Tag Archives: google cloud

Cloud Covered: What was new in Google Cloud in December

December marked the end of a tumultuous year, one that brought new challenges to work, school, and home. At Google Cloud, we helped our customers respond to the challenges and prepare for opportunities in the coming year with new tools, resources, strategies and partnerships.  

Google acquires Actifio 

Last month, we announced Google Cloud’s acquisition of Actifio, a leader in data backup and disaster recovery (DR). Their business continuity products help customers protect and manage virtual copies of data in their native formats and use these copies in areas like application development and testing. This new acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to helping enterprises prevent data loss and downtime due to external threats, human errors, network failures and other disruptions.  

Free Google Cloud trainings available

Our December blog post sharing no-cost learning opportunities to help you build in-demand cloud skills was popular with readers. These training sessions can help you further your knowledge of artificial intelligence, Kubernetes, multi-cloud technologies and data analytics. We’re announcing more free learning opportunities in the new year. In January, we’re introducing our skills challenge, which will provide you with no-cost training to earn Google Cloud skill badges in four initial tracks: Getting Started, Data Analytics, Hybrid and Multi-Cloud, and Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. To begin, sign up for your preferred skills challenge to receive 30 days free access to Google Cloud labs. 

Taking the cloud to the stars for new discoveries in astronomy 

Last month we also shared news about our pioneering collaboration in the science of astronomy with the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, and researchers at the California Institute of Technology. The Rubin Observatory will host its Interim Data Facility (IDF) on Google Cloud, processing the astronomical data it collects and making it available to the broader scientific community. Separately, Caltech’s Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) has begun to use Google Cloud’s tools, such as machine learning (ML) models to identify the objects observed in their research at a greatly accelerated rate. This past October, their new ML model identified Comet C/2020 T2, the first ever such discovery attributed to artificial intelligence. 

Introducing Google Workflows for easier tasks at work

In August we introduced Workflows, a powerful new addition to Google Cloud’s application development and management toolset. Whether your company is processing transactions, producing goods or delivering services, you need to manage the flow of work across a variety of systems. And doing so is much easier with a purpose-built product. Our December blog explored Workflows in depth, including its technical details and how it can be used in common business uses like generating invoices and processing customer transactions.

That’s a wrap for December, and for 2020. Stay tuned to the Google Cloud Blog for news and updates in this new year.

The API Registry API

We’ve found that many organizations are challenged by the increasing number of APIs that they make and use. APIs become harder to track, which can lead to duplication rather than reuse. Also, as APIs expand to cover an ever-broadening set of topics, they can proliferate different design styles, at times creating frustrating inefficiencies.

To address this, we’ve designed the Registry API, an experimental approach to organizing information about APIs. The Registry API allows teams to upload and share machine-readable descriptions of APIs that are in use and in development. These descriptions include API specifications in standard formats like OpenAPI, the Google API Discovery Service Format, and the Protocol Buffers Language.

An organized collection of API descriptions can be the foundation for a wide range of tools and services that make APIs better and easier to use.
  • Linters verify that APIs follow standard patterns
  • Documentation generators provide documentation in consistent, easy-to-read, accessible formats
  • Code generators produce API clients and server scaffolding
  • Searchable online catalogs make everything easier to find
But perhaps most importantly, bringing everything about APIs together into one place can accelerate the consistency of an API portfolio. With organization-wide visibility, many find they need less explicit governance even as their APIs become more standardized and easy to use.

The Registry API is a gRPC service that is formally described by Protocol Buffers and that closely follows the Google API Design Guidelines at aip.dev. The Registry API description is annotated to support gRPC HTTP/JSON transcoding, which allows it to be automatically published as a JSON REST API using a proxy. Proxies also enable gRPC web, which allows gRPC calls to be directly made from browser-based applications, and the project includes an experimental GraphQL interface.

We’ve released a reference implementation that can be run locally or deployed in a container with Google Cloud Run or other container-based services. It stores data using the Google Cloud Datastore API or a configurable relational interface layer that currently supports PostgreSQL and SQLite.

