Author Archives: Urs Hölzle

Bolstering security across Google Cloud

San Francisco — Today at Google Cloud Next ‘17, we launched the following new features for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G Suite that are designed to help safeguard your company’s assets and prevent disruption to your business:

  • Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP) for GCP (now in beta) allows you to manage granular access to applications running on GCP based on risk, rather than the “all-or-nothing” approach of VPN access. It provides more secure application access from anywhere, with access determined by user, identity and group. IAP is easy to deploy, and can be integrated with phishing-resistant security keys.

  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) API for GCP (now in beta) lets you scan for more than 40 sensitive data types so you can identify and redact sensitive data. DLP does deep content analysis to help ensure that no matter what you want to keep safe, from credit cards to account numbers, you know where it is, and that it's protected at the level you want. DLP API for GCP joins DLP for Gmail and Drive, allowing admins to write policies that manage sensitive data in ways that aren’t possible on any other cloud.

DLP API
  • Key Management System for GCP (now generally available) allows you to generate, use, rotate and destroy symmetric encryption keys for use in the cloud. It gives customers the ability to manage their encryption keys in a multi-tenant cloud service, without the need to maintain an on-premise key management system or hardware security module.

  • Security Key Enforcement (SKE) for GCP and G Suite (now generally available) allows you to require security keys be used as the two-step verification factor for stronger authentication whenever a user signs into G Suite or accesses a GCP resource. SKE is easy on admins, easy on users and hard on phishers.

security-click
  • Google Vault for Google Drive, Team Drives and Google Groups (now generally available), is the eDiscovery and compliance solution for G Suite. Vault allows customers to set retention policies, place legal holds, perform searches across Drive, Gmail, Hangouts and Groups and export search results to support your legal and compliance requirements

  • Titan is Google's purpose-built chip to establish hardware root of trust for both machines and peripherals on cloud infrastructure, allowing us to more securely identify and authenticate legitimate access at the hardware level. Purpose-built hardware such as Titan is a part of Google’s layered security architecture, spanning the physical security of data centers to secure boot across hardware and software to operational security.

next-security-titan

By baking security into everything we do and offering innovative capabilities that build upon this secure foundation, we create many different layers to prevent and defend against attacks and implement enterprise security policies so that our customers can feel confident partnering with us to achieve their business goals.

Source: Google Cloud


Bolstering security across Google Cloud

San Francisco — Today at Google Cloud Next ‘17, we launched the following new features for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and G Suite that are designed to help safeguard your company’s assets and prevent disruption to your business:

  • Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP) for GCP (now in beta) allows you to manage granular access to applications running on GCP based on risk, rather than the “all-or-nothing” approach of VPN access. It provides more secure application access from anywhere, with access determined by user, identity and group. IAP is easy to deploy, and can be integrated with phishing-resistant security keys.

  • Data Loss Prevention (DLP) API for GCP (now in beta) lets you scan for more than 40 sensitive data types so you can identify and redact sensitive data. DLP does deep content analysis to help ensure that no matter what you want to keep safe, from credit cards to account numbers, you know where it is, and that it's protected at the level you want. DLP API for GCP joins DLP for Gmail and Drive, allowing admins to write policies that manage sensitive data in ways that aren’t possible on any other cloud.

DLP API
  • Key Management System for GCP (now generally available) allows you to generate, use, rotate and destroy symmetric encryption keys for use in the cloud. It gives customers the ability to manage their encryption keys in a multi-tenant cloud service, without the need to maintain an on-premise key management system or hardware security module.

