12 Biggest Google Products And News From Google Cloud Next

From Broadcom-VMware to Google Gemini, CRN breaks down the 12 biggest product launches and news from Google Cloud Next that partners and customers need to know about.

Google Cloud ramped up its artificial intelligence and generative AI charge at Google Cloud Next 2024 last week with some huge product launches and news—including a new partnership with Broadcom-VMware and its flagship AI Gemini portfolio being integrated into some of Google’s most popular products.

Google also launched new hardware to fuel its AI ambitions, new Workspace AI offerings, as well as channel partner training to continue Google Cloud’s march to becoming a worldwide leader in the AI era.

Google Cloud Next 2024 took place in Las Vegas last week with approximately 30,000 in-person attendees flocking to the Mandalay Bay Resort for the tech conference, which focused mostly on AI.

[Related: Google Cloud Next: 10 Huge Nvidia, Arm, AI and Workspace Launches]

Thomas Kurian Sounds Off On AI Innovation

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian touted the $37 billion company’s AI innovation engine over the past eight months.

“It’s been less than eight months since Google Next 2023, but we made a world of progress with all of you. We’ve introduced over 1,000 product advances across Google Cloud and Google Workspace, expanding our infrastructure footprint to 14 regions, and announced six new subsea cable investments,” said Kurian during his keynote at Google Cloud Next 2024.

Kurian has led Google Cloud to remarkable growth since taking over the reins in 2018, when the Mountain View, Calif.-based company was generating less than $6 billion in annual revenue. Over the past 18 months, Kurian has led an AI charge being fueled by parent company Google as the tech giant battles for AI customer mindshare in the red-hot generative AI market in 2024.

“We’re at a pivotal moment in our industry. The world is changing, but at Google our north star is the same: to make AI helpful for everyone, to improve the lives of as many people as possible,” said Kurian. “Together, we’re building a new way to cloud.”

Here are the 12 biggest Google products and news announcements launched at Google Cloud Next last week that every customer, investor and partner should know about.

Google’s AI Agent Push; New Vertex AI Agent Builder

Creating AI agents for customers and employees is top of mind for Google Cloud’s generative AI charge in 2024.

“Customers have quickly gone from experimenting with generative AI, helping it to answer questions to make AI predictions, and now building generative AI agents,” said Kurian. “Agents are intelligent entities that take action to help you achieve specific goals. For example, how a shopper finds the perfect dress, helping an employee pick the right health benefits, or having nursing staff being helped to expedite patient handoffs when their shifts change.”

Google launched its new Vertex AI Agent Builder that brings together foundation models, Google Search and other developer tools to make it easy for customers to build and deploy agents.

The new offering provides the convenience of a no-code agent builder console alongside powerful grounding, orchestration and augmentation capabilities. With Vertex AI Agent Builder, users can now quickly create a range of generative AI agents, grounded with Google Search and their own organization’s data.

“Agents process multimodal information simultaneously: conversing, reasoning, learning and making decisions. Agents can connect with other agents and with units,” the Google Cloud CEO added. “And they will transform how each of you interact with computing devices and the web itself.”

Broadcom, VMware Boost Partnership Via GenAI, Google Cloud Marketplace And Support

Broadcom and subsidiary VMware expanded its partnership with Google Cloud that will optimize VMware workloads for Google Cloud, jointly collaborate on go-to-market initiatives and add more Broadcom products and offerings to the Google Cloud Marketplace.

Broadcom also said it will be infusing Google Cloud’s generative AI capabilities into some offerings, including Google’s Vertex AI. For example, Broadcom has boosted its SymantecAI platform with Google’s GenAI technology.

“Businesses run mission-critical workloads on Broadcom and VMware software, which will now be optimized for Google Cloud’s secure, trusted infrastructure,” said Kevin Ichhpurani, corporate vice president, global partner ecosystem and channels at Google Cloud, in a blog post. “Together with Broadcom, we will enhance user experiences by streamlining operations with generative AI and enabling license portability for VMware Cloud Foundation users.”

