Next 2022 with Forrest Brazeal and Stephanie Wong

Forrest Brazeal joins Stephanie Wong today on the second day of Google Cloud Next ‘22. We’re talking about all the exciting announcements, how the conference has changed in recent years, and what to expect in the days ahead.

The excitement and energy of the first in-person Next since 2019 was one of the best parts for Forrest. With 1300 releases in just half the year, a lot has happened in BigQuery, AI, Looker, and more. Next includes announcements in many of these areas as well, as Google Cloud expands and makes Cloud easier for all types of projects and clients. Strategic partnerships and development have allowed better use of Google Cloud for the virtual work world and advancements in sustainability have helped Google users feel better about their impact on the environment.

New announcements in compute include C3 VMs, the first VM in the cloud with 4th Gen Intel Xeon scalable processors with Google’s custom Intel IPU. MediaCDN uses the YouTube infrastructure and the new Live Stream API optimizes streaming capabilities. Among many other announcements, Network Analyzer is now GA allowing for simplified network configuration monitoring and Google Cloud Armor has been extended to include ML-based Adaptive Protection capabilities. Software Delivery Shield and Cloud Workstations are recent offerings to help developers in each of the four areas of software supply chain management. Advancements in Cloud Build include added security benefits, and new GKE and Cloud Run logging and security alerts ensure projects remain secure through the final stages of development.

The best way to ensure secure, optimized work is with well-trained developers. And in that vein, Google Cloud is introducing Innovators Plus to provide a new suite of developer benefits under a fixed cost subscription. Forrest tells us about #GoogleClout and the challenges available in the Next portal for conference-goers. Assured Workloads helps with data sovereignty in different regions, Confidential Space in Confidential Computing provides trust guarantees when companies perform joint data analysis and machine learning training, and Chronicle Security Operations are some of the exciting security announcements we saw at Next.

On the show next week, we’ll go in depth on data announcements at Next, but Steph gives us a quick rundown of some of the biggest ones today. She talks briefly about announcements in AI, including Vertex AI Vision and Translation Hub. Forrest wraps up by talking about predictions for the future of tech and cloud.

Forrest Brazeal

Forrest Brazeal is a cloud educator, author, speaker, and Pwnie Award-winning songwriter. He is the creator of the Cloud Resume Challenge initiative, which has helped thousands of non-traditional learners take their first steps into the cloud.

Cool things of the week
  • Unlock biology & medicine potential with AlphaFold on Google Cloud video
  • Google Cloud Next ‘22 site
  • Google Cloud Innovators site
  • What’s next for digital transformation in the cloud blog
  • New cloud regions coming to a country near you blog
  • The next wave of Google Cloud infrastructure innovation: New C3 VM and Hyperdisk blog
  • 20+ Cloud Networking innovations unveiled at Google Cloud Next blog
  • Introducing Software Delivery Shield for end-to-end software supply chain security blog
  • Developers - Build, learn, and grow your career faster with Google Cloud blog
  • Advancing digital sovereignty on Europe’s terms blog
  • Introducing Confidential Space to help unlock the value of secure data collaboration blog
  • Introducing Chronicle Security Operations: Detect, investigate, and respond to cyberthreats with the speed, scale, and intelligence of Google blog
  • What’s new in Google Cloud databases: More unified. More open. More intelligent. blog
  • Building the most open data cloud ecosystem: Unifying data across multiple sources and platforms blog
  • Introducing the next evolution of Looker, your unified business intelligence platform blog
  • Vertex AI Vision site
  • New AI Agents can drive business results faster: Translation Hub, Document AI, and Contact Center AI blog
  • Open source collaborations and key partnerships to help accelerate AI innovation blog
  • Google Cloud Launches First-of-Its-Kind Service to Simplify Mainframe Modernization for Customers in Financial Services, Retail, Healthcare and Other Industries article
  • Project Starline expands testing through an early access program blog
What’s something cool you’re working on?

Steph is working on the developer keynote and DevFest and UKI Google Cloud Next Developer Day. Check out her Next talk “Simplify and secure your network for all workloads”.

[MUSIC PLAYING] STEPHANIE WONG: Hey, everyone, and welcome to episode number 323 of the weekly Google Cloud Platform Podcast. You know me, this is Stephanie Wong, and today I am joined by me, myself, and I, Stephanie Wong, but I do have a really exciting guest here. You've heard from him before on this podcast. His name is Forrest Brazeal, our Head of Developer Media.

And he is someone who is always on top of what's latest and trending in the cloud industry. He's a cloud educator, author, speaker, and Tony Award-winning songwriter. You've probably seen his stuff on Twitter. He's a creator of the Cloud Resume Challenge Initiative which has helped thousands of nontraditional learners take their first steps into cloud.

And I brought him here today because he's been really involved in activities around Google Cloud Next 2022. And some of the Skills Boost Challenges throughout the year to help developers get hands-on with GCP and test their knowledge.

He's also been a speaker at the Sunnyvale Hive event yesterday or this week, October 11, and we had a ton of fun together at the event running around and getting to see our Google Cloud innovators and developers react to our keynote sessions and try out our brand new labs and challenges.

