the face. With so many advances in camera resolutions, today’s photos are outstandingly clear and detailed. Just like better resolution, the better and more data you feed into a machine learning model, the better it generalizes, and learns from the patterns of the data.

More data, better machine learning. But who would constantly keep track of billions of photos, videos, emails, web sites? You got it! Google. And using this immense stream of data, Google is able to mold machine learning algorithms like no other.

They are offering the most advanced APIs in the artificial intelligence market. From ML pipelines to specialized services such as vision, speech to text and video to AutoML and to even developing hardware with AI, Google is nailing each and every product in ML market.

The power of data is sublime!

5. Building Many Gates into The Cloud

Foundational services are not enough in the cloud business. You’ll have to provide even less friction to catch a greater momentum. Google seems to have already figured this out and is secretly (well, openly) building many proxies that will lead companies into the cloud, effectively lowering the barrier for many businesses.

Just take a look at many of the mostly AI-powered cloud proxies Google announced recently: Anthos for hybrid workload management, recommendations AI for retail, Google cloud search for retail, buy optimization and forecasting for retail, healthcare API, healthcare data engine, Vertex AI for entire ML lifecycles, and Contact Center AI, among many other gates to cloud.

It’s clearly leading the cloud business in multiple layers with direct touch-surface to many vertical segments. Extremely innovative.

6. A Smart Game with Open-Source Software

From TensorFlow and TFX to Kubernetes and KubeFlow to Beam and Istio and many of its contributions to community, Google is playing a very smart and elegant game with open-source software by positioning itself as the tools provider and the lead developer to make transitioning various workloads to the cloud as seamless and smooth as possible with many added benefits.

TensorFlow and TFX are free of charge to the world. Using them on Google Cloud has a highly enriched experience through native integration to cloud services and TPU farms. We all know how Kubernetes changed the landscape for containerized workloads and KubeFlow is following the exact footsteps to lead ML packages to the cloud on Vertex AI.

Do you see the game? πŸ˜‡

Provide the open-source, and offer managed cloud services to enrich these tools. Familiar to use, easy to migrate. That’s a beautiful game, open to all providers and Google is playing it masterfully. πŸ‘πŸ‘

7. A Stronger Reason To Build the Cloud

It’s in their mission statement, and Google is defending its mission like no others.

Our mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

This statement was made over 20 years ago, and it’s a perfect match for cloud products. Google is defending its cloud business with a full commitment because it’s the biggest chunk of code in their DNA.

Hence, it’s obvious that giving up on the cloud race is out of the picture for Google. It has to innovate and dominate to stay true to its reason for existence. It’s easy for Google to commit than others. And I have to say: Google seems to be full-fledged committed.

8. Money, Resources and Patience

LinkedIn tells me that Google has over 244k employees right now. Most of them are software engineers, a big chunk of which are working on developing Google Cloud.

Owning products with billions of users such as Search and Youtube is constantly making Google one of the richest companies on Earth.

Just like Amazon and Microsoft, Google is employing the best goal-setting frameworks among its employees, such as OKRs and 10x mindset.

This is a common fabric among all cloud providers: having the money, resources and patience. However, Google is probably one step ahead with its built-like-a-tank global infrastructure deploying its own server architecture and network core, and following a born-to-be-a-cloud mission.

Googlers on LinkedIn are very active globally, using their personal brands effectively to promote cloud services and build better awareness around Google’s trainings and offerings.

9. Building a Global Fleet of Partners

Google seems to be both hiring internal employees to work with partners and rewarding partner companies with stronger relationships and badges. The cloud division recently awarded its partners around the world.

From global winners like DoIT, Deloitte and Atos to Regional winners like Sada, Zenta and Accenture to specialization winners like Pythian, and Jellyfish, numerous consulting companies are on a hiring spree to fill the demand for migration to cloud.

10. Billion-User Products to Battle-test For Cloud

Offering services to the entire planet is no easy feat. The more users you serve, the more enemies you make. From local regulations to global criticism to colossal amounts of data to billions of users accessing your products and to attackers and hackers trying to take you down, you have gigantic problems to solve and an immense battlefield to combat in.

Google has been winning this war for so many of its products: Search, Maps, Android, Photos, Workspace, Gmail, Chrome, Play and Youtube are being tested by the entire planet and billions of users every day. And Google is becoming wiser and wiser in this war.

With so many billion-user products serving the planet, Google is by far the biggest battle-field to test its security, infrastructure, and services and this is only accelerating Google’s victory in the cloud market.