Following AIP-181, we’ve set the Registry API’s stability level as "alpha," but our aim is to make it a stable base for API lifecycle applications. We’ve open-sourced our implementation to share progress and gather feedback. Please tell us about your experience if you use it.

By Tim Burks, Tech Lead – Apigee API Lifecycle and Governance

Just desserts: Baking with AI-made recipes

It’s winter, it’s the holidays and it’s quarantine-times: It’s the perfect recipe for doing a ton of baking. In fact, U.S. search interest in "baking" spiked in both November and December 2020.

But being in the AI field, we decided to dive a little deeper into the trend and 

try to understand the science behind what makes cookies crunchy, cake spongy and bread fluffy — and we decided to do it with the help of machine learning. Plus, we used our ML model to come up with two completely new baking recipes: a cakie (cake-cookie hybrid) and a breakie (bread-cookie hybrid). (Don’t worry, recipes included below.)

We started off by collecting hundreds of cookie, cake and bread recipes. Then we converted all of their ingredients to ounces and whittled them down to a few essential ingredients (yeast, flour, sugar, eggs, butter and a few other things). Next we did a bit of reorganizing, since according to Paul Hollywood, treats like banana, zucchini and pumpkin bread are really more cake than they are bread.

Then we used a Google Cloud tool called AutoML Tables to build a machine learning model that analyzed a recipe’s ingredient amounts and predicted whether it was a recipe for cookies, cake or bread. If you’ve never tried AutoML Tables, it’s a code-free way to build models from the type of data you’d find in a spreadsheet like numbers and categories – no data science background required. 

Our model was able to accurately tag breads, cookies and cakes, but could also identify recipes it deemed “hybrids” — something that’s, say, 50% cake and 50% bread, or something that’s 50% cake and 50% cookie. We named two such combinations the “breakie” (a bread-cookie — "brookie” was already taken) and the “cakie” (a cake-cookie) respectively. 

Being science-minded bakers, we had to experimentally verify if these hybrid treats could really be made. You know, for science.

Behold the cakie: It has the crispiness of a cookie and the, well, “cakiness” of a cake.

Image showing a cake-like cookie with a slice cut out of it.

We also made breakies, which were more like fluffy cookies, almost the consistency of a muffin.

Image showing a woman with dark brown hair looking into the camera while holding up a tray of puffy-looking cookies, which are actually bread-like cookies.

Sara's first batch of breakies.

Beyond just generating recipes, we also used our model to understand what made the consistency of cookies, cakes and breads so different. For that, we used a metric called  “feature importance,” which is automatically calculated by AutoML Tables.

In our case, the amount of butter, sugar, yeast and egg in a recipe all seemed to be important indicators of “cookieness” (or cakiness or breadiness). AutoML Tables lets you look at feature importance both for your model as a whole and for individual predictions. Below are the most important features for our model as a whole, meaning these ingredients were the biggest signals for our model across many different cake, cookie and bread recipes:

A chart showing the feature importance of items like butter, sugar, yeast, egg, and so on in each of the recipes.

If you find yourself with extra time and an experimental spirit, try out our recipes and let us know what you think. And you can find all the details of what we learned from our ML model in the technical blog post.

A recipe card for a cakie.
A recipe card for a breakie.

Most importantly, if you come up with an even better cakie or breakie recipe, please let us know.

Google Meet and Duo help you share moments that matter

Without a doubt, 2020 was the year of video calling. And for us, that meant making sure every student, team, and family could jump on a call from any device and have a reliable, safe experience. Google Duo and Google Meet hosted over one trillion minutes of video calls globally. For perspective, that’s equal to more than 18 billion hour-long virtual workouts in a single year! 

Here’s a recap of what we’ve done so far.

Productive and engaging meetings at home, work, and school 

A Google Meet meeting with a slide presentation about broccoli and baby carrots.

In 2020, Meet was put to the test. Our team had to really think through how virtual meetings could bring the key part of what in-person meetings provide: human connection. We launched new features like 49-tile layout, noise cancellation, background blur, and low-light mode plus live captions in five languages to help everyone follow along on the call. 