I also got to attend the drone race live in person at PayPal Park. And you'll hear more about the Data Science and Analytics Challenges in partnership with the Drone Racing League in this episode. So stay tuned. But yes, Next '22 just kicked off. Today's day 2 of the content. It's October 11 through 13. It's all virtual with some live events and watch parties happening around the world.

So if you want access to some of these events like this in the future, be sure to join Google Cloud Innovators at But we are also streaming our Hive livestreams at Sunnyvale in the US, Bengaluru, India, Munich, Germany, and Tokyo, Japan. You can check those livestreams out at the next website. Now before we get into our recap of all the Next launches with Forrest, let's go ahead and cover the cool things of the week.

So today I am not going to cheat. I am actually going to cover one cool thing of the week this time because I am so excited about this one. It is a video I just launched about AlphaFold on Vertex AI. I've been working on this video for months with our Product team, our Engineering team, our Healthcare and Life Sciences Solutions team.

Now if you don't know what AlphaFold is, from a 50-year-old challenge to a major breakthrough, DeepMind has created a deep learning algorithm called AlphaFold which has recently predicted nearly 214 million protein structures to unlock biology and medicine potential.

So now you can get access to AlphaFold with these no-cost solutions to deploy AlphaFold on Vertex AI. So this video is where I'm going to show you how to run AlphaFold on Google Cloud three different ways using the BigQuery public data set. You can experiment using Vertex AI Workbench on a smaller protein database.

And if you are looking for a production use case and scale to hundreds of experiments a week, you can use Vertex AI pipelines with a strong record for reproducibility and tracking.

So definitely check out my video. It's called AlphaFold on Google Cloud, or you can search "unlocking biology and medicine potential using AlphaFold on Google Cloud." Either way, it's up on YouTube on the Google Cloud Tech YouTube channel. All right, let's go ahead and dive into our conversation with Forrest.

Well welcome back to the podcast, Forrest. It's great to have you here again.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Hey thanks, Stephanie. It's wonderful, great to be here.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. So for everyone who might not have heard you last year when we had on, can you give us a quick intro?

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, for sure. So I'm Google Cloud's Head of Developer Media. I come from a background of being a cloud engineer on all sorts of different clouds, not just Google Cloud. But I'm really excited about some of the things that we're going to talk about today as it relates to Google Cloud Next, some of the new releases that are coming out, some of the new exciting features. And honestly, as you can tell, I'm just excited about jumping right into that.

STEPHANIE WONG: As am I, as am I. I know we just wrapped up a full-blown week-- well, a couple of days of Next at least at this point, and so we have a ton to get through today. But just to kick it off, what can folks look forward to? What were some of your favorite moments?

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, well look, I mean, this was honestly the first time I think that I've been back in a physical conference space with actual human people there since before the pandemic. So probably like going on three years now since I've actually done that.

So just the energy, the electricity, even though it was a relatively small studio audience group that we had in-person versus virtual for this year's Next, just being there with people with some of our great Google Cloud innovators and innovator champions, it was just-- it's unmatched. I mean, we all love going away and working on things and having virtual options available, but man, there's just something you can't capture unless you're in the room there with people.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, I totally agree. It's completely invigorating. Even doing some recordings ahead of time was invigorating to be in the studio with folks. And to see everyone in one room, our customers, our developer audience, is unmatched, as you said.

I'm also heading over to Europe to do some post-Next events with our Parisian counterparts and our developer audience as well as in London. So I'm really excited to meet folks there, I know everybody is itching to get there in-person. So great to have you on stage this year finally, Forrest, since you've joined us, and back on the podcast, too.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, right. Just to meet each other for the first time in-person, I think. It's true for a lot of internal Googlers that have found each other for the first time that maybe joined during the pandemic.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, great point, great point. So now I know that you just mentioned Next has been partially in-person and mostly virtual, but how has the experience been a little bit different this year specifically?

FORREST BRAZEAL: I really like the way they've broken down Next this year, because there's so much content. And it's great content, but not everything is going to be relevant for every single person. You want to be laser-focused on the announcements on the features that are relevant to what you're doing, what you're building.

So I think they did a good job of dividing it up and helping people quickly identify content that matches their role. So we've got content specifically for people that are in the DevOps SRE-type space, got content for people who are security-focused, a lot of sessions related to collaboration, toward people who are modeling data or maybe our data engineers. And you can find a specific track that's designed for that.

So that's available through on-demand sessions and also a lot of the labs that we've created are specifically for your role. And I think that's really cool.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, I know. We had some of the labs being done in-person. So we had folks at our workstations doing things in-person, having folks being able to reach out to actual Google counterparts there. We also had the Drone Racing League in person here at least in Sunnyvale where we had a Hive event.

And folks were able to take part in one of our new competitions where they could take actual race data and come up with predictive analytics using some of the Google Cloud Analytics products. And then head off to an actual race in-person. So I loved all of the action around that and how you could really see what you're doing live there. So yeah.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, super neat.

STEPHANIE WONG: Jumping straight into the themes that we're focusing on this year, of course, TK had a great keynote. We had a developer keynote as well, but wanted to jump straight into some of these key takeaways that we were focusing on.

Now just so I can kick it off right here, I know we had about 1,300 releases in just the first half of this year. And so these were all centered around our Data Cloud, our Open infrastructure Cloud, our collaboration products, as well as the Trusted Cloud.

