Jul 9, 2020

Google Cloud Platform: the search giant’s enterprise product

Google
Cloud
Google Cloud Platform
enterprise
William Smith
2 min
Google’s status as one of the world’s largest technology companies has been built off its cloud expertise, from a search engine to video sharing
Google’s status as one of the world’s largest technology companies has been built off its cloud expertise, from a search engine to video sharing...

Google’s status as one of the world’s largest technology companies has been built off its cloud expertise, from a search engine to video sharing.

Google also offers its cloud expertise to enterprises in the form of its Google Cloud Platform, leveraging its expertise in the field. With services such as data management, hybrid and multi-cloud, AI and machine learning. The company pushes the ability to work with existing enterprise systems such as SAP, VMware, Windows and Oracle without compromising security thanks to the detection of malware and other threats.

Data analysis is another focus, with data warehousing as well as analytics driven by AI and machine learning.

Customers include the likes of Spotify, Twitter, Toyota and Target, while coverage is worldwide, with 23 cloud regions and 70 zones.

Back in February, Google acquired big data firm Looker, integrating its offering into its own cloud systems. The $2.6bn cash deal, which was first announced in June 2019, signified Google’s ambition to catch up with rival cloud firms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure in terms of clout. 

The big data business intelligence firm already featured connections with Google’s Cloud Platform and other competing offerings, allowing Google access to a wider market. Comparing quarterly results released by the companies, Google’s Q4 cloud business revenue reached $2.6bn, while Microsoft’s Q2 cloud revenue was $11.9bn.

At the time, Thomas Kurian, the CEO of Google Cloud, said in a blog post: “Google Cloud and Looker share a common philosophy around delivering open solutions and supporting customers wherever they are—be it on Google Cloud, in other public clouds, or on premises. As more organizations adopt a multi-cloud strategy, Looker customers and partners can expect continued support of all cloud data management systems like Amazon Redshift, Azure SQL, Snowflake, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and Teradata.”

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Jun 8, 2021

Fastly's CDN Reportedly to Blame for Global Internet Outage

Technology
Fastly
servers
websites
Tilly Kenyon & Oliver James Fr...
3 min
Multiple outages have hit social media, government, and news websites across the globe

A huge outage has brought down a number of major websites around the world. Among those affected are gov.uk, Hulu, PayPal, Vimeo, and news outlets such as CNN, The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and Financial Times.

It is thought a glitch at Fastly ─ a popular CDN provider ─ is causing the worldwide issue. Fastly has confirmed it’s facing an outage on its status website but fails to specify a reason for the fault ─ only that the problem isn’t limited to a single data centre and, instead, is a “global CDN disruption” that is potentially affecting the company’s global network.

“We’re currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” the firm said.

What is Fastly?

Fastly is a content delivery network (CDN) company that helps users view digital content more quickly. The company also provides security, video delivery, and so-called edge computing services. They use strategically distributed, highly performant POPs to help move data and applications closer to users and deliver up-to-date content quickly.

The firm has been proving increasingly popular among leading media websites. After going public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2019, shares rose exponentially in price, but after today’s outages, Fastly’s value has taken a sharp 5.21% fall and are currently trading at US$48.06. 

What are CDNs?

Content delivery networks (CDNs) are a web of small computers, or servers, that link together to collaborate as a single computer. CDNs improve the performance of internet-connected devices by placing these servers as close as possible to the people using those devices in different locations, creating hundreds of points of presence, otherwise known as POPs.

They help minimise delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. This helps users around the world view the same high-quality content without slow loading times. 

Without a CDN, content origin servers must respond to every single end-user request. This results in significant traffic to the origin and subsequent load, thereby increasing the chances for origin failure if the traffic spikes are exceedingly high or if the load is persistent.

The Risk of CDNs

Over time, developers have attempted to protect users from the dangers of overreliance through the implementation of load balancing, DDoS (Denial of Service) protection, web application firewalls, and a myriad of other security features. 

Clearly, by the state of today’s major website outage, these measures aren’t enough. Evidently, CDNs present a risk factor that is widely underestimated ─ which needs to be rectified with haste. Content delivery networks have become a key part of the global infrastructure, and so it’s imperative that organisations start to figure out risk mitigation strategies to protect companies reliant on the interconnected service from further disruption and disarray. 

Over the coming days, both Technology Magazine and Data Centre Magazine will continue to provide updates on the current situation as developments are made.

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