For years, one of Google’s biggest differentiators has been its global infrastructure. It has closely guarded its technologies, networking, and the data centers. This has allowed it to announce revolutionary features like the massive storage Gmail launched with, real time collaboration in Google Docs, and super-fast Web search well ahead of competitors.
These innovations all come from running highly efficient infrastructure at massive scale, something few of its competitors could match. However, with the rise of cloud computing, such advantages have started to disappear.
Google’s response was to start productising its internal technologies, and Google Cloud Platform was born. Although very late to the party, Google has been rapidly building its portfolio of cloud products. It’s differentiating through operational simplicity, and although it offers commodity services like compute and storage, it sets itself apart with managed services like databases, global load balancing, and container management.