ArchiTECHt Daily: Google's capex creeps back up

I vowed I wouldn't write about AI in this space again today, but I feel compelled to point out there
ARCHITECHT
ArchiTECHt Daily: Google's capex creeps back up
By ARCHITECHT • Issue #9 • View online
I vowed I wouldn’t write about AI in this space again today, but I feel compelled to point out there was a lot of cool AI news and research on Wednesday. Be sure to check it out below. Also, this (only somewhat unrelated) take on the unique challenges of innovating in consumer hardware is worth reading.
Instead, I’ll highlight Google’s data center spending in 2016, which, at $10.2 billion, puts it back on the uptick after the rare down year in 2015 (when it spend only $9.9 billion after dropping $10.9 billion in 2014). Presumably, the increased investment is tied, at least in part, to Google’s burning desire to grow its upstart cloud business that only began in earnest in 2013. All estimates put Google’s cloud market share far, far below that of Amazon Web Services, and also significantly below Microsoft Azure. 
Growing its piece of the cloud pie will require Google to not just add capacity and expand globally, but also to add the right capacity. While Google has optimized its overall infrastructure to run its core search-plus business as efficiently as possible, serving cloud customers’ wide-ranging workloads probably requires some different gear. On Wednesday, for example, Google announced the availability of SQL Server instances on Compute Engine—not novel workloads by any stretch, but maybe relatively novel to Google.
Essentially, large platform providers like Google, Facebook and Amazon sometimes need to build for the workloads they want or expect, rather than just the workloads they already have. For example, when I read on Wednesday that Mark Zuckerberg views video as a “megatrend,” I was reminded of my recent trip to the company’s Prinveville, Oregon, data center, where the company is investing in 100-gigabit networking gear—and looking toward 400-gigabit—in part to handle all the video traffic it expects to serve.
If Google wants to compete with AWS in the cloud, it’s going to need the infrastructure to handle all those enterprise workloads it wants to run.

A Georgia Tech system called DeepNav can navigate cities using Google Street View images.
A Georgia Tech system called DeepNav can navigate cities using Google Street View images.
Around the web: Artificial intelligence
Professor Winfried Hensinger and Dr. Bjorn Lekitsch from the University of Sussex
Professor Winfried Hensinger and Dr. Bjorn Lekitsch from the University of Sussex
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Around the web: Cloud and infrastructure
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