  • Security Key Enforcement (SKE) for GCP and G Suite (now generally available) allows you to require security keys be used as the two-step verification factor for stronger authentication whenever a user signs into G Suite or accesses a GCP resource. SKE is easy on admins, easy on users and hard on phishers.

security-click
  • Google Vault for Google Drive, Team Drives and Google Groups (now generally available), is the eDiscovery and compliance solution for G Suite. Vault allows customers to set retention policies, place legal holds, perform searches across Drive, Gmail, Hangouts and Groups and export search results to support your legal and compliance requirements

  • Titan is Google's purpose-built chip to establish hardware root of trust for both machines and peripherals on cloud infrastructure, allowing us to more securely identify and authenticate legitimate access at the hardware level. Purpose-built hardware such as Titan is a part of Google’s layered security architecture, spanning the physical security of data centers to secure boot across hardware and software to operational security.

next-security-titan

By baking security into everything we do and offering innovative capabilities that build upon this secure foundation, we create many different layers to prevent and defend against attacks and implement enterprise security policies so that our customers can feel confident partnering with us to achieve their business goals.

We’re set to reach 100% renewable energy — and it’s just the beginning

Every year people search on Google trillions of times; every minute people upload more than 400 hours of YouTube videos. All of that takes an incredible amount of processing power — which means energy. Our engineers have spent years perfecting Google's data centers, making them 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry average. But we still need a lot of energy to power the products and services that our users depend on. We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense.

I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa, in 2010. Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy. That’s bigger than many large utilities and more than twice as much as the 1.21 gigawatts it took to send Marty McFly back to the future.

greent-wp-charts-Cumulative-Corporate-Renewal.png

To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally. And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.

Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

Our 20 renewable energy projects also help support communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden. To date, our purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States. These projects also generate tens of millions of dollars per year in revenue to local property owners, and tens of millions more to local and national governments in tax revenue.

So, we’re on track to match our global energy consumption on an annual basis by next year. But this is just the first step. As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centers and significant operations. Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy. For more on these next steps, read our white paper.   

google_ppa.jpg
How Google purchases and uses renewable energy.

Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we’re always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality — like enabling the building of healthy workplaces and creating a living, breathing dashboard for the planet. We’ve reported our carbon footprint and published information on our sustainability programs for many years in white papers, blog posts, and on our website. Now, we’ve put all this information together in a new Environmental Report.

You can also check out our new environment website, where we share stories of how we are finding new ways to do more while using less. Most of our on-campus sustainability initiatives were started by a few passionate Googlers, and have now grown into company-wide efforts. From the solar panels on our roofs to our bike-to-work program, these initiatives sit at the heart of our company culture and help both us and our users reduce our impact on the environment.

economic impact
Google is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world.

The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity. And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.

We have lots of progress left to make, but these achievements we're announcing today feel like a breath of fresh air. Now, back to work.

We’re set to reach 100% renewable energy — and it’s just the beginning

Every year people search on Google trillions of times; every minute people upload more than 400 hours of YouTube videos. All of that takes an incredible amount of processing power — which means energy. Our engineers have spent years perfecting Google's data centers, making them 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry average. But we still need a lot of energy to power the products and services that our users depend on. We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense.

I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa, in 2010. Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy. That’s bigger than many large utilities and more than twice as much as the 1.21 gigawatts it took to send Marty McFly back to the future.

Google PPA Chart

To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally. And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.

Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

Our 20 renewable energy projects also help support communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden. To date, our purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States. These projects also generate tens of millions of dollars per year in revenue to local property owners, and tens of millions more to local and national governments in tax revenue.

So, we’re on track to match our global energy consumption on an annual basis by next year. But this is just the first step. As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centers and significant operations. Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy. For more on these next steps, read our white paper.   

google_ppa.jpg
How Google purchases and uses renewable energy.

Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we’re always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality — like enabling the building of healthy workplaces and creating a living, breathing dashboard for the planet. We’ve reported our carbon footprint and published information on our sustainability programs for many years in white papers, blog posts, and on our website. Now, we’ve put all this information together in a new Environmental Report.

You can also check out our new environment website, where we share stories of how we are finding new ways to do more while using less. Most of our on-campus sustainability initiatives were started by a few passionate Googlers, and have now grown into company-wide efforts. From the solar panels on our roofs to our bike-to-work program, these initiatives sit at the heart of our company culture and help both us and our users reduce our impact on the environment.

economic impact
Google is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world.

The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity. And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.

We have lots of progress left to make, but these achievements we're announcing today feel like a breath of fresh air. Now, back to work.