So in the Open Data Cloud for Next, we already took big steps to provide the most open extensible powerful Data Cloud so that our developers and customers can utilize these products in all forms for all sources and storage formats across cloud providers of your choice.

So there were a lot of announcements here among BigQuery, Looker, AI, and expanding integrations with more places like MongoDB, Elastic, and we have new partner announcements there as well. And then on the open infrastructure side, we have a growing global network. We announced several new regions, including Austria, Greece, and more.

We also have workload-optimized infrastructure, Anthos announcements, a new migration center product called Dual Run, which helps you migrate from old mainframes, we have more open source AI commitments, and then finally, Web3 was discussed as well with new partnerships with Coinbase to build advanced changes and data services. So yeah, what else did we have?

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, deep breath, right? You can take a step back from that and say, well OK, really, what's being announced here is kind of a maturing and an expansion. It's not like there's a whole bunch of brand-new things you've never heard of. It's more about taking the network that we have and expanding it. It's about taking workloads that weren't previously able to easily access the cloud, making that easier through enhancements to things like Anthos. So I think that's really cool.

I mean, on the security side we've seen that as well. The Mandiant acquisition completed. If you're not familiar with them, I call them the Ghostbusters of Cloud. When you have a problem at 2:00 AM and the data has been exfiltrated, who are you going to call? And held for ransom. It's probably Mandiant.

So it's great to have them part of the Google family, and that goes right along with the other what we call Trusted Cloud offerings like Chronicle, which has been part of Google for a little bit longer now. Confidential Space, our sovereign cloud offerings for regions like Europe.

And then we're going to talk more about Software Delivery Shield in a minute because that's something that I'm personally very excited about I want to give that all of the attention that it deserves. But even beyond security, some of the future tech things that are coming out, this could be virtual work-related.

We're seeing partnerships here with Salesforce, with WeWork. Think about Project Starling, which is helping view people in 3D during virtual meetings. Again, we just said, there's nothing that can really replace being in-person for certain things, but also, it's great to have the ability to extend some of that feel into the virtual world, and Google is making the efforts to be a leader.

The sustainability releases that have happened. Google Cloud Carbon Footprint, which I remember being announced last Next, I believe, or somewhere right around Next is now GA. That's no cost to show you what the carbon footprint of your different workloads is.

And then Eco-Friendly Routing coming soon to Google Maps platform for devs to help ridesharing and delivery companies embed actual eco-friendly routes into their delivery. And then the last thing that I think is super cool, Stephanie, is the continued rise of Postgres in the ecosystem and what Google is doing to support that.

So of course, AlloyDB, which is like a Postgres-compatible database, is in preview now, but as well, we know recently there have been Postgres capabilities added to Google Cloud Spanner. Google Cloud SQL for Postgres stress continues to get great new features.

For the enterprise, I know a lot of people have called Postgres the biggest thing to happen since Linux in terms of the adoption and the trust that people are placing in that the way they're betting huge components of their business on Postgres as a platform as opposed to an older legacy proprietary database. So Google Cloud is right. Super interested to see how that continues to develop.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, wow. Again, deep from both of us. There's a never-ending list, it seems like. But a lot of enhancements feature enhancements-- micro-announcements is what I've heard online recently, too, but definitely all focus on this trend, as you said, in supporting an open ecosystem and meeting our developers where they are with the tooling that they're most excited about.

So let's go ahead and just dive right into some of the top announcements from each of these key categories. I'm going to go ahead and start with compute. One of the newest announcements is a brand new machine series called C3. This is now in private preview. It's the first VM in the public cloud space with the fourth-gen Intel Xeon scalable processor. And so this is using Google's custom Intel IPU.

These C3 machines use offload hardware so you get more predictable and efficient compute, high-performance storage, and a programmable packet processing capability that gives you low latency and accelerated secure networking.

So all of that might be a mouthful, but it really does couple well with our recently announced Hyperdisk block storage, and that offers 80% higher IOPS per vCPU. And is great for high-end database management system workloads when compared to other hyperscalers.

So the key thing here is you don't have to choose expensive larger compute instances just to get the storage performance that you need for data workloads like Hadoop and Microsoft SQL Server. And so all in all, I think that this is the latest example in this architectural approach.

For over two decades, Google has purpose-built some of our most efficient and scalable computing systems to meet the needs of all of our customers. So we've done TPUs for AI workloads, we have Titan, which is a secure low-power microcontroller for machine booting from trusted state, and we also launched video coding units to enable video distribution to address all the range of formats for video requirements.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah. We just keep saying, you have to step back and process this, no pun intended.


FORREST BRAZEAL: It's a lot to compute, Stephanie, just to keep track of all these systems that are happening. And I know we recently announced as well, so being able to run more ARM workloads on Google Cloud, super exciting. I think there's going to be continued innovation there. We'll see more services.

So again, it's less about, oh, we just brought in a whole bunch of new things you have to learn, and it's more about we're making what you already know you need to do faster, we're providing you more power, more capability, and we're expanding the amount of workloads that you can do that with. The power of cloud it's unmatched.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, it really, really is, especially compared to what we used to do 10, 15 years ago, but it's great to see our partnerships closely with Intel, ARM, Nvidia, like all of the major providers for processing units, too. So it's just giving more capabilities and granular control to our customers who want better cost performance.