Earlier this year, we made Meet free for everyone. We also announced that with your Gmail account, Meet calls are unlimited through March 31, 2021 so that families can enjoy their holiday traditions without interruptions. Speaking of Gmail, we added a Meet tab in Gmail, so that with one tap, people can jump from an email to a video call. We also brought Meet to Nest Hub Max and Chromecast to help people get up, move around, and have hands-free calls at home. 

In large group settings like team all-hands or a classroom, it gets harder for people to speak up and to engage everyone on the call. With Meet, participants can use Q&A and hand raising tools, polls and breakout rooms. Organizations and moderators have more control too, keeping their meetings and participants safe, including advanced anti-abuse features, that allow for an enjoyable, safe experience for all. And in 2021, as many companies evaluate a flexible working model, we’ve designed Meet to work with our Series One hardware kits, created to deliver inclusive audio and video clarity that makes you feel like you're all together. So whether you're a Google Workspace subscriber relying on Meet's enterprise-grade functionality, or using Meet’s free version to safely connect with others near and far, Meet has you covered.

Fun experiences in your video calls

A Google Duo video call using holiday reindeer effects.

Being helpful means being there for the moments big and small. Though the pandemic kept me physically apart from many family members, I felt like they were with me and my family through virtual dinners, holidays like Thanksgiving, and even school band practices with Google Duo. At the end of the day, Google Duo makes it simple to go from texting each other to getting right on a video call.  In a year of virtual get-togethers, Google Duo was there to help make video calls more fun: doodle on video calls, magically transform into an astronaut or a cat, and spread laughs and cheer this holiday season with our wide portfolio of AR effects that change based on your facial expressions and move with you around the screen. And with Moments, you can capture the fun (and the embarrassing moments!) to relive the memory afterwards. 

With so many families having to work on the frontlines, our team was focused on ensuring calls could be connected with the highest quality even in low bandwidth connections. Google Duo is available on Android, iOS, tablets, computers, Android TV, smart speakers and smart displays.

Google Meet and Google Duo were built with an emphasis on privacy and security, to keep your calls and meetings safe and your information private. 

We hope that our work so far continues to help people stay in touch during this holiday season, and we’re looking forward to connecting more families, friends, students, teachers and teams in 2021 and beyond. 

Learn to build no-code apps quickly to simplify your work

With AppSheet from Google Cloud, anyone can build custom applications without having to write code. Whether you’re part of a large organization seeking digital transformation or a small team in need of creative solutions to organize events during a pandemic, there’s no limit to what you can create. 

Our biggest piece of advice for those getting started? Just start. The best way to learn how to build applications without code is to get into the platform and start experimenting. The more time you spend creating and troubleshooting, the better both your skills and applications will become. 

In this post, we’ve compiled a list of some of our most popular how-tos to help you get started. No matter your industry or use case, you’ll discover helpful tips, template apps and troubleshooting suggestions to take your development skills to the next level. 

1. Create a mobile app with geolocation and Google Maps in five minutes 
By incorporating Google Maps into your AppSheet application, you can create a simple geolocation app in just a few minutes, or spend a little more time to suggest what you’d like your users to do based on task updates to keep projects on track or ensure deliveries are taking place on schedule. 

2. Six automation apps you can build today
Ready to see some of the real no-code magic? Each template app referenced in this piece allows you to remove manual processes and free up valuable resources. Whether it’s the Sequential Tasks app or one of the other selections, try copying and adding one or two of these to your portfolio to customize and make your own. The best part? Workflow functionality is built in for you to test and review before you really dig in to the customization of your application.

Six automation apps you can build today in AppSheets

3. Manage sales: Three free sales tracker Excel templates 
Sales professionals often struggle to find the right application to address their business needs. Some reps need access to their data on the go, some need their applications to present well on a desktop, and some need a combination of all this and more. The necessary versatility of this type of work requires a solution that’s as agile as your team. With these three templates, you’ll find foundational elements to help you track leads, create reports, and add field data no matter the work environment or company size. 