Broadcom will add several of its products to the Google Cloud Marketplace, including Symantec Network Protection, Clarity and the VMware Tanzu Application Service.

In July, Google said it will support portability of VMware Cloud Foundation licenses to Google Cloud VMware Engine (GCVE), enabling customers to purchase subscriptions of the new VMware Cloud Foundation software from Broadcom in GCVE.

Gemini 1.5 Pro

Google unveiled its Gemini 1.5 Pro edition at the event, offering two sizes of context windows: 128K tokens and 1 million tokens.

Kurian said Gemini 1.5 Pro is a “breakthrough in long context understanding.”

“In addition, we are announcing the ability to process audio files including videos with audio. Customers can process vast amounts of information in a single stream including one hour of video, 11 hours of audio, codebases with over 30,000 lines of code, or over 700,000 words,” he said. Gemini 1.5 Pro is now in public preview and inside Vertex AI.

One Gemini 1.5 Pro use case highlighted during the event was with Japanese broadcaster TBS, which is using it to automate metadata tagging on its large media archives. Another use case was with United Wholesale Mortgage, which is using Gemini 1.5 Pro to enrich the underwriting process and to automate the mortgage application process.

Gemini Code Assist For Google Cloud

Another big launch at Google Cloud Next was Gemini Code Assist for Google Cloud, an enterprise-focused AI code-assistance offering that lets users leverage Google’s latest Gemini models.

Gemini Code Assist for Google Cloud offers AI-powered assistance to help developers build applications with higher velocity and quality in popular code editors like VS Code and JetBrains. The offering supports private code bases to be anywhere—on premises, GitHub, GitLab, Bitbucket or even in multiple locations.

One big feature is full codebase awareness, which allows users to perform large-scale changes across their entire codebase, including adding new features, updating cross-file dependencies, and helping with version upgrades and comprehensive code reviews.

“We deployed it to a group of developers inside Google and found they had more than 40 percent faster completion time for common dev tasks and spent roughly 55 percent less time writing new code,” said Kurian.

In addition, Google’s new Gemini 1.5 Pro edition is an option for Gemini Code Assist.

Google Cloud’s First Arm-Based CPU: Axion

One of the biggest hardware announcements at Google Cloud Next was the unveiling of the company’s first-ever custom ARM-based CPU chip designed for the data center: Google Axion.

Google Axion is a general-purpose compute option that delivers up to 50 percent better performance and 60 percent better energy efficiency than comparable current-generation x86-based instances, according to Google.

“While not every workload is an AI workload, every workload you run in the cloud needs optimization— from web servers to containerized microservices,” said Kurian, referring to Axion. “Each application has unique technical needs, which is why we’re pleased to introduce new general-purpose compute options that help customers maximize performance, enable interoperability between applications and meet sustainability goals, all while lowering cost.”

Google Workspace’s New All-In-One Vids App

Google Gemini AI has been injected into Google Workspace with the creation of its AI-powered video creation app: Google Vids.

Google Vids is an all-in-one video, writing, production and editing assistant.

Vids can generate a storyboard users can easily edit and after choosing a style it pieces together a first draft with suggested scenes from stock videos, images and background music.

Vids will sit alongside Google’s other productivity tools like Docs, Sheets and Slides. It includes an easy-to-use interface and the ability to collaborate and share projects securely from a user’s own browser.

Gemini For Cybersecurity: New Threat Intelligence And Security Command Center

On the cybersecurity front, Google unleashed Gemini AI capabilities into its Threat Intelligence technology that uses natural language to deliver deeper insight into threat actor behavior.

Gemini in Threat Intelligence allows customers to tap into Mandiant’s frontline threat intelligence using conversational search to get insight into threat actor behavior in seconds.

It also helps users enhance the efficiency of their threat research by automating web crawling for relevant open-source intelligence articles, ingesting information and providing concise summaries to aid analysts. With the new offering customers can analyze large samples of potentially malicious code.

Also in the security arena, Gemini was injected into Google’s Security Command Center to help customers summarize critical and high-priority alerts for misconfigurations and vulnerabilities. Gemini in Security Command Center also provides recommendations on how to close potential exploits in simulated attack paths.

