Google acquires AWS training vendor Qwiklabs

The future of tutorials for the competing cloud platform seems uncertain

diane greene google horizon 2016
Google Cloud chief Diane Greene speaks at the company's Horizon conference in San Francisco on September 29, 2016. Credit: Blair Hanley Frank

Google is acquiring Qwiklabs, a company that helps people learn how to use public cloud services to run applications without operating a data center.

It's a helpful move for Google, which is trying to expand the use of its cloud platform and stands to gain when developers and IT professionals get a handle on making applications run in the cloud. The company will create tools to help get people up to speed on the Google Cloud Platform and G Suite productivity service, Jason Martin, the director of professional services for Google Cloud, said in a blog post.

But there's a wrinkle to the acquisition, announced Monday: Qwiklabs's existing portfolio is entirely focused on educating people about offerings from Amazon Web Services, including Alexa skills. For the time being, those offerings will still be available.

"We plan to continue to offer lab learning credits and subscriptions for sale on Qwiklabs.com," Qwiklabs CEO Enis Konuk said in a blog post. "Owners of existing credits and subscriptions continue to enjoy the same access to our library of hands-on labs. Our partners who deliver instructor-led training sessions and events can continue to do so."

A Google representative declined to comment on future plans for Qwiklabs' existing product base. This isn't the first time the tech titan has bought an AWS-focused cloud company, though.

In 2014, Google acquired Stackdriver, a service designed to help people manage the performance of their cloud compute resources. At the time, it only worked with AWS. Now, it handles both AWS and GCP workloads. Google Cloud chief Diane Greene has said on multiple occasions that she's a supporter of multi-cloud deployments, so it's possible Qwiklabs' offerings will continue in the same vein. 

Amazon will likely have to find a new education partner to fill Qwiklabs' void. In September, the cloud provider announced it would give customers on its Enterprise Support Plan free Qwiklabs credits.

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