Pythian was recently invited to attend the very successful opening of the new GCP Helsinki Data Center. Based on the number of attendees and their excitement level, Finland is very ready to jump on a local cloud provider with over 1400 people registered, and more than 2000 actually showing up on the day of the event! In fact, it was so crowded that during the keynote speech when everyone was in the main ballroom, Google employees and partners were asked to move to a different building to help with fire code issues.
We attended as one of twelve Google partners who specialize in helping companies make the most of their cloud usage. Most of our conversations revolved around using the GCP Platform tools, and not simply performing a lift & shift of existing services. This has become a much more common conversation as companies realize the benefits of not using the cloud as if it were an extra large colo, but rather a new way of thinking about architecting and deploying their technology.
In addition to the crowd of Finnish businesses interested in GCP, there were, of course, many Google employees running around. My favorite conversation was around the focus of Google’s offering compared to Azure. Azure, in the (anonymous) Googler’s opinion, was focused on providing solutions while GCP was providing tools.
During the day, Google put on several different tracks for attendees. This included an executive, developer and operational track covering the many ways different parties can use the cloud.
The fun part of these events is seeing how Google will add in local flavor. In this case, the vendor booths were all shaped like saunas, and the mascot was a Google-colored bear. Here are some pictures from the event to give you a taste!