Networking is the same. We have over 20 announcements here. Overall, our network has 35 regions, 106 zones, 173 network edge locations across 200, and more countries and territories. So it keeps expanding globally. Earlier this year we introduced Media CDN, which is a little bit different from our Cloud CDN. Media CDN and uses the same infrastructure as YouTube, and this is really meant for exceptional video on-demand and live streaming experiences through caching across 1,300-plus cities.

So with Media CDN, we just introduced a new livestream API to ingest and package source content into HTTP livestreaming and DASH formats. So this is all great for optimized livestreaming. There's also dynamic ad insertion and preview. So this gives you the ability to customize your video ad placements. And there's a third party ad insertion using our Video Stitcher API so you can give personalized ad placement experiences.

So that's really meant for media companies. But also on the Private Service Connect side, we announced PSC last year, and it connects services across VPC networks that are in different groups, teams, projects. And it's over an encrypted connection. So this is really great for just simplify your service connectivity and keeping it among your private networks.

But in preview now, we have L7 PSE. So now you get really consumer-controlled security, routing, and telemetry to enable more flexible and consistent policies for your services. So you can also do this for hybrid environments. So producers and consumers of services can connect securely and access these managed services from cloud or on-prem.

And then on the observability space, we announced Network Analyzer, which is now GA. And this lets you automatically monitor your network configuration, and it helps you detect misconfigurations, potentially network failures to provide insights on network topology, firewall rules, routes, all of the things that you want someone to help you proactively identify and recommend actions for.

And then lastly, Google Cloud Armor. This has been huge recently in actually discovering the largest DDoS attack to date. There's another session you can listen to for that, but we've extended the capabilities of this network security product so that you can configure ML-based adaptive protection capabilities and help you surface those attacks right away.

FORREST BRAZEAL: It's so fascinating, and I think that's a great segue, Stephanie, to talk about Software Delivery Shield, which I've already told you how much I want to talk about.


FORREST BRAZEAL: Bringing more of those Google-grade security features to our customers. And Software Delivery Shield, if you didn't see the announcement, is Google taking more steps toward helping you secure your software supply chain, or what I believe the cool kids are calling S3C.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. Exactly.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Secure software supply chain--

STEPHANIE WONG: Supply chain, yeah.

FORREST BRAZEAL: So we know it's a big topic in the industry. If you saw the recent DORA Reports, really, really strong focus on software supply chains this year. But when you look at what Google Cloud has released here, even though Software Delivery Shield you might think, oh, this just some add-on product that I've got to try to figure out how to configure? That's really not what it is.

You think of this more like a set of capabilities being added to the existing Google Cloud Software Delivery building blocks. So think Cloud Build, Cloud Run, Cloud Code, things that you already may be using. So we're adding secure software supply chain capabilities into those products. It's not a whole new set of services you have to adopt, and that's the way it should be done. You hear me using this mantra over and over again.

And there's four areas, there's four ways that Google Cloud is thinking about the software supply chain. They're thinking about it from left to right, if you will, like from the laptop to production, thinking about your development environment, they're thinking about your supply chain, which would just be another word for your dependencies, and they're thinking about CICD-- so how this stuff is packaged up. And then the actual runtime.

And in this case, maybe we could think about that the infrastructure that's running your applications and how vulnerable they may be.

So Google Cloud has released different capabilities in each of these four areas either at Next or pretty close to Next, and I want to run through them real quick. The one that I might be most excited about is what's being released for developers for developer environments and that is Cloud Workstations, critical part of Software Delivery Shield.

So this is Google Cloud's developer workstation in the cloud, basically, that we've announced. So can think about this as part of that overall evolution of our attempt to do reproducible builds as an industry. So think about 10, 15 years ago if you're using batch files on your local machine to try and get the same configuration and just hope it works as you go from machine to machine, at some point we brought containers in.

And now increasingly, we're using these hosted environments, these hosted IDEs, the idea being like, I had a friend who was very proud of his ability in one of these cloud workstation-type environments to be able to throw away his entire laptop at the end of the day if he needed to and start again the next day.

And that's a little hyperbolic, but that's basically what he was doing. All the configuration was hosted in the cloud service, which, of course, gives him total confidence that he can rebuild that environment whatever he wants, gives him confidence that what he's doing is fully automated, and also gives him access, just as importantly, to cloud-powered hardware.

So Stephanie, all those amazing compute advancements you were just mentioning, why wouldn't I want access to those as I'm developing rather than having to try to find some way to support that in a laptop? So that's really cool, Cloud Workstations, and that's the develop piece.

So then moving right, then we have the supply piece, the dependencies. And this is something that was-- it's been in preview, but it's Assured OSS. So this is Google's curated and vetted library of open source software packages. The idea here is, there's a lot of open source software out there and there's lots of attackers out there who would like to convince you to install the thing that you didn't think you were installing.

So it really helps to have a trusted source that you can pull your packages from. And they will also generate what we call an SBoM, a Software Bill of Materials for you verifying the provenance of those dependencies. And I think they've got-- if I'm not mistaken, it's around 250 packages that are available in that repository today. So this is Java and Python and all kinds of other things, and that will continue to grow over time.

