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Google Cloud backs open source community with partnerships

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Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.
Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.

Google Cloud has begun strategic partnerships with leading open source-centric companies in the area of data management and analytics.

New Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian made the announcement during his keynote address at the Google Cloud Next 2019 conference, in San Francisco this week.

"Google has had a long history of developing technology and making it available in open source to foster innovation by developers. But recently the open source community has found that cloud providers are not partnering with them but rather attempting to take away their ability to monetise open source," he said.

"We as Google do not believe that is good for customers, for the developer community or for software innovation. As a result, we have partnered with leading open source companies to deliver open source to our developer community and customers in new ways."

Kurian spent 22 years at Oracle and in November 2018 Google announced he would join as CEO of Google Cloud, replacing Diane Greene.

Kurian divulged that the companies included in the new partnership are: Confluent, MongoDB, Elastic, Neo4j, Redis Labs, InfluxData and Datastax.

Google Cloud will offer managed services operated by these partners that are tightly integrated into the Google Cloud Platform to provide a seamless user experience across management, billing and support.

"Google's belief in an open cloud stems from our deep commitment to open source. We believe open source is the future of public cloud. It's the foundation of IT infrastructure worldwide and has been a part of Google's foundation since day one," the company said.

Kurian said Google's long history of building platforms that service ecosystems showed it that platforms which succeed with customers are those that enable ecosystems.

"We are very pleased today to announce the first integrated open source ecosystem. What this allows you to do as a developer is to use the best of breed open source technology," he said.

"This is an important step, hopefully, in the history of open source," said Urs Holzle, senior VP of technical infrastructure at Google. "From our perspective, we look at it in the larger arc of software. Open source software has been gaining acceptance and relevance and importance in the enterprise and we don't really see that ending in the cloud age."

The open source database market is large and growing fast. According to SearchDataManagement.com, "more than 70% of new applications developed by corporate users will run on an open source database management system, and half of the existing relational database installations built on commercial DBMS [database management system] technologies will be converted to open source platforms or [are] in the process of being converted".

Google says this mirrors what it is hearing from customers, who want to be able to use open source technology easily and in a cloud-native way.

"So we are fostering this new open source community to make sure open source continues to thrive and has a vehicle to grow in this world," Kurian added.

The partnerships will offer fully managed services running in the cloud, which plan to optimise performance and latency between the service and application. It will also offer unified billing and a single user interface to manage apps, which includes the ability to provision and manage the service from the Google Cloud console.

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