Google Cloud Next 2023 recap: A new way to cloud

A group of people sitting in an auditorium excitedly recapping the new way to cloud presented at Google Cloud Next 2023.
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Just like that, Google Cloud Next 2023 is over! The show floor was packed with cloud enthusiasts with over 200 sponsors and over 15,000 attendees at San Francisco’s Moscone Center last week from August 29th-31st.

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The Chronosphere team attended insightful sessions, joined in on observability conversations, enjoyed happy hours, and even received some puppy cuddles!

In recent years, more organizations are moving to cloud native. Gartner estimates that over 95% of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud native platforms by 2025.

From key discussions on how Google is working to bring transparency to cloud bills, and Google’s efforts to embrace OpenTelemetry, this year’s event’s major theme was all about “The New Way to Cloud.”

Let’s take a step back and reflect on some of the sessions, discussions, and insights that made Google Cloud Next 2023 truly special.

Day 1: Tuesday, August 29th

Opening Keynote

This year’s event kicked off with an opening keynote hosted by an executive team of cloud pioneers from Google and their partners at Workday and NVIDIA.

The keynote had opening remarks from CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, where he talked about the next step in the emerging and powerful AI world: it’s all about making AI helpful for everyone – to transform your products and businesses. If you want to listen in on the keynote, check out the livestream.

We’ve spent the last 25 years trying to transform Google search, and we’re still not done. Today, we’re using generative AI to reimagine the experience, and take more of the work out of the searching. We call this the Search Generative Experience.

Sundar Pichai
CEO of Google and Alphabet

How to optimize Kubernetes for reliability & cost-efficiency

After the opening keynote, the very first event session highlighted Kubernetes popularity.

As companies move workloads to Kubernetes into the cloud, they may stumble across challenges. In this session, Google Solutions Manager Kent Hua was joined onstage by a partner and customer to talk about insights and best practices for how to cost-efficiently manage Kubernetes while maintaining reliability, using three factors:

  • Bin packing
  • Right-sizing
  • Scaling with cluster-autoscaler

Attendees also learned more about how to extend the observability of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) with Kubecost. You can check out the full livestream here.

DIY vs. managed: Observability tooling considerations

In the afternoon, we popped into the following session on the world of DIY observability tooling – a topic we talk about frequently.

Though DIY observability tooling for cloud native environments seems like an easier or more cost-effective lift, organizations could likely find themselves battling set up challenges – such as issues scaling horizontally and ongoing operational burden.

The session explore different angles of cost when considering DIY or self-managed tooling:

  1. Opportunity cost
  2. Human cost
  3. Outage cost
  4. Resource cost

Check out the full live stream here.

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Considerations for DIY observability

Cloud Run and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) for faster application development

The day’s final session that we attended dove right into the heart of modern applications: containers.

Cloud Run and GKE are Google Cloud’s managed container platforms that can speed up your development process. In this session, Etsy engineers joined Google teammates to talk about how the Etsy team leverages deployment paths to focus more on critical business decisions and less on figuring out how to regularly scale infrastructure. Learn more about this session here.

Day 2: Wednesday, August 30th

Day two brought on the energy and fun, as folks settled into the schedule and anticipated an exciting two days ahead.

We sat in on various breakout sessions, like a developer keynote that touched on the concept of a legacy app and the “new way to cloud,” and another on the world of GKE, and the evolution of container platforms.

Observability at Snap: Using tools and telemetry data for troubleshooting

After a busy morning full of insights, we were pumped to join a breakout session hosted by one of Chronosphere’s customers, Snap Inc!

A fundamental responsibility for teams that are running applications and services, this discussion covered new capabilities available in Log Analytics that assists teams in solving operational problems with the help of SQL and visualizations.

Evan Yin, technical lead at Snap drove home one point in particular: that consistent troubleshooting experience is key. If you’d like to learn more about how Chronosphere and Google Cloud team up to help Snap with reliability and developer experience, check out this customer story. You can watch the full live stream here.

Three trends in observability: Insights from industry leaders

As more and more modern companies move their architecture to the cloud, one of the main priorities has become ensuring end to end visibility.

In this session, Chronosphere’s very own Field CTO Ian Smith joined a panel of industry experts to talk about Chronosphere’s partnership with Google, as well as key components and trends in observability platforms.

“We used to have monoliths, now we have these complex interdependencies – not all of the request change is being touched by the same technology stack … Being able to sift through all of that data from an end user perspective is obviously quite difficult,” Smith said.

As organizations invest in cloud native, the geometric explosion of data poses various challenges:

  1. Humans can’t pass through it: Automation is needed, and there are cost, reliability, and performance implications.
  2. Data control and refinement: Teams need to be able to understand the data being used, the outcomes that it’s driving towards and refine that data down.
  3. Return on investment: The observability framework needs to ensure that the investment piece of the return on investment (ROI) does not exceed the return.

You can check out the full panel session here.

Happy hour time!

After a long conference day full of brainpower, the Chronosphere team was beyond excited to host our Happy Hour alongside Zencore and AMD at Novela, an infamous literary bar!

We had a full house with over 145 attendees, and the chance to catch up with familiar faces and become acquainted with new ones. Hopefully you were able to stop by and sip on their literary-themed classic cocktails.

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Day 3: Thursday, August 31st

Unlock cloud value for everyone with Google Cloud FinOps Tools

In this session, attendees learned all about Google Cloud’s advanced technology investment that have helped customers gain understanding and insight in their costs.

Google Product Manager Sarah McMullin mentioned three key takeaways from the session that left attendees better informed on FinOps practices:

  1. Understanding what FinOps means to Google Cloud
  2. Discovering new Google Cloud products to designed to support FinOps practice
  3. Learning how to join the Google Cloud FinOps community

FinOps can help organizations address these new billing challenges that cloud environments pose and bring together finance, operations, and engineering – so surprise charges are less the status quo.

Check out the full breakout session here.

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What went down at Chronosphere’s booth

The Chronosphere team kept busy at our booth, chatting with attendees about how to Level Up Cloud Native Observability and our latest framework to tackle observability costs – the Observability Data Optimization Cycle – a three step process on how organizations can secure the best possible observability outcomes while keeping costs under control. Learn more in the very first episode of our Chronologues series.

Through demos and conversations, we were able to showcase just how Chronosphere can help organizations go cloud native and run environments that are scalable, flexible, and reliable. A lot of folks stopped by to sign up for the coveted Atari Lego Set (the winner will be announced soon via email) and get a coveted hard copy of the O’Reilly Cloud Native Monitoring report (which you can download here if you missed it).

In all, it’s safe to say that this year’s Google Cloud Next was a blast. We’re excited for what’s to come – and see you in Las Vegas for 2024!

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