I also wanted to call out, if you use the Cloud Code IDE plugins that Google Cloud offers, there's this new thing out now called source protect which gives you real-time security feedback. It's like Intellisense for vulnerable dependencies and I think that's super cool.

So we talked about develop, we talked about supply. Again, continuing to move right, then, to CICD, Cloud Build now officially supports SLSA Level 3 builds. And that's another acronym that's a little bit newer.


FORREST BRAZEAL: So we call it salsa, yeah. I hadn't heard that.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, apparently.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, salsa, interesting. So what is that? It's like Supply chain Levels for Software Artifacts, I think, is what it stands for?


FORREST BRAZEAL: Something like that. Yeah. We've officially supported Level 3 of SLSA by default. I like it. It's spicy.


FORREST BRAZEAL: And you can go look up the SLSA levels at and see exactly what's implied there. But essentially what's going on is in addition to providing ephemeral and isolated build environments, which would be like Level 1 and 2, Cloud Build can now generate what they call authenticated and non-falsifiable build provenance. So that's a mouthful of buzzwords, but basically just saying that for both containerized applications as well as your non-containerized Maven or Python packages.

We're going to say not only that we believe that this build is solid and it is what we think it is, but no one's going to be able to go back and change that after the fact. They're not going to be able to go in and inject other things into the provenance of that build.

And then it will also display some security insights for built applications which brings us to runtime, farthest over on the right here, and some cool new security alerts and logging capabilities that have come out for GKE and for Cloud Run just help you make sure you're configured according to Google's recommended security best practices. I call it spellcheck for your container security.


FORREST BRAZEAL: Just taking Google's existing knowledge about what a well-configured Cloud Run or GKE server should look like and just giving you recommendations if it sees that you need some help there.

STEPHANIE WONG: There's no surprise that you're just really good at these analogies from Ghostbusters to spellcheck for your container security. I mean, it really does help us wrap our heads around how to think about these things. But this is really exciting. I mean, as you said, there's so much that came out just at Next itself.

I had Eric Brewer, who's been really phenomenal and influential in the space, and then Aja Hammerly and Isaac Hepworth on Twitterspace about S3C just a couple of months ago. And I remember Isaac the PM was like, there's so much like-- I can't talk about it just yet, and so it's really, really thrilling to see all of this be announced at one go here.

And I also believe that Cloud Workstations is very big. You can push to prod on an airplane but still make sure that you are doing so according to this built in security measures that are already in place. So again, as you said, it's shifting security to the left, but you also make sure that you have governance over these environments like VPC service controls, no local storage of source code, forced image updates, things like that. So really exciting to see all of this.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, for sure. Cloud Workstations may be my favorite announcement of Next except for the thing that I'm about to talk about now. So this is my real favorite thing.


FORREST BRAZEAL: And it kind of relates to this software supply chain thing because the starting point of your secure software supply chain is people, of any software supply chain. It's the developers who are actually building this stuff. And companies that don't build a solid pipeline of talent and don't bring new people into the cloud fold, they are actually creating a software supply chain risk for themselves.

And I think we're starting to see more companies start to get that. We know that there's more work to be done here. Google's committed to equipping like 40 million new people with cloud skills I think by the end of the decade if I remember using tools like Google Cloud Skills Boost, which is Google Cloud's training platform.

And so the cool announcement that came out at Next, probably like the most relevant announcement for any learner out there, a Google Cloud learner is that the existing Google Cloud Skills Boost annual subscription is being enhanced by introducing something that they're calling Innovators Plus.

So this is a new suite of developer benefits, which is available under the existing subscription. Now, that subscription is $300 a year. It's 299 USD a year for this developer subscription. And you might say, OK, convince me why I need to pay Google Cloud $300 a year for something-- for this developer subscription. What's going on there?

So let me tell you the way I look at this. It's a fixed cost subscription, but what you're getting with that top line is $500 right off the bat in annual credits on your Google Cloud account. You also get 500 more, by the way, if you pass a cert. You just get it for the first year, I don't think you get it for additional certs. But if you pass a cert during that year, you get $500 more in credits. And they'll give you a cert voucher for that cert as well.

So basically, it's $1,000 value against that $300 signup, but the trick is, of course, you actually have to use the services, you have to go and build. That's how you unlock the value from this. So I look at it as a bet with myself. Like, OK, I'm going to lock in some risk-free learning here, because I've got these credits, I don't have to expose my own credit card for that $500 or $1,000. But because I'm paying the subscription fee, I'm making my self accountable to go and actually learn and consume those cloud services.

STEPHANIE WONG: It's like a gym membership.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah it totally is. And, I mean, people talk about gym memberships, like, well, they make their money on the people that don't go. And I don't think that's what Google Cloud is trying to do here.


FORREST BRAZEAL: We really want you to go out and use this stuff. And so in addition to the dollar stuff, which is obviously kind of the killer benefit in my opinion, there's access to Google Cloud skills boosts existing training library which is like 700-plus hands-on labs, skill badges you can earn as you do different things, work through different learning paths on curated areas that are related to your role. So you want to be a data engineer, you want to be a SRE, you're going to have a learning path you can go and do and get some validation when you finish that.

