On the 25th of August 2020, the Google Cloud Meetup #5 took place in the cafeteria of Nine in Zurich. Since the beginning of the year, the Nine team has been recording all their Meetups and publishing them on the official company YouTube Channel. Corona made it necessary to adapt Meetups and hold them online. Starting with the Meetup #5, Nine is combining the online experience (via Google Meet) together with the benefits of on-site events such as networking and having pizza and beer together.

For an overview on this Meetup’s talks, you can read brief summaries or actually go for the full length version on YouTube. Enjoy.

Thomas Hug, founder of nine introduces the speakers Thilo Rossa from Parashift and Cyrill Troxler from Nine Internet Solutions AG.

Addressing the challenges in Document Capture with a Cloud-first and Machine Learning approach 

Contrary to popular belief, document processing is anything but solved. And the need for it to be solved is growing as companies are desperate to find ways to reduce costs, increase productivity, process continuity and system efficiency.

In his talk, Thilo Rossa gave insights into the existing challenges in Document Capture and Parashift’s solution approach to address these. Two major aspects of the strategy to actually bring more autonomy into the process at scale are the fundamentally global and highly scalable Google Cloud infrastructure as well as a versatile machine learning platform, capable of coping with the complexity of real-world documents.

The underlying model training architecture consists of five parts. Namely, a backend based on the Google Cloud Platform and Google Cloud SQL, the persistent Google Cloud Storage and AI Platform, the Google Container Registry and DaemonSets along with prediction pods. Both the backend as well as prediction engine are two Kubernetes clusters, each consisting of various nodes and therefore offering great flexibility in terms of organizing, deploying and auto-scaling container applications.

Crossing the Kubernetes Control Plane

Wouldn’t it be great if developers could use the same tools for deploying applications and provisioning supporting infrastructure like databases? In Cyrill Troxler’s talk, he explains the underlying problem and looks at some existing solutions that could help out and streamline the process.

A lot of companies on Google Cloud use tools like Terraform to provision this kind of infrastructure. But all of these tools introduce new workflows that are cumbersome to integrate into existing development workflows. Luckily, if you are using Kubernetes to deploy your applications, there are a number of new tools that tackle this problem. Together with the audience, Cyrill Troxler takes a look at two of these tools: the Config Connector, which is a service from Google that can be enabled as an add-on for GKE as well as Crossplane, which is an Open Source project that recently got accepted into the CNCF sandbox. The talk goes a bit deeper in what makes Crossplane stand out from other tools and shows a live demo of provisioning some infrastructure with it using the Kubernetes control plane.

Further outlook with the new Meetup online experience

Nine’s next Google Cloud Meetup is planned for the 10th of November, 2020 17:45 in Zurich at Stauffacher (Nine offices, Badenerstrasse 47). Join the team on-site with pizza & beer by Google or remote through Google Meet in your browser!

If you have an interesting project running on Google Cloud that you want to show or if you have anything else to talk about, please contact Thomas Hug.

Check out Nine’s Meetup Group on meetup.com for upcoming Google Cloud Meetups.