Events

Rakuten Cloud makes a splash at Google Cloud Next ‘24

By
Anirban (Oni) Chakravartti
SVP, Head of Sales for Enterprise, Cloud Business Unit
Rakuten Symphony
May 1, 2024
5
minute read

We had a blast at Google Cloud Next ’24 last month in Las Vegas. Now, let’s unpack the event's most exciting updates!

Rakuten Cloud, a division of Rakuten Symphony, specializes in optimizing cloud applications across a number of vertical industries.

For over 4 years, we've collaborated with Google Cloud on a project that establishes us as the sole provider of cloud storage software for Google Distributed Cloud (GDC), with our cloud-native storage platform optimizing stateful edge applications for customers.

Four years of hard work behind the scenes is now yielding impressive results as Rakuten Cloud's mission gains increasing recognition. It all began with a press release about our collaboration in May 2023 and culminated most recently with our largest-ever participation at Google Cloud Next ‘24 (known as “Next ‘24”).

Next ‘24 is Google Cloud’s biggest event of the year with tens of thousands of customers and more than 300 vendors and partners.

This year's event centered around the theme of "Embracing the New Way to Cloud." The primary focus of keynotes and presentations revolved around AI as the primary use case for Google Cloud services and the increasing demand for edge cloud services. This is where our partnership with Google Cloud truly stands out.

Standing out at the event is no small feat, but our success was evident in the packed crowds we drew to our 20' x 20' booth. The standing-room-only audience at our multiple booth presentations, and the overwhelming attendance at our customer appreciation event drove home the significance of our partnership with Google Cloud. We were thrilled to have our incredible partners and customers with us, sharing their experiences at the event.

Ashok Mishra, VP of SQA & IT, Cloud Business Unit, presenting during one of our busy booth theater sessions
Ashok Mishra, VP of SQA & IT, Cloud Business Unit, presenting during one of our busy booth theater sessions.

We also participated in two joint Cloud Talk presentations on business continuity and stateful edge with Google Cloud executives on the Cloud Theater stage.

Partha Seetala, President of Rakuten Symphony Cloud Business Unit, took the stage at the Cloud Theatre on Day 1 along with Vijay Tewari, Head of Product Management for Google Cloud Platform. On Day 3, I had the opportunity to share the stage with Sridhar Devarapalli, Director of Product Management at Google Distributed Cloud Edge. The emphasis for both sessions was on the critical role of stateful edge technology for ensuring business continuity, highlighting our value-added joint solution with Google. We were delighted by the level of audience engagement and the highly productive discussions that followed the sessions, centered on how we can enhance their current challenges with added value.

Google Cloud’s Vijay Tewari presenting with Partha Seetala during Cloud Talk Theater session.
Google Cloud’s Vijay Tewari presenting with Partha Seetala during Cloud Talk Theater session.

The discussions were overwhelmingly positive and the audience got to see why Google Distributed Cloud Edge trust us with the storage needs of their GDC Edge solution.

Google Cloud’s Sridhar Devarapalli presenting with Anirban Chakravartti during a Cloud Talk theater session.
Google Cloud’s Sridhar Devarapalli presenting with Anirban Chakravartti during a Cloud Talk theater session.

Cloud Native Storage – part of Google Distributed Cloud

Google Cloud’s Anthos is its Kubernetes distribution designed specifically for GDC. Rakuten Cloud-Native Storage (Rakuten CNS) provides a full range of automated file and block storage services (snapshots, clones, backups, recovery); it also provides the foundation for stateful workload for GDC.

Kubernetes only provides orchestration and lifecycle management for stateless apps. Rakuten Cloud-Native Storage, a software-defined cloud-native storage, extends Kubernetes’ capabilities to handle stateful workloads effectively. This includes managing persistent data storage, ensuring data resilience and providing advanced data management features such as snapshotting, cloning and backup.

Additionally, our storage solution is designed to integrate seamlessly with GDC, allowing organizations to leverage the benefits of both container orchestration and robust data storage management, playing a crucial role in enabling businesses to deploy and scale stateful applications in a cloud-native environment with enhanced reliability, performance and efficiency.

Rakuten CNS is used in Google Cloud’s multiple edge services, all based on use cases:

  • GDC Virtual - the bare metal version of the service in which customers bring their own hardware and Google Cloud loads its Anthos distribution alongside Rakuten CNS onto the server before the customer deploys its application software. The edge solution is backed up in GCP based on customer use case.
  • Google Distributed Edge Managed - Rakuten CNS is also integrated into GDC Edge, the managed service version in which Google Cloud deploys a fully managed server and software, and provides AI, security and open source software. Once the system is installed, Google Cloud is able to manage the entire infrastructure throughout its life cycle.

We’ve built an incredibly close partnership with Google Cloud. Dedicated joint engineering teams work together to ensure our product roadmap, release strategy and go-to-market plan are fully aligned. Together, we pre-validate new features with GDC Edge and jointly deliver security technology and expertise that enables our customers to rapidly transform their edge data centers, stores, factories and facilities.

Next ‘24 marked a pivotal moment for Rakuten’s enterprise cloud business. Not only did we witness the growing success of CNS in GDC applications, but we also extended our reach to non-Google Cloud customers by detailing our complete cloud stack.

Given the momentum of the market and our product set, I know this won’t be the last time you hear about Rakuten Cloud.

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