And then there's also some on-demand interaction with experts that will be available to you as well. You can almost think of it like, well, if I was working for a big corporate customer of Google Cloud of course I would have enterprise support and access to Google Cloud support people through that. This Innovators Plus benefit is almost giving you some of that by unlocking some interaction with Google Cloud expert solutions, architects, people like that.

I know they want to do office hours in the future, too, so keep an eye out and see how that all is scheduled, but this will all come to you, you'll be communicated with as part of this Google Innovators Plus program. So yeah, that was a big ball of stuff to communicate to you, but again, $500, up to $1,000 in Google Cloud credits per year, live learning events led by Google Cloud experts quarterly, technical briefings hosted by executives, cert voucher, bunch of labs and training courses, best value for learners in Cloud, in my opinion, definitely check it out.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, I know, this is brand new. I don't know if I've seen this in the industry, but if not, I mean, this is a really good opportunity to get access to the certs and get your hands on the products.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Totally. I think it's industry-leading 100%. Very excited about this being announced. And if you try it and you have feedback, let me know, I would be super curious to know how it's working out for you.

STEPHANIE WONG: Definitely. Also, are you still involved in the Google Cloud? I know that you were leading that initiative, but we have some new challenges, right?

FORREST BRAZEAL: Oh yeah, so Google Clout with a T at the end, not a D, is this social game that we have been working with off and on throughout the year, and it's hosted on Skills, because it's free for anyone to try. But you do these little 20-minute challenges on different aspects of Google Cloud, and then you get a cool badge that you earn in Skills Boost and you get some things you can share on social media.

So we did a special set of them for Next. They are available in the Google Cloud Next portal. So if you're registered for Next virtually, you can find these six and do them. And as well, we had a cool in-person version of this that we ran for people who came to the Next Innovator Hive. So we were actually able to have people competing in real-time and have leaderboards up there in the Hive, super cool stuff.

If you complete all six of the challenges, as I said, you get a special badge on your developer profile, but you also get an electronic copy of Priyanka Vergadia's best-selling book, "Visualizing Google Cloud." If you haven't seen that book, it's up from Wiley and it's just a bunch of her awesome diagrams, her mind maps of Google Cloud Services.

So you definitely will want that. The e-copy, honestly, is great because there's so much detail in those diagrams that it really helps to be able to zoom them in.


FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah. If at all possible, do these six challenges, learn a little something, and pick up your book. I think it'll be a great way to close that your Next season.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yes. All right, well we still have more to talk about. So let's see if we can--

FORREST BRAZEAL: More announcements, Stephanie. All right.

STEPHANIE WONG: Can we go any faster than we already are? OK. So going on with the theme of Trusted Cloud, we also have some new announcements over for digital sovereignty, confidential computing, and Chronicle. So Forrest, you mentioned Assured Workloads, but yes, assured workloads for EU has just come out. So you can create and maintain workloads with data residency in Europe so that you can maintain comprehensive visibility and control over administrative access to data and workloads.

And then you can also encrypt data with keys that you control and manage outside of Google's infrastructure through our Cloud External Key Manager. So I know this is super important for customers in different regions, especially in the EU, so now we have this capability for you to be sure and keep that piece of mind there.

So we also have Confidential Computing. This is a portfolio of products, and what was recently announced is called Confidential Space. So this means that organizations can perform tasks like joint data analysis and machine learning model training with trust guarantees, that the data that you own can stay protected from the partners that you're working with, including the cloud service provider itself.

So that means that you can have mutual value from aggregating and analyzing sensitive data like PII, protected health information, intellectual property, cryptographic secrets, and you'll still retain full control over it. So this is really good for financial institutions where you need to identify fraud on a joint customer data set or a health care company where you need to use machine learning to speed up pharmaceutical development without compromising patient data. So again, this is called Confidential Space.

And then in preview, we have Chronicle Security Operations. So this is unifying Chronicle's Security Information and Event Management or SIEM technology with the Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response, SOAR, solutions from our Camplify acquisition that we had. And it's also combining it with the threat intelligence technology from Google Cloud.

And then again, we also have recently completed our Mandiant acquisition. And so this is going to add even more incident and exposure management and threat intelligence capabilities in the future. So all of these things mean that you're going to be able to switch between alerts and entities across Chronicle SIEM detections and Chronicle SOAR modules.

And then you also get prepackaged response playbooks for Google Cloud-based alerts. And this is all going to be surfaced in our Security Command Center so that you can resolve those issues quickly. So even more in the security space.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Oh, that's awesome. And I know we have a whole spate of data announcements, too, and probably have to do a whole separate episode to really cover those, but what are your highlights from the data announcements this year?

STEPHANIE WONG: Oh gosh, yeah. So we are going to have Bruno Aziza, the director of our data and analytics PM team there. So he's going to come on next week but just to give you a quick snippet of it, we are launching new capabilities to analyze unstructured data and streaming data in BigQuery. We also are adding support for major data formats, including Apache Iceberg.

We have a new integrated experience in BigQuery for Apache Spark. We're expanding the capabilities of Dataplex for automated data quality and data lineage to make sure you have greater confidence in your data. And we are unifying our business intelligence portfolio under the Looker umbrella to create a deep integration for Looker Data Studio and our core Google technologies like AI and machine learning.