4. Create an inventory management app from Google Sheets with AppSheet 
Inventory management is one of the most popular ways in which app creators not only use AppSheet, but get started with the platform. Whether you’re managing inventory for an online store or want to update your home inventory process, the steps provided in this in-depth tutorial offer a step-by-step walkthrough of critical concepts to help improve your skills in no-code development

Create an inventory management app from Google Sheets with AppSheet

5. How to build a customer experience app with Google Docs  
There are two important things to remember: First, you can build apps from your Google Docs. Second, try not to limit yourself to a narrow view of your use case when reviewing sample apps. Why, you ask? In this example, you’ll see how our popular field survey template application can be repurposed into a customer experience application. 

6. How AppSheet employees use AppSheet 
Let’s be honest, it’s always fun to know how the people who build something use it behind the scenes. In this post, we provide samples and overviews of what helps our team stay organized, keep plans on track, and better manage our time.  

Now that you’ve had a chance to see some of what’s possible, it’s time to build a few of your own from scratch to put your newfound skills to the test. And if you’re ever in need of additional inspiration, visit the AppSheet Community to see what fellow app creators are building. 

Ready to use AppSheet? Get started now.

Cloud Covered: What happened in Google Cloud in 2020

2020 will be remembered as a year of profound change, when the world was forced to adapt to unexpected challenges at work, home, and school. Let’s take a look back at the features, products, and services we built to meet those challenges. 

Video conferencing became a critical lifeline 

As more employees, educators, and students worked remotely in response to the spread of COVID-19, we rolled out free access to our advanced Google Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally, including larger meetings, up to 250 participants; live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save to Drive. 

Other top-requested features included a tiled layout that allowed viewers to see up to 49 participants at once; the option to present a Chrome tab in your meeting for high-quality video with audio content; a new mode that optimizes for low lighting conditions; and noise cancellation to limit background distractions. 

As the year unfolded, we kept working to boost the performanceand usefulness of Google Meet. One example is that you can join Meet on your Nest Hub Max. 

As always, privacy and security are paramount at Google Cloud, and we shared some of Google Meet’s key capabilities designed to protect you. These include anti-hijacking for both web meetings and dial-ins; increased moderation capabilities for meeting creators and calendar owners; multiple two-step verification options for accounts; and an optional Advanced Protection Program for additional security measures.

Google Meet’s infrastructure always provides secure, compliant, and reliable measures to all meetings. These include Google Cloud’s defense-in-depth approach to security; incident management; and compliance certifications

New ways to work, explore and learn 

In October, we announced the launch of Google Workspace with all of the productivity apps you know and love in one place—Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Meet, and many more. Google Workspace introduces three major developments: a deeply integrated user experience; a new brand identity; and new ways to get started. 

Of course, Google Workspace will include the new features that we introduced earlier in the year, integrating core tools like video, chat, email, files, and tasks, and making them better together. For starters, these new features help you move between tasks right in your Gmail inbox, allowing you to join meetings, co-edit team documents, or chat with colleagues in real time. 

Google Cloud is always finding new ways to provide wider access to applications and data for all kinds of people, regardless of experience. AppSheet is an application development platform that helps people create and extend applications without professional coding skills. 

To support the fight against COVID-19, we also made a hosted repository of public datasets, like our COVID-19 Open Data dataset, free to access and query. In addition, researchers can use BigQuery ML to train advanced machine learning (ML) models with this data right inside BigQuery at no additional cost. Quickly sharing results and analysis with colleagues and the public will accelerate our shared understanding of how the virus is spreading.

The increase in ML is an opportunity for developers and others to enhance skills in new areas. To help, 100 Google Cloud training courses and 500 hands-on labs are available online, designed around in-demand core cloud skills such as cloud architecture, data engineering, and ML. They’ll prepare you to solve real-world problems, and get you started on your path to certification. We're offering free training this month including access to our hands-on labs. 

Keeping technology’s back end working

Ensuring that Google Cloud customers stay up and running during the pandemic and beyond remains our highest priority. We shared two videos that detail our business continuity approach, and how we were prepared coming into this unprecedented time. Our infrastructure and technology helped us adapt to large increases in demand for our services like Google Meet. Meanwhile, we activated our business continuity plans, seamlessly shifting most of our staff to work from home, including our customer support organization, which helped our customers make the same kinds of adaptations. 