We’re set to reach 100% renewable energy — and it’s just the beginning

Every year people search on Google trillions of times; every minute people upload more than 400 hours of YouTube videos. All of that takes an incredible amount of processing power — which means energy. Our engineers have spent years perfecting Google's data centers, making them 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry average. But we still need a lot of energy to power the products and services that our users depend on. We began purchasing renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and address climate change — but it also makes business sense.

I’m thrilled to announce that in 2017 Google will reach 100% renewable energy for our global operations — including both our data centers and offices. We were one of the first corporations to create large-scale, long-term contracts to buy renewable energy directly; we signed our first agreement to purchase all the electricity from a 114-megawatt wind farm in Iowa, in 2010. Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy. That’s bigger than many large utilities and more than twice as much as the 1.21 gigawatts it took to send Marty McFly back to the future.

Google PPA Chart

To reach this goal we’ll be directly buying enough wind and solar electricity annually to account for every unit of electricity our operations consume, globally. And we're focusing on creating new energy from renewable sources, so we only buy from projects that are funded by our purchases.

Over the last six years, the cost of wind and solar came down 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, proving that renewables are increasingly becoming the lowest cost option. Electricity costs are one of the largest components of our operating expenses at our data centers, and having a long-term stable cost of renewable power provides protection against price swings in energy.

Our 20 renewable energy projects also help support communities, from Grady County, OK, to Rutherford County, NC, to the Atacama Region of Chile to municipalities in Sweden. To date, our purchasing commitments will result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally, about two-thirds of that in the United States. These projects also generate tens of millions of dollars per year in revenue to local property owners, and tens of millions more to local and national governments in tax revenue.

So, we’re on track to match our global energy consumption on an annual basis by next year. But this is just the first step. As we look to the immediate future, we’ll continue to pursue these direct contracts as we grow, with an even greater focus on regional renewable energy purchases in places where we have data centers and significant operations. Since the wind doesn’t blow 24 hours a day, we’ll also broaden our purchases to a variety of energy sources that can enable renewable power, every hour of every day. Our ultimate goal is to create a world where everyone — not just Google — has access to clean energy. For more on these next steps, read our white paper.   

google_ppa.jpg
How Google purchases and uses renewable energy.

Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we’re always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality — like enabling the building of healthy workplaces and creating a living, breathing dashboard for the planet. We’ve reported our carbon footprint and published information on our sustainability programs for many years in white papers, blog posts, and on our website. Now, we’ve put all this information together in a new Environmental Report.

You can also check out our new environment website, where we share stories of how we are finding new ways to do more while using less. Most of our on-campus sustainability initiatives were started by a few passionate Googlers, and have now grown into company-wide efforts. From the solar panels on our roofs to our bike-to-work program, these initiatives sit at the heart of our company culture and help both us and our users reduce our impact on the environment.

economic impact
Google is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy in the world.

The science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity. And we have a responsibility to do so — to our users and the environment.

We have lots of progress left to make, but these achievements we're announcing today feel like a breath of fresh air. Now, back to work.

Source: Google Cloud


Data centers get fit on efficiency

Google’s efforts to build the world’s most efficient data centers are beginning to give back -- in energy. A study just released by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) shows that in the last five years, data center efficiency has kept energy usage almost flat despite a huge growth in demand for computing power.

In fact, compared to five years ago, we can now deliver over 3.5 times as much computing power for the same amount of electrical power. That means that even though we’re sending more email, watching more YouTube videos, and saving more digital photos, we’re using the same amount of energy.

Let’s dig into some numbers from the report:

  • In 2014, U.S. data centers used 70 billion kWh of energy -- equal to powering more than six million homes for a year.
  • This is a big shift in energy consumption:
       •  From 2000 to 2005, usage grew 90 percent.
       •  From 2005 to 2010, usage grew 24 percent;
       •  From 2010 to 2014, usage grew 4 percent.
  • Energy use is expected to increase at the same rate of four percent from 2014 to 2020.