So lots of things happening in the data ETL integration, data integrity and BI space, and then we have announcements for our new partners like MongoDB, Palantir, Foundry, and a lot more.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah. Creating more choice, preventing lock-in with those partner announcements. And it flows into the AI announcements, too, doesn't it? Sometimes it's hard for me to differentiate where some of these smart data things leave off and where some of the AI things begin. But I do know that there's some new Vertex AI stuff in particular, right?

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, gosh. Again, yeah, on top of data and analytics, AI is very related. We have some announcements for Vertex AI Vision. This is a brand-new service that makes powerful computer vision and image recognition AI more accessible to data practitioners.

We also have something called Translation Hub. So this is an AI agent that provides customers with self-service document translation. It has 135 languages so you can have more inclusive and impactful global communication.

And then in the Document AI space, we have a new announcement that's called Document AI Workbench, which can remove the barriers around building custom document parsers. You can extract fields of interest that are specific to your needs. And compared to traditional approaches, it requires a lot less training data.

And then something called Document AI warehouse which can eliminate the challenges that many enterprises face when tagging and extracting data in documents. So this is using Google Search technology to help invoice processing, do contracting approvals, and custom workloads.

And then lastly, we have Contact Center AI platform, which is now GA. So you can do additional deployments with choice and flexibility. And now you can use an AI agent that can Assist you to quickly scale your contact centers and improve your experiences with your customers here. So that, again, was a mouthful, but lots happening here and we're going to dive more into it with Bruno next week.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Awesome. Yeah, and I know there's some additional work going on with this OpenXLA Project, which is this consortium that Google is spinning up to try to make these ML frontend frameworks hopefully a little easier to use with various hardware backends.

So OpenXLA is right now an open source ecosystem of ML compiler and infrastructure projects which is being co-developed with Google, of course, but also AMD, Amazon Web Services, actually, ARM and Intel are involved, Meta is involved, Nvidia. So just think the biggest players in hardware and software, the people who are spending the most time getting deep into the ML weeds.

And the idea is to take that work and surface it so that ML developers can build their models on, of course, the leading frameworks, whether that's TensorFlow or PyTorch or JAX and execute those with high performance across hardware backends. So GPUs and TPUs and all the things that we were talking about up top, just making that accessible to more people, I think it's a super fantastic objective and hopefully there's lots of participation from the different members of the consortium and we really see this take off.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. I mean, I think overall, this speaks to the themes that we're talking about, supporting an open infrastructure, open ecosystem that really helps bring in developers in what they're already using, but also bringing the best of breed that Google Cloud has been developing based on our own infrastructure and our own systems that we've had here over the last several decades. So it's great to see that we're also really giving back and being a part of the ecosystem here.

Now I know that you also had a really exciting session at the Hive event on Tuesday, but this was about your cloud predictions that are going to happen in the next several years. So I want to get a sneak peek of some of your top predictions because I think some of them are a little bit controversial or maybe food for thought for people.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yes. And to be clear, this is not just me. These predictions are coming from some of the brightest minds at Google Cloud. But yeah, so we closed out our-- or really threw out our developer keynote on Tuesday. We listed a bunch of things we think are going to happen in Cloud by the end of the year 2025. And these are not just things thrown out there. There's a lot of thought that has gone into these.

But you're right, some of them are like a little maybe counterintuitive. And I wanted to call out a few-- I think there were 10 in total. So you're going have to go back and watch the developer keynote if you haven't seen it yet to see all 10 of these, but I'm going to call out five.

One is that per Eric Brewer, four out of five enterprise developers are going to use some form of curated open source by the end of 2025. That gets back to that-- remember when we were talking in the software delivery section about this Assured open source thing where there's open source that's a little bit mediated through a body that can make sure that it's not contaminated or malicious in some way?

So that's his prediction, is four out of five developers are going to be using that. Curated open source is going to be the means by which enterprises consume and interact with open source.

Second thing, we're going to move to a four day work week and AI is going to be the primary driver for doing this. By we, I don't mean Google specifically, even necessarily, but like the industry as a whole. I don't know what's going to happen at Google. I hope this means we're all going to get to work four days a week.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, exactly.

FORREST BRAZEAL: So we're going to take this back to our bosses. And I don't know, you said, right? But yes, and AI is going to be apparently freeing up 20% of our work to where we're able to move to a four-day workweek. That would be cool to see.

Number three, prediction number three, the barriers between transactional and analytical workloads will mostly disappear. So the things-- I guess the things that make you say, well I would have to use a traditional transactional database for that or I'd have to use a traditional data warehouse product?


FORREST BRAZEAL: That's going to disappear. Databases are going to be much more flexible, much more single-purpose than that.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. I mean, I think we're already starting to see that with some of our recent announcements and trends like Datastream for BigQuery, which lets you effectively replicate data in real-time from sources, including AlloyDB, Postgres, MySQL, and third-party databases like Oracle directly into BigQuery, which is a data warehousing tool.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, it's huge. And it's such a shift from the unbundling of databases that I feel like we saw over the last decade. Yeah, OK, so prediction number four, over half of all organizations using public cloud will freely switch their primary cloud provider as a result of the multicloud capabilities available. That's probably the spiciest prediction of all.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. Talk about spicy. Not just salsa, but this one.

FORREST BRAZEAL: There you go.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. What are your thoughts about this one?

