Spotify to shift onto Google's cloud platform

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Spotify to shift onto Google's cloud platform

Decides to ditch in-house data centres.

Popular music streaming service Spotify will exit its owned and operated data centres globally to take up residence in Google facilities as a new user of its cloud infrastructure platform.

Historically Spotify has bought or leased its own data centres, the company said in a blog post overnight, in order to house its 30 million songs as close to its customers as possible.

The company said until now cloud services were not at a level of "quality, performance and cost" to make outsourcing its infrastructure more viable in the long run.

However, Spotify said it had recently realised the tide had turned and it could no longer justify the extra cost and headache of owning and operating its own hardware, especially as the business continues to scale.

"Like good, lazy engineers, we occasionally asked ourselves: do we really need to do all this stuff?" Spotify engineering and infrastructure boss Nicholas Harteau wrote.

"For a long time the answer was “yes".

"Recently that balance has shifted. The storage, compute and network services available from cloud providers are as high quality, high performance and low cost as what the traditional approach provides."

Harteau said the move to Google's Cloud Platform was a "no-brainer" for the company.

"What really tipped the scales towards Google for us, however, has been our experience with Google’s data platform and tools," he said.

"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."

Harteau said the migration of Spotify's "large and complex" backend would take "some time" to complete, and pledged to update customers about the journey along the way. 

In a separate blog post, Google Cloud sales engineer Guillaume Leygues said Spotify had split its migration to Google's infrastructure platform in two streams: services and data.

The company is tackling the microservices that run Spotify's products first, moving them from the on-premise facilities into Google's Cloud Storage (specifically Cloud Datastore and Cloud Bigtable) and Compute Engine products, among others. It is also using Google's networking services to transfer petabytes of data.

For data, Leygues wrote, Spotify will adopt an entirely new technology stack by moving from the likes of Hadoop and MapReduce to Google's BigQuery, Cloud Dataproc and others.

The win is a high-profile validation for Google's cloud products amidst a fierce battle with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft, as it works to position itself as a serious alternative for enterprises.

AWS currently leads the field, reporting a 69 percent jump in revenue last quarter to US$2.4 billion (A$3.4 billion).

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