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Google Cloud Next Conference 2017: Microsoft, Partner Surprises?

When Google’s cloud conference — dubbed Next 2017 — kicks off in March, the search giant will take direct aim at Microsoft Azure while also rallying ISVs and channel partners.

Google confirms that “hundreds” of partners will be involved throughout Next ’17. The twist: The partner conversation will extend far beyond cloud ISVs (independent software vendors).¬†Multiple sources say Google will connect the dots between ISVs, MSPs and VARs at the event. The goal: Stir partner activity across Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, Maps, Devices and Education.

The front-and-center keynotes include familiar names: Google Cloud SVP Diane Greene (pictured above), CEO Sundar Pichai, and other heavy hitters from across Alphabet and Google.

Google Cloud vs. Microsoft Azure

Perhaps better known for Linux and open source, Google will take direct aim at Microsoft and Windows-focused cloud workloads. A workshop for Microsoft customers will explain how to:

  • Deploy and manage a Windows¬†Server and SQL Server on Google Compute Engine (GCE);
  • Migrate ASP.NET applications with SQL Server backend to GCP; and
  • Build ASP.NET applications on GCP.

The conference arrives at a critical time for Google’s cloud team. Google hired Greene in November 2015 to jumpstart the company’s cloud efforts — which were trailing those of Microsoft and Amazon. The search giant has attempted to differentiate via machine learning, big data and artificial intelligence. But Microsoft and Amazon also have efforts in those areas.

Among the potential differentiators that may emerge at Next 2017: Price-performance capabilities, particularly when it comes to business continuity and recovery systems that run in Google’s cloud, some sources suggest.

A Rightscale research report, delivered in November 2016, suggested that Google Cloud Platform was less expensive than Microsoft and Amazon for some use cases.

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