South Africa : Harnessing the power of a data cloud with Google Cloud
- 01 April 2022 / News / 291 / Fares RAHAHLIA
South African enterprises seeking ever greater and faster value from their data are discovering that Google Cloud ticks all the boxes for delivering tangible and measurable value from data.
This is according to Sizwe Mabanga, Google cloud architect and customer engineer at Digicloud Africa, who says most local organisations are looking to optimise their data warehousing to enable faster mining for insights.
“There is a realisation that cloud solutions are easier to use than on-premise infrastructure, and importantly – they can deliver insights much faster.”
“With Platform-as-a-Service solutions, they don’t have to set up their own infrastructure with various bespoke tools; they access a single platform with tools that are proven to work together,” he says.”
“Where Google stands out in this space is its ease of use, ease of getting started, and the fact that there is no underlying infrastructure you have to spin up.”
“At the centre of this ecosystem is BigQuery, an SQL compliant solution housing data in a structured format so you can run tests and queries incredibly quickly and easily.”
“And when you need work as part of a team, that’s where all the other tools come in to join the datasets. Google Cloud delivers the easiest platform to use and start getting value immediately,” Mabanga says.
He says key advantages of a data cloud with Google Cloud include ease of use, dramatically reduced time to insights, and that it delivers petabyte scale data warehousing as a service with no infrastructure to manage.
Security and compliance are also assured, with tools to secure, control access, and deidentify the data.
Sizwe Mabanga, Google cloud architect and customer engineer at Digicloud Africa
Google Cloud offers a 34% lower TCO than cloud data warehouse alternatives, where costs can build up quickly, Mabanga says.
“Traditionally, you might need hardware on-premise, which needs resources to run and manage, and various pieces of software to complete the puzzle. “
“On top of the TCO savings, Google Cloud overcomes bottlenecks and delays experienced in traditional environments.”
“In a traditional environment, you might have a server taking three hours to come up with results on a query. This means a person needs to wait that long, only to have to tweak it, submit another query and wait again for a result.”
“With Google, that time is slashed to seconds, so you can gain insights far faster and run more queries,” says Louis van Schalkwyk, Head of Technical Operations at Digicloud Africa.
He says the only hesitance he sees from local enterprises is around unpredictable costs of the PaaS model.
Louis van Schalkwyk, Head of Technical Operations at Digicloud Africa.
“We do see questions around costing and pricing. When the infrastructure is on-premise, they know what it costs and run any jobs they want on the infrastructure they have paid for.”
“Because Google is delivered as a service, you pay per query, which makes it harder for new customers to understand what the solution is going to cost them.”
“What we find, however, is that as customers adopt BigQuery they just use more and more of it, putting more information into the system and making it available to more people.”
“Nobody complains about costs because they are getting so much value out of it. With traditional infrastructure, their costs would have been capped, but so would performance. With Google, both are uncapped.”
Despite the fact that costs may be difficult to predict, Mabanga notes that the Google Cloud is surprisingly affordable.
“When you start the journey with BigQuery, you’ll discover that getting data in there could incur costs, but data just sitting there doesn’t incur any costs. In fact, there’s an entire free tier; you only start feeling it in the Petabyte space.”
“With Google Cloud, the first terabyte of queries is free every month, thereafter it’s only $5 per terabyte,” he says.
Mabanga says: “Once people have a look and do a comparison, it’s a no brainer to move to Google Cloud.”
“It’s well understood that Google is a leader in this space. BigQuery is a world leader, and it offers a basis and platform for taking things to the next level with AI and ML.”
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