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BigQuery Omni enables Google multi-cloud data analytics

Google BigQuery data analytics users can now query data across clouds from multiple providers, including AWS and Microsoft Azure, without the need to first move the data.

Google's BigQuery has long had at least one critical weakness -- it had to run on data stored exclusively on Google's cloud infrastructure. As of Tuesday, that's no longer the case.

The tech giant, at its Google Next virtual conference, introduced its new BigQuery Omni service, which extends the BigQuery data analytics platform to multi-cloud deployments.

Currently, BigQuery Omni is a private alpha that only supports Amazon Web Services with a plan to support Microsoft Azure in the future. Google has not yet provided a public timeline for when the BigQuery Omni service will be generally available.

BigQuery Omni is a good move by Google to help support multi-cloud users, said Adam Ronthal, Gartner research vice president.

"BigQuery Omni makes a strong statement that Google Cloud Platform is serious about multi-cloud and intercloud data management," Ronthal said.

There is good reason for Google to be serious about multi-cloud as well.

Ronthal noted that, historically, the first competitive point of differentiation among independent software vendors (ISVs) was that they were multi-cloud and could help customers avoid cloud lock-in. Gartner cloud adoption data shows that multi-cloud is prevalent, with the majority of public cloud customers using more than one cloud service provider (CSP), Ronthal added.

Google BigQuery Omni
Google BigQuery Omni lets users run data analytics queries on data stored in AWS.

"There is no way that the CSPs were ever going to cede this market to the ISVs, and as much as every CSP would rather have all of a customer's data in their cloud, they'd much rather play an active role in helping  customers manage it when it's not," Ronthal said. 

Ronthal said that Gartner expects to see heightened competition in the multi-cloud market over the next 12 to 18 months.

Eliminating multi-cloud data siloes with BigQuery Omni

In a press briefing before the virtual conference, Debanjan Saha, general manager and vice president of engineering and data analytics at Google Cloud, provided his insight into the need for BigQuery Omni.

BigQuery Omni makes a strong statement that Google Cloud Platform is serious about multi-cloud and intercloud data management.
Adam RonthalResearch vice president, Gartner

"The problem is that when you are in multiple clouds, the data is siloed," Saha said. "If you want to run analytics on that siloed data, you have to move data from one cloud to another, which is both cumbersome and expensive."

Cloud providers have different types of tools and analytic systems, Saha noted. So this makes it difficult for users to run their analytics when their data sets are siloed across multiple clouds.

How BigQuery Omni works

Google is relying on its Anthos technology, a Kubernetes-based multi-cloud service, to enable BigQuery Omni. Instead of requiring users to run on Google Cloud, BigQuery Omni will enable them to directly run data queries on data that runs on other clouds, beginning with AWS. Without the Omni capability, users have to move data to Google before they can effectively run BigQuery.

With BigQuery Omni, users can run the same SQL queries they run on BigQuery on Google Cloud, against data stored on other cloud providers, with the same user interface and dashboards.

"It [BigQuery Omni] is a fully managed multi cloud analytics platform," Saha said. "So the customers can query data without having to worry about various different hardware and infrastructure complexities, thanks to the portability afforded by our Anthos platform."

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