Our annual Google Cloud Next went digital. Re-watch Google Next ‘20: OnAir or check out a summary of each week’s main events, which covered topics including customer stories, cloud architecture, security, remote work, data analytics and application modernization.

That’s a wrap for the year! As 2021 unfolds, stay tuned to the Google Cloud blog for all things cloud.

Live captions come to Meet in four new languages

This year has marked a dramatic shift in how many of us work, learn and stay in touch with one another. And as many of us learn to embrace remote tools and virtual communication for the first time, it’s incredibly important to have inclusive, accessible and fair virtual meetings, whether you’re planning a return to the office, going fully remote or using a hybrid model, with some people together in person and some remote. 

For years, Google has focused on building products that help level the playing field. Google Meet, for example, uses speech-to-text technology to provide live captions in meetings; this helps participants who may be deaf or hard of hearing follow along and stay engaged. We introduced live captions in English last year, and starting today, we’re expanding live caption support to four additional languages: French, German, Portuguese (Brazil) and Spanish (Spain and Latin America).

More inclusive video calls

We know from our work with teachers and parents over the years how essential caption tools can be for students with learning disabilities, as well as English-language learners in both K-12 and higher education. Professional development experts often encourage the integration of this technology to make lessons more accessible, especially in the time of COVID-19. We’ve heard from Meet users about how helpful it can be to not only see who is speaking and view their expressions, but also read the text of what they are saying. By expanding live captions to more languages, we can help more students feel empowered to participate, and help more teachers share a space that is both accessible and inclusive. In addition, we’ve made captions settings “sticky,” so they’re even easier to use. This means that if you turn them on or off during a meeting, your preference will be saved, along with the chosen language, for future meetings.

Live captions in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese will begin rolling out to Meet web users across all editions starting today. Learn more about the rollout in our Google Workspace Updates blog.

Live captions in Meet in new languages

Making large meetings easier for more people

Earlier this year, we introduced breakout rooms in Meet to help educators create dedicated spaces for more focused discussions and track student engagement with attendance reports. We’ve continued to improve these experiences and have also made them available to more Google Workspace editions so that organizations can use group discussion formats. Below are the latest updates to these large meeting features that help organizations increase participation and engagement during a call. 

  • Breakout Rooms:A new countdown timer helps moderators keep everyone on task. Moderator requests call on the moderator to join a breakout room if participants need help or have a question, and dial-in participants and anonymous users can now participate in breakout rooms. 

  • Attendance Reports:Viewership data is now available for live streamed events like virtual all-hands meetings, and new advanced settings provide admins and hosts with additional controls over attendance reports.  

  • Hand raising:Participants can now let you know if they have a question or indicate that they would like to speak by raising their hand. In large meetings, this helps to increase participation while not disrupting the flow of the conversation and helps to prevent people from interrupting one another.

Staying connected over the holidays

As you turn to video to connect virtually with your loved ones this holiday season, Google Meet will continue to offer unlimited calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021 for Gmail accounts. This way, you can have enough time to keep up your holiday traditions virtually—and not get cut off before dessert.

Using MicroK8s with Anthos Config Management in the world of IoT

When dealing with large scale Kubernetes deployments, managing configuration and policy is often very complicated. We discussed why Kubernetes’ declarative approach to configuration as data has become the most popular choice for most users a few weeks ago. Today, we will discuss bringing this approach to your MicroK8 deployments using Anthos Config Management.
Image of Anthos Config Management + Cloud Source Repositories + MicroK8s
Anthos Config Management helps you easily create declarative security and operational policies and implement them at scale for your Kubernetes deployments across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. At a high level, you represent the desired state of your deployment as code committed to a central Git repository. Anthos Config Management will ensure the desired state is achieved and also maintained across all your registered clusters.