Partners Get New Generative AI Services Specialization, Bootcamps

Google Cloud launched a new Generative AI Services Specialization for channel partners who demonstrate the highest level of technical proficiency with Google Cloud GenAI offerings.

This new partner specialization aims to unlock earlier access to Google-led GenAI projects, additional funding for generative AI assessment work, and increased access to AI resources and partner marketing funds.

The cloud giant also unveiled new generative AI Delivery Excellence and Technical Bootcamps for partners. These Google bootcamps will provide partners with tools, technology and expertise to enhance their business with artificial intelligence.

Three New AI Models And Capabilities For Vertex AI

At Google Cloud Next, the company expanded access to a variety of AI models to provide more customer choice.

Anthropic’s new Claude 3 family of AI models is now generally available for customers on Google’s Vertex AI.

A new fine-tuned version of Google Gemma designed for code generation and code assistance, CodeGemma, is also now available on Vertex AI. Gemma is a family of lightweight open models built by the same technology used to create Google’s Gemini models.

Also new to Vertex AI is Google’s most advanced text-to-image technology yet: Imagen 2.0.

The new Imagen 2.0 has a variety of image generation features to help businesses create images that match their specific brand requirements. Inside Imagen is also a new text-to-live image capability that allows marketing and creative teams to generate animated images equipped with safety filters and digital watermarks.

Gemini Injected Into BigQuery, Looker, Databases

Three popular Google products received a Gemini boost: BigQuery, Looker and Databases.

Gemini in BigQuery uses AI to help data teams with data preparation, discovery, analysis and governance. BigQuery now comes with a new data canvas that provides a notebook-like experience with natural language and embedded visualizations, both available in preview. Gemini in BigQuery also includes AI augmented data preparation that assists users with data cleansing and data wrangling capabilities along with the ability to build low-code visual data pipelines.

The new Gemini in Google Databases offering delivers AI-powered assistance that aims to simplify all aspects of the database journey. Developers, operators and database administrators can now build applications faster using natural language; manage, optimize and govern an entire fleet of databases from a single pane of glass; and accelerate database migrations. Gemini brings SQL generation and summarization capabilities to Database Studio, Google’s SQL editor in the Google Cloud console.

Gemini in Looker provides users with new ways to engage and chat with their business data. Gemini in Looker is an always-available intelligent assistant, ready to speed customers from query to creation, and search to sharing, Google said. Google introduced a new Conversational Analytics offering for Looker that delivers multi-turn capabilities for users to ask questions of their data as simply as they would ask a business expert a question on chat.

New AI In Google Distributed Cloud

Google is bringing AI closer to where data is being generated and consumed—from the edge to air-gapped environments to Google Sovereign Clouds and cross-cloud.

“We are enabling AI anywhere through Google Distributed Cloud [GDC], allowing you to choose the environment, configuration and controls that best suit your organization's specific needs,” Kurian said.

New capabilities in GDC include bringing Nvidia GPUs to GDC for both connected and air-gapped configurations. Each of these will support new GPU-based instances to run AI models efficiently. In addition, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is now available in GDC, as well as AlloyDB Omni for Vector Search to allow search and information retrieval on GDC for customers’ private and sensitive data with low latency.

Finally, Google is validating a variety of open AI models—including Gemma and Llama 2—on GDC to run in air-gapped and connected edge environments.

Two Variations Of Nvidia’s Grace Blackwell Chips Coming To Google Cloud

One of the most highly anticipated Nvidia AI platforms in years is coming to Google Cloud in early 2025.

Nvidia’s newest GPU Grace Blackwell platform will be available on Google Cloud in less than a year in two variations: B200 and GB200 NVL72.

The B200 is designed for mainstream training and serving, while the GB200 NVL72 is designed for next-frontier model training and serving.

Nvidia’s new Grace Blackwell platform looks to enable businesses to build and run real-time generative AI on trillion-parameter LLMs. The GPU architecture features technologies for accelerated computing that Nvidia says will unlock breakthroughs in data processing, engineering simulation, electronic design automation, quantum computing and GenAI.