Google Cloud is winning over customers, starting with big data and AI

There is not a topic in IT right now more likely to get somebody talking than whether Microsoft, Goog
ARCHITECHT
Google Cloud is winning over customers, starting with big data and AI
By ARCHITECHT • Issue #124
There is not a topic in IT right now more likely to get somebody talking than whether Microsoft, Google or some darkhorse candidate can give Amazon Web Services a real challenge in cloud computing. The conventional wisdom is that Microsoft Azure is in the best position right now, but I have to say that Google continues to present a strong case for itself. It’s certainly not as mature as AWS, but—as I suggested back in March—users seem to really like the performance of the Google cloud, as well as its big data and artificial intelligence services.
Want proof? Here are three items from today alone underscore this point:
My podcast co-host, Barb Darrow from Fortune, also published a post today highlighting a handful of other customers moving to Google, including Mixpanel, Server Density, and more recent comments from Metamarkets’ Driscoll.
Even if a lot of these companies are taking a multi-cloud strategy right now—and might still host a majority of stuff on AWS or elsewhere—sometimes all it takes is getting a foot in the door. Google hasn’t had to play the scrappy startup role in a long time, but everyone knows it has a lot to offer. Experiments with BigQuery, Cloud Vision APIs or Container Engine could expand to a lot more very quickly.

Sponsor: Bonsai
Sponsor: Bonsai
Listen to the latest ARCHITECHT Show podcast
In this episode of the ARCHITECHT Show, Elastic founder and CEO Shay Banon talks about the evolution of Elasticsearch—from an open source side project (the first iteration was a recipe-search app for his wife) to popular big data tool to the core of a company worth nearly a billion dollars. He also shares his thoughts and strategies on the growth of Elastic, which, somewhat under the radar, has expanded to include multiple products and employ hundreds of people around the world.
Artificial intelligence
AIMatter is based in Belarus and built an app, called Fabby, that lets users add effects to their selfies. One has to wonder if Google is holding onto its dreams of launching a successful social platform, or if it has other plans for the technology. Or perhaps it’s just playing games with Snap …
Speaking of Google and digital photos … This is kind of interesting work, but Google devised a pretty sophisticated method for getting around them. Seems like there should be another use for this technology.
Yes, an artificial neural network that’s as good as humans at mapping neural networks in brains. If AI helps us better understand neuroscience, which helps us develop better AI, that will really be something.
This is a good thing to look into if you meet the criteria (i.e., not white, straight and male) and live in San Francisco. Some people get up in arms about the push for diversity, but the truth is that it is a big problem—and will only get bigger—as we rely on algorithms more important things.
I linked to the blog post about this earlier in the week, and here’s the paper. When someone ultimately does crack StarCraft II, it will probably be a smaller deal from a PR perspective than chess, Go, Jeopardy, etc., but a bigger technological accomplishment.
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Here’s an O'Reilly podcast featuring two folks working on the Ray project at UC-Berkeley’s RISELab. Ray, as you might have heard in the recent podcast with RISELab director Ion Stoica, is focused on building a general-purpose execution platform for reinforcement learning, etc.
Sponsor: DigitalOcean
Sponsor: DigitalOcean
Cloud and infrastructure
I’m all for DigitalOcean, Cloudflare and whoever else booting Nazi websites from their services, but where’s the line on publicly shaming them for hosting them in the first place? When people can sign up with a credit card, you’re going to get some bad apples and might not even know it.
It was in Amazon S3, not that that part really matters. This is just another brick in the wall of data left exposed because something wasn’t configured correctly. 
CoreOS was funded by Google Ventures and there were rumors Google was going to acquire it, but here it is announcing stable support for Microsoft Azure. That’s really a necessity today if you’re claiming to be multi-cloud, and multi-cloud will be a big selling point for Kubernetes.
coreos.com  •  Share
Yet another reminder that microservices environments can be as complex as containers are simple. For more on service meshes, check out the recent podcast interview with William Morgan of Buoyant, which manages the Linkerd project.
A group of researchers is working on a method to help GPUs better handle memory requirements from multiple applications. They say improvements are necessary as general-purpose GPU usage ramps up, especially in multi-tenant cloud environments.
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All things data
The basic pitch around ThoughtSpot is that it’s a simpler way to get information by using a Google-like interface. It’s now being marketed as AI, but that’s probably a stretch.
This is a nice overview of an increasingly complex market—especially, I would expect, as companies start relying on gig workers rather than just UPS and FedEx. My gut tells me it’s largely data-based right now, but I could imagine advances in AI (maybe even quantum computing) having an impact via a learning-based approach.
New ARCHITECHT Show every Thursday; new AI & Robot Show every Friday!
New ARCHITECHT Show every Thursday; new AI & Robot Show every Friday!
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ARCHITECHT
ARCHITECHT delivers the most interesting news and information about the business impacts of cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and other trends reshaping enterprise IT. Curated by Derrick Harris. Check out the Architecht site at https://architecht.io
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