In Summary

The cloud pie is huge and growing, and the game is fair to everyone. Choosing which provider won’t matter in a few years because each one of them is providing vast amount of space to all businesses and there’s a massive transition to the cloud.

That being said, these are the top ten reasons and strategies why Google is going to be leading the cloud game, if my prediction is correct.

My goal with this article is not criticizing Amazon or Microsoft. Instead, I hope this article serves as a source of inspiration as there’s a lot to learn from each other. Stirring the pot is usually a good thing!

If you are a trainer, professional or a student looking to upskill, these are all the strong reasons why you can consider starting a cloud certification journey for yourself or your students.

Thank you for dropping by and feel free to comment. πŸ’›πŸ˜¬

Best wishes to all cloud providers! ❀️

Hifzullah Celik

@hifce

Disclaimer: I hold all Google Cloud certifications (11x), so naturally, I’m extremely biased in this article. I encourage you to challenge me and convince me otherwise!

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πŸ”– A quick review of the new Cloud Digital Leader (beta) exam 😬

Have you heard the news yet? Google Cloud released a new beta exam.

Cloud Digital Leader is a foundational certification exam for Product Tech Leads paving the way to the cloud. I just attended the exam right after it was released in my time zone (CDT) on May 3rd, around 1:30 am.

This is a post about my observations on the beta exam. If you’re interested in this exam, you’ll find my suggestions on how to prepare for it throughout this article. So, I’m offering review and guidance. πŸ˜‡

First of all, understanding the scope of the exam will be super useful:

This is a certification geared towards people with a good technical understanding of the services that can transform and scale their business using the vast opportunities happening in the cloud. However, the technical depth is not too rigorous, hence you’ll be able to answer most questions by simply differentiating use cases of the services and the products.

That being said, it is certainly not recommended to view this exam as a 10,000ft view of things. It’s more like 500ft or 1,000ft view. So I’d suggest you pay attention to differentiating and supporting qualities of each service on Google Cloud. Studying them well will serve you well during your testing session.

This is a mini Solutions Architect exam with added focus topics.

Imagine the role of a technical leader who is familiar enough to all (yes, I said all) cloud services offered by Google Cloud, who can articulate them well, understand the difference between each service, their relative strengths and purposes, as well as how to get access to compliance documents on the cloud, how to choose between different Google Cloud support options, how to control and optimize costs depending on various workloads and how to properly structure the projects and teams from the perspectives of the network, resource management, security and compliance contexts.

Basically, you’re leading the way to the cloud for your team. This exam expects you to understand the huge potential inherent in the cloud pretty well.

Things you should be cautious about:

  • Pay attention to the exam guide first and foremost.
  • Google each key concept in the guide and find relevant Google Cloud docs, pin them and study them.
  • The current learning path is not conclusive. Spending too much time on the listed courses will not disappoint you if you want to gain insight into business transformation, but it weighs a little less on the exam, so definitely support them with additional courses.
The current resources listed on the cert page.
  • Business Transformation & Product Fundamentals are beautifully crafted courses. They bring a lot of insights into an effective cloud journey. However, don’t stop after these courses.
  • Cloud Adoption Framework is also a really powerful tool. Definitely check it out.

You’re expected to know at a level of Junior Solutions Architect or at least a Junior Associate Cloud Engineer in order to effectively distinguish between different options available in the questions. Notice I emphasized “junior” as the questions are not deep enough to be at a professional level, but rigorous enough to keep you on your toes.

So definitely go over all the Google Cloud offerings in the following areas:

  1. Compute services ranging from disks and VMs to various offerings such as App Engine and Kubernetes engine just to name a few.
  2. Storage options such as Cloud Spanner, Cloud SQL, Firebase, BigQuery and many more.
  3. Big data and analytics offerings such as Pub/Sub, DataFlow, BigQuery and so on.
  4. Machine Learning options and their most proper use cases, such as when to use TensorFlow vs. when to choose BQ ML.
  5. Various migration scenarios depending on the need in question.
  6. Integrating with 3rd party Identity providers such as Google Cloud Directory sync and SSO.
  7. Various DevOps tools such as Container Registry, Cloud Build and Jenkins
  8. Distinguishing between Cloud Armor, Cloud NAT and Cloud Load Balancer, etc.
  9. Security tools such as Security Command Center and their value in the cloud ops.
  10. And of course familiarity with Cloud Operations tools such as logging and monitoring.

What to focus on while studying?

I’d say focus on strengths and distinguishing aspects of each service or option. For instance, Cloud SQL makes sense for a startup with local user base or for a company with less than 30 TB of transactional data. However, if the question is painting a background picture for a global reach, high scalability, and strong consistency, you can no longer offer Cloud SQL. Cloud Spanner is the clear choice.

