UPDATED 13:21 EDT / AUGUST 31 2023


AI moves by Google Cloud raise interest in what AWS will deliver next

The news from Google Cloud Next this week centered around generative AI for the enterprise. The cloud provider made a number of significant announcements in this area, yet one of the sidebar stories from the event revolved around a company that wasn’t even there.

As the undisputed leader in cloud computing for more than two decades, Amazon Web Services Inc. has the potential to wield enormous clout in the emerging AI market. But the cloud narrative in AI so far has been shaped by Microsoft Corp. and, more recently, Google LLC. What happened to AWS?

“I’ve had conversations with Andy Jassy, Adam Selipsky, Swami [Sivasubramanian], all of the top people and some of the product managers,” said John Furrier (pictured, second from left), industry analyst for theCUBE. “They knew about generative AI. It’s not like they weren’t doing it. They were doing stuff, they just didn’t see it as an important point at that time. Once that shoe dropped, they were flat-footed, and that’s what happened to Amazon.”

Furrier spoke with fellow industry analysts Dustin Kirkland (left), Sarbjeet Johal (second from right) and Rob Strechay (right), at the Google Cloud Next event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, during the conference’s Day 2 analysis. They discussed the challenges faced by Amazon and Google Cloud’s progress in generative AI. (* Disclosure below.)

Potentially tougher road

Part of Amazon’s challenge will involve integrating generative AI into its complex organizational structure, where multiple groups have responsibility for key technologies such as its storage service offering S3.

“S3 has three engineering teams,” said Strechay, who previously worked at AWS. “It’s integrating AI into S3 … and saying: ‘Hey, I want to be able to find my objects.’ Yep, it’s going to be tough. I think they have a tougher road to [be] as pervasive in AI as Google is, or Microsoft for that matter.”

The analysts viewed an ability to tap into the growing startup community around generative AI as one of the key elements for success among the major cloud providers. Google Cloud added new tensor processing unit and graphics processing-based unit machines to its portfolio this week.

“If a majority of kids out of college startups getting funded are doing the majority of their work on TPUs on Google Cloud, GPUs on Google Cloud, more so than Microsoft or Amazon, that’s going to fundamentally change the landscape for a decade or more,” Kirkland noted.

An ability to build a robust ecosystem around advances in generative AI will also play a key role in how the major cloud providers attract new business.

“Google is doing AI, of course, but [with] a lot of ecosystem around it,” Johal said. “VMware, we saw last week, they are training their SDKs and their code. That can sit in AWS, as well as in Azure and in Google. I think Google still has to push harder and keep pushing.”

Meanwhile, AWS has offered glimpses into its generative AI strategy over the past several months, and recently made updates to its managed foundational model service, Amazon Bedrock. This will set the stage for the AWS re:Invent conference at the end of November.

“Remember what’s happened in the past 18 months,” Furrier said. “Amazon has been on a growth rate that’s been second to none in terms of revenue growth, client growth, just thundering performance. When their cards come down at re:Invent, we’re going to see what they’re holding relative to their generative AI capabilities.”

Here’s the complete video discussion, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Google Cloud Next event:

(* Disclosure: This is an unsponsored editorial segment. However, theCUBE is a paid media partner for Google Cloud Next. Google LLC and other sponsors of theCUBE’s event coverage do not have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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