Stabilizing data center energy usage is great, but at Google, we believe we will go further than simply stopping the growth. As more IT users transition to public clouds and mobile use increases, total energy usage will likely go down even more. On the server side, ultra-efficient cloud capacity replaces older, less efficient corporate data centers, and on the client side, battery life pressures ensure that mobile devices use much less energy than desktops.

The cloud supports many products at a time, so it can more efficiently distribute resources among many users. That means we can do more with less energy—and businesses can too. In 2013, the Berkeley Lab published research we helped support, indicating that moving all office workers in the United States to the cloud could reduce the energy used by information technology by up to 87 percent. That’s equal to powering the city of Los Angeles for one year.
Screen_Shot_2016-06-27_at_5.42.18_PM.width-899.png
2013 U.S. Case Study: Energy Efficiency Potential of Cloud-based Software (Berkeley Lab)

2013 U.S. Case Study: Energy Efficiency Potential of Cloud-based Software (Berkeley Lab) Efficiency in data center operations like Google’s comes from shifting to super efficient computing, along with improvements in storage, network and infrastructure, employing more advanced cooling strategies, better power management software, and consolidating servers.

We are focused on creating platforms where everyone can benefit. Google builds hyperscale data centers that are designed to maximize infrastructure efficiency. We also began publishing our efficiency data in 2008 and have been promoting techniques for more efficient energy use to leaders in the IT industry, starting with the first data center efficiency summit in 2009 and our continued advances with machine learning.

These results show the rapid impact efficiency can have on the industry and the persistent opportunity we have to reduce energy use while creating a more powerful web.

Powering the Internet with renewable energy

Today we're announcing the largest, and most diverse, purchase of renewable energy ever made by a non-utility company. Google has already committed to purchase more renewable energy than any other company. Now, through a series of new wind and solar projects around the world, we’re one step closer to our commitment to triple our purchases of renewable energy by 2025 and our goal of powering 100% of our operations with clean energy.

842 MW of renewable energy around the world

Today’s agreements will add an additional 842 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to power our data centers. Across three countries, we’re nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy we’ve purchased to date. We’re now up to 2 gigawatts—the equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.

These additional 842 megawatts represent a range of locations and technologies, from a wind farm in Sweden to a solar plant in Chile.

gigawatts.width-975.png

These long-term contracts range from 10-20 years and provide projects with the financial certainty and scale necessary to build these wind and solar facilities—thus bringing new renewable energy onto the grid in these regions. For our part, these contracts not only help minimize the environmental impact of our services—they also make good business sense by ensuring good prices.

Our commitment to a sustainable energy future

Since we opened our very first owned data center in 2006, we’ve been working to promote renewable and sustainable energy use in several ways:

  • First, we’re building the world’s most efficient computer infrastructure by designing our data centers to use as little energy as possible.
  • Second, we're driving the renewables industry forward by fully committing to renewable sources. In 2010, we entered our first large-scale renewable power purchase agreement with a wind farm in Iowa, and we subsequently completed a number of similar large-scale energy purchases over the past five years. Today’s announcement is another milestone in this area.
  • Third, we've worked with our utility partners to help promote transformation in the utility sector. In 2013 we created a new program that enables customers like Google to buy large amounts of renewable energy directly from their utilities. Today's announcement includes the first solar project enrolled under that program. And this past summer we announced that our newest data center will be on located on the site of a retiring coal plant and will be 100% renewable powered from day one.
  • Fourth, beyond our efforts to power our own operations with renewables, we’ve made separate agreements to fund $2.5 billion into 22 large-scale renewable energy projects over the last five years, from Germany to Kansas to Kenya. These investments have been in some of the largest and most transformative renewable energy projects in the world with a goal to help drive renewable energy development not only as a customer but as an investor, and bring down costs for everyone.

And we’re also working on new technologies and ideas—ranging from Project Sunroof to Makani Power to air quality monitoring—that we hope can make a cleaner energy future an option for many more people.

With world leaders coming together at the COP21 UN conference on climate change in Paris this week, there's no better time to focus on renewable energy. We hope that our efforts play a small part in boosting all of us in the race to solve climate change.