Also focus on getting familiar with as many services as you can. There are a lot of topics leaking from different Google Cloud certification learning paths such as DevOps, Network, Security, Cloud Developer, etc. While this is a foundational level exam, having an understanding of as many Google Cloud service as you can will definitely help you understand and answer most, if not all, questions with better confidence. For instance, is a VPC global resource or regional? How does it work? What about firewall rules?

Another thing to focus on is your own role that is assumed in this beta exam. You are a tech lead preparing your team for success. You should get knowledgeable about your Google Cloud support options such as role-based production support, cost optimization offerings such as committed use discounts, compliance management such as Compliance Reports Manager, and various migration scenarios such as rip and replace. After all, you’re the tech lead, you should know how to find your way into the cloud.

How is this exam positioned in the cloud journey?

This is an entry level exam with ambitious goals. By repurposing the Cloud Adoption Framework, I can place this certification under the “Lead” theme and the “Strategic” maturity level. To better picture what I mean:

A screenshot taken from the Cloud Adoption Framework. Although this is for transforming your business, it summarizes the mindset you’ll need nicely as well.

So with this exam, you’re expected to think strategically under all 4 themes and especially the “Lead” theme.

That means, by the time you are ready to take the exam, you should have an idea on how to improve your team’s training collaboratively, how to organize cross-functional teams, how to make use of automation and templated workflows to prepare your architecture for scalability and have a pretty good understanding of the central identity and hybrid networks, albeit not at the professional level.

And as a leader taking this exam, you should be able to manage a group of cloud developers, solutions architects, information security and billing teams and communicate effectively with your team members. This requires you to be well-verses with all cloud offerings, migration strategies and governance aspects of the business with an eye on the transformational maturity level as you progress more into the cloud.

What courses & resources do I suggest?

Must-take:

I didn’t check out the relevant resources on cost management and Google Cloud support strongly enough and I felt sorry during the exam. My guesswork is pretty strong in such cases though. 😬

Not a must but highly-recommended supplemental resources:

  • Cloud Architecture with Google Cloud Professional Certificate. This will help you prepare for the SA and ACE as well.
  • If you already hold professional certifications, doing a quick review of the courses you previously took will help refresh your knowledge.
  • Top courses on Udemy and A Cloud Guru on Associate Cloud Engineer and Solutions Architect will also help you prepare for this certification, obviously. πŸ™‚ Remember to add the courses above to your study though. I will leave this section to your googling skills.

The GA exam will probably be different and might cover less topics than stated above. If you over-study for this one, you’ll thank me later for the professional exams.

I hope I was able to pass on this attempt. We shall see. 🀲

And, I hope this quick review helps you better prepare for the exam and become a Cloud Digital Leader who is focused on strategic, agile and secure integration with and migration to the cloud.

Lastly, thank you to the Google Cloud training team for putting together such a great foundational certification. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Best wishes to everyone preparing for this beta exam! πŸ’šπŸ’š

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The New Cloud Digital Leader Certification πŸ”₯

πŸ˜‡ I just submitted my session for the new Google Certified Cloud Digital Leader Certification. πŸ‘πŸ”₯

Here’s my observations:

– The beta exam is 3 hours
– Expect to see 3-digit # of questions in this beta
– The learning path might misguide many people
– However the exam guide nicely and accurately reflects the exam

My suggestions for people who scheduled the beta:
– Brush on your Solutions Architect skills, because you are expected to know on a junior SA or junior ACE level at the very least.
– Know your Google support options
– Know your cost optimization options
– Follow the exam guide ⚠️

“The Cloud Digital Leader exam is job-role agnostic and does not require hands-on experience with Google Cloud.”

While this quote is true, you definitely should know junior level solutions architecture. Hence, having a couple of professional certifications will definitely make your life a lot easier during the exam.

While this certification might sound like executive level, it has an inherent word in the name:

Cloud “Technical” Digital Leader. Because you’ll want to have some background knowledge on most common use cases and Google Cloud services.

The exam doesn’t reveal a result, so I’ll be waiting my turn to know IF I passed.

Best wishes to everyone taking this exam! πŸ’š

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Hello world!

If you’ve ever touched a coding environment, you’ll know this obligatory message! It’s a nice proof knowing that the language specific libraries are all in place and functioning.

<?php echo β€œHello World!” ?>

Me, coding.

It sounds like everything’s working: my domain, WordPress installation, the database and surely, my page theme. Great!

Up next, let’s talk about what to expect from this blog.

Welcome, World!