You can use Anthos Config Management for both your Kubernetes Engine (GKE) clusters as well as on Anthos attached clusters. Anthos attached clusters is a deployment option that extends Anthos’ reach into Kubernetes clusters running in other clouds as well as edge devices and the world of IoT, the Internet of Things. In this blog you will learn by experimenting with attached clusters with MicroK8s, a conformant Kubernetes platform popular in IoT and edge environments.

Consider an organization with a large number of distributed manufacturing facilities or laboratories that use MicroK8s to provide services to IoT devices. In such a deployment, Anthos can help you manage remote clusters directly from the Anthos Console rather than investing engineering resources to build out a multitude of custom tools.

Consider the diagram below.

Diagram of Anthos Config Management with MicroK8s on the Factory Floor with IoT
This diagram shows a set of “N” factory locations each with a MicroK8s cluster supporting IoT devices such as lights, sensors, or even machines. You register each of the MicroK8s clusters in an Anthos environ: a logical collection of Kubernetes clusters. When you want to deploy the application code to the MicroK8s clusters, you commit the code to the repository and Anthos Config Management takes care of the deployment across all locations. In this blog we will show you how you can quickly try this out using a MicroK8s test deployment.

We will use the following Google Cloud services:
  • Compute Engine provides an Ubuntu instance for a single-node MicroK8s cluster. Ubuntu will use cloud-init to install MicroK8s and generate shell scripts and other files to save time.
  • Cloud Source Repositories will provide the Git-based repository to which we will commit our workload.
  • Anthos Config Management will perform the deployment from the repository to the MicroK8s cluster.

Let’s start with a picture

Here’s a diagram of how these components fit together.

Diagram of how Anthos Config Management works together with MicroK8s
  • A workstation instance is created from which Terraform is used to deploy four components: (1) an IAM service account, (2) a Google Compute Engine Instance with MicroK8s using permissions provided by the service account, (3) a Kubernetes configuration repo provided by Cloud Source Repositories, and (4) a public/private key pair.
  • The GCE instance will use the service account key to register the MicroK8s cluster with an Anthos environ.
  • The public key from the public/ private key pair will be registered to the repository while the private key will be registered with the MicroK8s cluster.
  • Anthos Config Management will be configured to point to the repository and branch to poll for updates.
  • When a Kubernetes YAML document is pushed to the appropriate branch of the repository, Anthos Config Management will use the private key to connect to the repository, detect that a commit has been made against the branch, fetch the files and apply the document to the MicroK8s cluster.
Anthos Config Management enables you to deploy code from a Git repository to Kubernetes clusters that have been registered with Anthos. Google Cloud officially supports GKE, AKS, and EKS clusters, but you can use other conformant clusters such as MicroK8s in accordance with your needs. The repository below shows you how to register a single MicroK8s cluster to receive deployments. You can also scale this to larger numbers of clusters all of which can receive updates from commitments to the repository. If your organization has large numbers of IoT devices supported by Kubernetes clusters you can update all of them from the Anthos console to provide for consistent deployments across the organization regardless of the locations of the clusters, including the IoT edge. If you would like to learn more, you can build this project yourself. Please check out this Git repository and learn firsthand about how Anthos can help you manage Kubernetes deployments in the world of IoT.

By Jeff Levine, Customer Engineer – Google Cloud

Cloud Covered: What was new with Google Cloud in November

Nearly everything about modern life has changed this year, and in November we announced new features and tools to help you meet the needs of a changing world. Read on for more of what was new last month in Google Cloud.

Google and Harvard partner to improve COVID-19 forecasts
Eight months ago, Google Cloud partnered with Harvard Global Health Institute to develop COVID-19 Public Forecasts, which provide a projection of COVID-19 cases, deaths and other metrics for U.S. counties and states. The forecasts are now used by many organizations across the country, and in November we shared how the forecasts have improved in five major ways. These changes help lengthen forecasts, adapt to interventions like mask mandates, add customization options for organizations everywhere, and provide support for expansion to other countries like Japan. We also shared some valuable lessons learned in the last few months that will help guide future improvements to the forecasts.

