In a blog written by Spotify’s VP of Engineering & Infrastructure, Nicholas Harteau explained that though the company’s data centres had served it well, the cloud is now sufficiently mature to surpass the level of quality, performance and cost Spotify got from owning its infrastructure. Spotify will now get its platform infrastructure from Google Cloud Platform ‘everywhere’, Harteau revealed.
“This is a big deal,” he said. Though Spotify has taken a traditional approach to delivering its music streams, it no longer feels it needs to buy or lease data-centre space, server hardware and networking gear to guarantee being as close to its customers as possible, according to Harteau.
“Like good engineers, we asked ourselves: do we really need to do all this stuff? For a long time the answer was yes. Recently that balance has shifted,” he said.
Operating data centres was a painful necessity for Spotify since it began in 2008 because it was the only way to guarantee the quality, performance and cost for its cloud. However, these days the storage, computing and network services available from cloud providers are as high quality, high performance and low cost as anything Spotify could create from the traditional ownership model, said Harteau.
Harteau explained why Spotify preferred Google’s cloud service to that of runaway market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS). The decision was shaped by Spotify’s experience with Google’s data platform and tools. “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,” he continued.
Harteau cited the Dataproc’s batch processing, event delivery with Pub/Sub and the ‘nearly magical’ capacity of BigQuery as the three most persuasive features of Google’s cloud service offering.