Why Major League Baseball is using Google’s newest hybrid cloud product Anthos at its stadiums to update scoreboards, calculate batting averages, analyze snack sales, and more in real-time (GOOG, GOOGL)

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Business Insider

  • Major League Baseball began using Google Cloud’s product Anthos since opening day this year so that it can store data both in Google Cloud and in its data centers at its ballparks.
  • With Anthos, MLB can process baseball game data and deliver data to scoreboards and broadcasters in real time.
  • MLB needs to store some of its data in data centers at ballparks for latency reasons, so it picked Anthos which allows it to do that while also shifting to a cloud strategy.
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Major League Baseball may have shortened its season this year, but it still managed to make some serious technology updates.

Since opening day this year, MLB has been running its stadium applications on Google Cloud’s Anthos, a product that allows it to store its data on Google Cloud, in private data centers, and even other clouds if it chooses.

With Anthos, MLB can run its applications on both Google Cloud and in its stadiums’ data centers, helping it crunch data for tasks like calculating batting averages and analyzing hot dog sales.

It’s also using Google Cloud’s AI capabilities to process, analyze, and make decisions based on the baseball game data it collects in real time.

Not only does it need to analyze this data, MLB sometimes needs to deliver it to fans, fast. That’s why Anthos hybrid cloud situation was so appealing: MLB sometimes uses its ballpark data centers for latency reasons, like for delivering the latest stats to broadcasters or scoreboard so that fans can see the live score.

“We can’t be waiting 3 or 5 seconds for something to come up,” Kris Amy, VP of Technology Infrastructure at MLB, told Business Insider. “You want to see it live on the screen. We need to have the process right there in the stadium.”

MLB, which previously ran a VMware environment, started modernizing its technology about a year and a half ago. As part of this process, it decided to start using containers, which allow it to easily move its data between private data centers and the cloud. That’s a another major reason why it picked Anthos: It’s based on Kubernetes, a Google-born open source cloud computing project that makes use of containers.

MLB has been looking to move onto Kubernetes for a while, Amy says, and Anthos ended up being a suitable option because it uses Kubernetes and allows MLB to use the same architecture in both its private centers and in the cloud.

“We see Kubernetes as the current orchestration platform of choice for our applications,” Amy said. “It’s a heavily community driven environment. It simplifies a lot of the needs that developers have.”

Read more: Everything you need to know about Kubernetes, the Google-created open source software so popular even Microsoft and Amazon had to adopt it

Also for MLB developers, the experience building these applications is the same, whether they’re working with the cloud or one of the data centers in the stadiums.

“We’re invested heavily in making the latest cloud technology for developers,” Eyal Manor, vice president of engineering and product at Google Cloud, told Business Insider. “What we see now is there are a lot of use cases as machine learning on the edge including some of our machine learning and doing some training on the cloud. Anthos allows that to be really seamless.”

Do you work at Google Cloud? Got a tip? Contact this reporter via email at [email protected], Signal at 646.376.6106, Telegram at @rosaliechan, or Twitter DM at @rosaliechan17. (PR pitches by email only, please.) Other types of secure messaging available upon request.

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