Google Cloud launches machine learning engineer certification 
Two-thirds of global businesses are now using machine learning (ML) in their operations, which is a way to automate more tasks for things like TV recommendations, personalized shopping offers, and more. This explosion in ML has opened up new opportunities for engineers, and last month, we announced our new Google Cloud Machine Learning Engineer certification to help meet this demand. The two-hour exam is designed to assess individuals’ ability to frame ML problems, develop ML models, and build ML solutions. We offered suggestions on how to prepare for the exam, and shared feedback from one of the first participants, who said that Google Cloud has its finger “on the pulse of ML’s future.” 

The Anthos Developer Sandbox is free with a Google account
Google Anthos, our open cloud platform, helps software developers and operators build, deploy, and optimize applications anywhere. With Anthos, developers can package their code once, then run it across different types of clouds, saving a ton of time. Meanwhile, operators get a consistent platform for all application deployments, both legacy as well as cloud-native. In November, we announced free access to the Anthos Developer Sandbox, which allows anyone with a Google account to develop applications on Anthos at no cost. Just with a click of a button, right within the browser, you get access to pre-configured tools and extensions in your favorite languages for developing applications on Anthos.

Google Cloud announces Document AI Platform
Google Cloud helps businesses access the unstructured data contained in their documents, like invoices or W-9s, and make the data easier to understand, analyze and use by providing structure. We do so by using AI and ML to automate the process. Last month, we announced the new Document AI (DocAI) platform, now available in preview, which helps businesses process their documents and glean new insights from their data. You can check out the blog for an example, with instructions, to see how it actually works.

Viessmann transitions employees to Google Workspace and Chrome Enterprise
Last month we shared how Viessmann, a Germany-based manufacturing company with employees across the globe, made a successful and hassle-free transition to remote working with Google Workspace, Chromebooks, and Chrome Browser. With these three tools, Viessman made the remote transition in only one weekend, and was able to slim down hardware budgets, reduce IT administration, and free workers from their desks.

Empowering customers with an open cloud
Last month, Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian penned a blog post sharing more about our approach to the open cloud, including our ongoing commitment to open source—software that allows public users to access, modify, or distribute its code, as well as open data, which allows customers to get more insights out of their data. In addition to examples of our history pioneering open source tools and technologies, Kurian also shared info about the Google Cloud Public Datasets program. Here, Google works with data providers to host hundreds of public datasets that allow customers and researchers to discover unique insights for solving real business and societal problems.

That’s a wrap for this month. Keep up-to-date with Google Cloud news on the blog.

A new podcast explores the unseen world of data centers

Do you ever wonder where it all comes from? The words you’re reading right now, the music you stream or the program your kids use to do their homework? All that stuff can’t be just floating around in space ... can it? The internet has to live somewhere, right? 

Right. Every click you make online reaches across vast distances to retrieve information from racks of powerful computers inside some of the most secure buildings in the world. And then whatever you’re seeking appears in an instant. Even for the people who keep the machines running, the process feels like nothing short of magic. These buildings—where the Internet lives—are called data centers. Each data center exists in a real place, operated by real people in communities like Bridgeport, Alabama and Changhua County, Taiwan.

An animated GIF showing the logo of Where the Internet Lives.

Even at Google, only about one percent of employees ever get to set foot inside a data center. So to demystify these warehouse-scale computing facilities, a small team of Googlers and I spent the last year exploring them. Through the process, we got to know the people who design, build, operate and secure these buildings. We connected with outside experts and community members whose lives intersect with this infrastructure that keeps the digital economy moving. And today, we’re releasing the result of all this work: a new six-episode podcast called Where the Internet Lives.

As you listen, you’ll get a rare glimpse behind the walls and through multiple layers of security, literally going inside the machines that power the internet, guided by the people who keep them humming.

Along the way, you’ll learn how data centers work, what they mean to the communities that host them, the reasons data centers are some of the most secure buildings in the world and how efforts to operate data centers on 24/7 clean energy are transforming electrical grids across the globe.

Subscribe to the podcast now to be transported—at nearly the speed of light—to Where the Internet Lives. 

Click through the images below to read episode descriptions and take a peek at the engineering marvels that are today’s data centers.