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February 5, 2021

Google, Twitter Expand Data Cloud Partnership

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Google and Twitter are expanding a partnership that will see the social media platform complete the move of its analytics, data processing and machine learning workloads to Google’s Data Cloud. The partners said the shift would allow Twitter to accelerate data analysis while improving user experience.

The multi-year collaboration addresses the huge volumes of data Twitter’s platform ingests daily, including trillions of events that require the processing of hundreds of petabytes of data running on a dozen or so large Hadoop clusters. The expanded partnership includes Twitter’s adoption of BigQuery, the Cloud Bigtable hosting service, Dataflow and machine learning tools running on Google’s Data Cloud.

Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) announced its partnership with Google Cloud in 2018. The initial agreement moved cold data storage and Hadoop clusters to Google Cloud. “There is strong alignment with Twitter’s engineering strategy to meet the demands of its platform and the services Google Cloud offers at a global scale,” the cloud provider noted.

Twitter stepped up migration of software stack to the cloud in 2019 under an infrastructure initiative dubbed Partly Cloudy.

The partners also promote their collaboration as democratizing data access by providing data scientists and engineers with a variety of machine learning tools that could be used to improve Twitter features. For example, large custom data processing tasks could be queried faster using SQL in BigQuery, Google said Thursday (Feb. 4).

“This will make it easier for both [Twitter] technical and non-technical teams to study data and accelerate the time to insight,” Google said.

The cloud provider (NASDAQ: GOOGL) notes that its platform is serverless, thereby enabling users like Twitter to scale their data analytics operations.

The expanded partnership with Twitter also underscores how Google continues to differentiate its cloud services from rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, particularly provisioning cloud databases. Meanwhile, Twitter’s wholesale shift to the cloud illustrates the steady enterprise transition from on-premise to cloud infrastructure. That allows cloud consumers like Twitter to leverage managed services so they can focus on machine learning model development.

While Google Cloud still trails cloud giants AWS and Microsoft Azure, industry analyst Gartner in a recent assessment of the cloud database market credited the search giant with having a better handle on multi-cloud provisioning. For example, Gartner lauded its BigQuery Omni offering that supports execution of SQL queries on AWS, with support on Azure expected soon.

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