Google hopes a new networking feature will spur more migrations to its cloud platform and make the process easier at the same time.
Customers can now bring their existing IP addresses to Google Cloud's network infrastructure in all of its regions around the world. Those who do can speed up migrations, cut downtime and lower costs, Google said in a blog post.
"Each public cloud provider is looking to reduce the migration friction between them and the customer," said Stephen Elliot, an analyst at IDC. "Networking is a big part of that equation and IP address management is a subset."
Bitly, the popular hyperlink-shortening service, is an early user of Google Cloud bring your own IP (BYOIP).
Many Bitly customers have custom web domains that are attached to Bitly IP addresses and switching to ones on Google Cloud networking would have been highly disruptive, according to the blog. Bitly also saved money via BYOIP because it didn't have to maintain a co-location facility for the domains tied to Bitly IPs.
BYOIP could help relieve cloud migration headaches
IP address management is a well-established discipline in enterprise IT. It is one that has become more burdensome over time, not only due to workload migrations to the cloud, but also the vast increase in internet-connected devices and web properties companies have to wrangle.
AWS offers BYOIP though its Virtual Private Cloud service but hasn't rolled it out in every region. Microsoft has yet to create a formal BYOIP service, but customers who want to retain their IP addresses can achieve a workaround through Azure ExpressRoute, its service for making private connections between customer data centers and Azure infrastructure.
Stephen Elliot Analyst, IDC
Microsoft and AWS will surely come up to par with Google Cloud networking on BYOIP, eventually. But as the third-place contestant among hyperscale cloud providers, Google -- which has long touted its networking chops as an advantage -- could gain a competitive edge in the meantime.
IP address changes are a serious pain point for enterprise migrations of any sort, particularly in the cloud, said Eric Hanselman, chief analyst at 451 Research.
"Hard-coded addresses and address dependencies can be hard to find," he added. "They wind up being the ticking time bomb in many applications. They're hard to find beforehand, but able to cause outages during a migration that are problematic to troubleshoot."
Overall, the BYOIP concept provides a huge benefit, particularly for large over-the-internet services, according to Deepak Mohan, another analyst at IDC.
"They often have IPs whitelisted at multiple points in the delivery and the ability to retain IP greatly simplifies the peripheral updates needed for a migration to a new back-end location," Mohan said.