The Google Cloud Platform Team: rebuilding Google technology to power the world

The Google Cloud Platform Team: rebuilding Google technology to power the world

A long time ago at Google, we started working very hard to build the world’s fastest, most scalable, and most reliable infrastructure to power our own products and services. Fast forward to today, the Google Cloud Platform team is committed to delivering our powerful infrastructure to businesses, developers, and everyone who is looking to operate in the cloud. Chris Elliott, an engineering solutions architect, shares the history of Google Cloud Platform and what it’s like to rebuild Google technology to power the world.

How did the Google Cloud Platform start?

Chris: From inception, Google needed our infrastructure to deliver an incredible scale and performance at a very low cost, in order to serve our own products and customers. Because of this, we built and ran our very own system - everything from data centers to networking switches. This system that we’ve had and perfected for several years is what the industry is now referring to as the Cloud. We’ve always had our own cloud technology platform. And today, the Google Cloud Platform team is committed to opening the scale and performance of Google’s infrastructure to the world.

What makes working on the Google Cloud Platform team so exciting?

Chris: Without question, the most exciting thing to me is accessing Google’s extensive technological resources and knowing our secret sauce. From BigTable to Dremel, Google File System to Spanner, we have to know Google’s infrastructure and proprietary technologies inside and out. Then, by piecing together these incredible computational resources, we solve our clients’ problems.

What does your team get to do with all these resources?

Chris: Part of my job is to show our partners the speed, scale, and power of the Google Cloud Platform. So, I get a lot of access to exercise and test our infrastructure through demos. Recently, for a partner demo, I spun off thousands of virtual machines. This test was up and running in a few minutes and the resources we used were only a drop in a bucket compared to the vast amount of resources that are available at Google, which is crazy. This access to the Google infrastructure and freedom to experiment with it allow our team to build the Google Cloud Platform.

What’s the biggest challenge for your team?

Chris: That there’s only 24 hours in a day! There are so many interesting, cross-functional challenges and exciting problems that the Cloud presents. Our team’s problem is quickly finding enough people to address all of them.

What’s the best perk in your job?

Chris: Since I’m currently leading game architecture reference, I get opportunities to beta test games, even before their public releases. My favorite part of my job is playing a video game and being able to say "I'm working!"

Sound like you? Find out more about the role(s) and apply here.

Chris Elliott is an engineering solutions architect on the Google Cloud Platform team, and is responsible for building systems that demonstrate the capability of the reference architecture for Cloud Platform customers. Chris's job ranges from piecing together solutions, to building prototypes for demonstration, to engaging with Chief Technology Officers, and to beta testing App Engine based video games.

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