Focusing on the core competencies while being able to scale and manage their infrastructure is what all companies – small or big – vie for. Spotify’s move to migrate to Google Cloud Platform is one such example.
Spotify, the popular commercial music streaming and podcast service company, is preparing to migrate nearly all of its privately hosted back-end workloads to the one of the biggest public cloud service provider – Google. The companies would be working together to move all of Spotify’s backend operations to Google’s cloud platform. Spotify who has tens of thousands of machines across four data centers worldwide started working with Google about 18 months ago, and the goal is to have a huge chunk of infrastructure migrated to Google Cloud Platform. Both Spotify and Google made the announcement on 23rd February 2016.
Spotify decided that it didn’t want to be in the data center business due to the cost and lack of required expertise and Google’s terrific big data services appealed to the company. In the blog post, written by Nicholas Harteau, the VP of Engineering and Infrastructure at Spotify, it was explained how Spotify decided to move as it could no longer scale fast enough to meet the demand. .
According to Google’s blog post, “The company (Spotify) split their migration to Cloud Platform into two streams: a services track and a data track. Spotify runs their products on a multitude of tiny microservices, several of which are now being moved from on premise data centers into Google’s cloud using our Cloud Storage, Compute Engine and other products.”
The move of Spotify to Google Cloud Platform is comparable to Netflix’s migration to AWS. Netflix had similarly been migrating huge portions of its streaming operations to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for years now, and has finally completed its giant shift to the cloud by early January 2016. Amazon Web Services drove much of its growth using this case study and Google had been itching for a similar high profile client as well. As of now, Google’s Cloud Platform comes in 3rd in terms of largest cloud services provider right behind AWS and Microsoft’s Azure although Google has the likes of Coca-Cola, Sony and Macy’s among its clients. But now with Spotify, Google got its big chance.
Despite the fact that the streaming service will migrate to Google cloud storage, Spotify – who is also an important customer of AWS, has some workloads there as well. It will store all of its music files on Amazon’s Simple Storage Service and deliver music around the world using Amazon’s CloudFront.
According to Wouter de Bie, big data architect at Spotify, “We use Amazon primarily for content delivery and we’ll keep on doing that.” Nevertheless, the fact that the decision to shift the on-premises workloads to Google, instead of to AWS, is a significant move. Although the actual storage and serving of audio will remain on AWS, the main part of the infrastructure, which is dedicated to serving metadata around playlists, recommendations and searching catalogues, will move to Google cloud computing.
As quoted by Nicholas Harteau, “At Spotify we are obsessed with providing a streaming experience that feels as though you have all the music in the world on your phone. Good infrastructure isn’t just about keeping things up and running, it’s about making all of our teams more efficient and more effective, and Google’s data stack does that for us in spades.”
Spotify currently contains 30 million songs, while 2 billion playlists are shared and created every day. With the soon to be launched Spotify’s video streaming services, the new partnership with Google, indicates the company’s plan to expand its services.
One thing is evident – the idea of letting a vendor, scale and manage their infrastructure while they are focused on core business, is what drives these clients to avail the services of public cloud companies.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) can take advantage of the specialized services of Managed Service Providers (MSP) to get their cloud service expertise and advice in implementing cloud computing and to leverage it as a standardized IT platform for innovating, and optimizing business processes. MSPs can also integrate their services with the company’s back-office operations, thus providing opportunities for SMB-business owners more time to focus on the more critical areas of business.