FORREST BRAZEAL: Look, I mean, I'm not even freely claiming to fully believe in all five of these. That's how controversial they are. But the idea behind this one is more and more of these individual cloud provider capabilities are going to be abstracted enough that you'll be able to make those switches.

Now-- and it's not just saying that you'll be able to, but that people will-- they'll choose to make that switch. I don't know, Stephanie. I don't know if I buy that. I mean, there's so much on an individual cloud that right now is--


FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah. It's really optimized for that single cloud. So I don't know if I buy this or not, but--


FORREST BRAZEAL: This is the prediction that's being made.

STEPHANIE WONG: I mean, we do have BigQuery Omni, you can run BigQuery on other providers, but it's like, well, you're not using the Google infrastructure where it's really like purpose-built vertically for that, too. But I could see it. There are use cases for sure.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Let's fast forward to the end of 2025, we'll see who's right. OK, and then finally, I actually really like this prediction, over half of all business applications at that time will be built by users who do not identify as professional developers today. So just implying that there's going to be much more democratization of development toward people who maybe don't think of themselves as primary developers.

STEPHANIE WONG: I do agree with this one. I think so. We have the tooling in place to allow a lot of no-code environments. I think there are tons of mobile developers, for example, that are itching to create their own businesses and get into that space, so I think it's going to continue to grow.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah. And I think it's even less about maybe, quote-unquote, "no code" and people saying, look, mom, I'm a developer and I didn't have to write any code. But it's going to be less about thinking about code as the intermediary and just saying, OK, here's a problem I needed to solve, here's a tool that lets me solve it. And I think about tools like Google Tables, which is a newer product that came out of Google's Area 120 incubator, it's like a cross between a database and a spreadsheet, basically, in terms of what's available to you.

But it gives you a spreadsheet-like interface and it gives you a robust enough interface that you can expose it internally and you still have a lot of the flexibility you'd have with a spreadsheet without it looking quite so informal. And so a lot of the things that you might have said, well, I need to go find a developer and build out a custom dashboard, all of a sudden I just did that.


FORREST BRAZEAL: I didn't think about, oh, I'm a developer coding no code, I just thought about, here, I'll just make a Google table. That, to me, is what they mean by business applications being built by users who don't identify as professional developers, and I totally agree. We're just going to see more and more of that.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah, absolutely. OK, so we just covered a ton, but I still have to remind everyone that if you want to really get a good idea and sense of these takeaways and launches, check out Google Cloud Next at g.go/cloudnext. Check out any of on-demand content and labs that we still have available, and check out the Fly Club Challenge for the Drone Racing League. That's till the end of the year, too.

Forrest, thank you so much for sticking with me here, going through this long list, but we've got to get you on more often. I feel like this can't just be an annual thing.

FORREST BRAZEAL: Yeah, yeah. The annual is not nearly frequent enough, Stephanie. It was great to join just reminding everyone these cloud predictions-- that you'll see them floating around on social media, you'll see some like little short videos and things. Agree or disagree? Like freely invited to provide your own perspective here, make your predictions. What do you think is going to happen in cloud by the end of 2025? We want this to be the start of a conversation, not the end of it, and I can't wait to see what you're going to come up with.

STEPHANIE WONG: Yeah. Share with us on Twitter and on social. So go ahead and do that. Isn't Forrest's energy so contagious? I really need to have him on this podcast more because I feel like I mirror people's energy whenever I speak to them, and it's just so amazing to get him in the room every single time because you can just tell how passionate he is about everything in all things cloud. So this needs to happen more frequently.

But in general, I mean, I think we did a great job at talking about all of the major themes, like having an easy transformative infrastructure, our open Data Cloud, our advanced security products. And talked a little bit about some trends like the rise of Postgres and the thinning line between transactional and analytical workloads.

All in all, we're giving more developer velocity, more user velocity, and clearly, the cloud is a burst of more options. And even giving you the ability to run cloud provider services and other cloud providers, it just showcases the real optionality and flexibility we continue to see.

Gone are the days of vendor lock in because of the rise in open source software and a propensity to move away from rigid enterprise licensing. So, check out all of our next content at g.go/cloudnext. I'm going to plug my session here again. Check out session Mod 205. It's called Simplify and Secure Your Network for all Workloads.

And stay tuned for my Twitterspace. It might have already happened by the time that this is airing, but it's going to be living on the Google Cloud Tech Twitter account. I am inviting some really big speakers. It might get a little spicy, you might guess who's going to be on, but I'm not going to give you a clue just yet.

So go ahead and check out the Twitter space where I recap Next and have some live conversation with you all as well. Now what am I working on? I am giving a keynote at a developer in-person event on October 21 hosted at Wembley Stadium-- yes, the Wembley Stadium. So if you're interested, join us and all of our community of likeminded developers as we all share our vision for the future talking about virtual machines, containers, applications, big data, machine learning

Registration is up. You're going to see the link in the show notes here. So if you are in the area, check that out, it's on October 21.

Now, I've already mentioned this as well during the episode, but we are going to be having a full episode dedicated to talking about the Next 2022 Data and Analytics launches next week with Bruno Aziza and [? Mair. ?] So we'll see you all next week, and after that, I'm probably going to take a breather. But stay tuned, we'll see you all next week.



Stephanie Wong

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