Google Cloud CEO On AI At Goldman Sachs Event: ‘We Have A 10-Year Head Start On Any Competitor’
‘Over 50 percent of all funded AI companies are our customers on Google Cloud and over 70 percent of AI unicorns use Google Cloud. In other words, those that know how to do AI, understand our differentiators,’ says Thomas Kurian.
Thomas Kurian says Google is winning the artificial intelligence arms race by having better cloud infrastructure for AI, “far fewer security issues than competitors,” and having a massive head start against the competition, which includes the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.
“As generative AI came along, we’ve evolved our infrastructure portfolio. Remember, Google has been building large scale infrastructure for AI for over 10 years,” said Google Cloud’s CEO Kurian at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia and Technology conference. “So, we have over a 10 -year head start on any competitor.”
The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology giant is the world’s third largest cloud computing company with a $32 billion run rate. Google Cloud is growing revenues faster than AWS and Microsoft, in part, thanks to new customers placing their AI bets on Google.
In particular, Kurian said many of the most innovative and successful AI startups are Google Cloud customers.
“Over 50 percent of all funded AI companies are our customers on Google Cloud and over 70 percent of AI unicorns use Google Cloud,” he said. “In other words, those that know how to do AI, understand our differentiators.”
Google Vs. Microsoft Vs. Amazon
The three largest cloud companies on Earth—Amazon via AWS, Microsoft and Google—are investing hundreds-of-millions of dollars into building new AI software, developer tools, and cloud infrastructure across the globe. This acceleration to drive AI innovation for businesses came after Microsoft-backed OpenAI launched ChatGPT in late 2022. Generative AI became the industry’s most popular buzzword, although gen AI is driving real ROI for customers.
Kurian said Google has many advantages in the AI space compared to its competitors: from its history in data analysis to cybersecurity via its $5.4 billion acquisition of security star Mandiant last year.
“The data speaks for itself. We have far fewer security issues than competitors and so we start from a strong foundation,” he said. “We’ve been working at Google on AI since 2004. So, it’s our twentieth year. There’s a lot we have learned in, not just building models, but building products that are enabled by AI.”
CRN breaks down the six boldest remarks by Thomas Kurian during the Goldman Sachs conference about why Google is besting the competition in AI.
Google Cloud Infrastructure ‘Highly Differentiated’ For The AI Market
Kurian said customers are picking Google Cloud infrastructure over the competitors because of its performance and scale.
“We’re highly differentiated in a variety of areas. Just two examples. If you look at raw disk, we deliver 10-times better storage performance when measured on a IOPS for disk volume than competitors, which means you get much faster and cheaper access to disk,” he said.
“From an uptime point of view, we’re materially differentiated. We have two to three-times fewer outage hours, which means for mission-critical systems, a lot better experience for our customers,” said Kurian. “As generative AI came along, we’ve evolved our infrastructure portfolio. Remember, Google has been building large scale infrastructure for AI for over ten years. So, we have over a ten-year head start on any competitor.”
Google Manages ‘Over 40-Times As Much Data As Any Other Cloud Providers’
In terms of leveraging AI for data analysis, Kurian said Google Cloud starts “from a position of real strength.”
“For many years, we have consolidated all the different things that people want for analysis in one set of systems. So we offer a single system to analyze structured and unstructured data. A single system that is a data warehouse and a data lake. A single system that supports the ability to analyze using SQL, Python, Spark, and generative AI tools,” he said.
Kurian said Google customers can analyze data from any SaaS application, on-premise environment, or any other cloud without needing to move the data to Google Cloud.
“That’s led us to manage over 40-times as much data as any other data cloud provider. And we have five-times more customers than other data clouds,” he said.
70 Percent Of AI Unicorns Who ‘Know How To Do AI’ Pick Google Cloud
Kurian said Google Cloud offers better high-performance systems for training models than the competition.
“Model training happens on large scale infrastructure that we have. Over 50 percent of all funded AI companies are our customers on Google Cloud and over 70 percent of AI unicorns use Google Cloud,” he said. “In other words, those that know how to do AI, understand our differentiators.”
Google Cloud’s CEO said some of these customers need a range of different types of accelerators to accelerate performance.
“We offer 13 different types of accelerators for clients. The value is that they get the best choice of system for price performance. We also have the most diversified supply because these accelerators give us a choice of what to offer clients,” he said.
Why Developers Pick Google Cloud Over The Competition
Kurian said developers love to build applications with Google Cloud compared to competitors for two reasons.
“First, developers’ love using open-source tools and we have the deepest and broadest collection of open-source tools,” he said.
“Second, we also give them the ability to build applications using a set of technology that can run on any environment that they have. When we say on any environment: on-premise, on our cloud, or on any other cloud. So in other words: they can learn once, write once, deploy anywhere, and we make money no matter where they deploy,” Kurian said.
For example, he highlighted a new product Google Cloud just introduced called AlloyDB which is “the fastest performing relational database in the market.”
“We run it in all environments—our cloud, on premise, and on other clouds—and it’s the only relational database that can run in any of those configurations,” he said.
Google Mandiant Has ‘The Best Threat Intelligence In The Market’
From a security competitive standpoint, no one has better threat intelligence expertise than Google thanks to its $5.4 billion acquisition of security superstar Mandiant in 2022.
“We want to keep you secure,” said Kurian. “The data speaks for itself. We have far fewer security issues than competitors and so we start from a strong foundation. We also provide solutions to help an organization secure their data and systems across their enterprise, on-premise, in other clouds, and on Google.”
Kurian said Google acquired Mandiant to give organizations “the best threat intelligence” in the world.
“Mandiant has the best threat intelligence in the market. They bring real expertise from the frontline handling threats,” he said. “We take that and put it into a platform for analysis. What that platform allows you to do is see, ‘What security threats are emerging? Which ones are going to affect me? How is an intruder likely to come in and attack me? What do I need to take as an action to protect myself? How can I validate that I’ve closed the door?’ And the combination of Mandiant and our security platform gives us the ability to offer customers that.”
“We always knew that we were going to integrate it with our security operations and our AI capability to offer a differentiated cybersecurity offering,” he added.
Vertex AI Growing 15-X Quarter Over Quarter
One of Google Cloud’s biggest generative AI offerings is its new Vertex AI platform, which lets users train and deploy machine learning models and AI applications, as well as customize large language models (LLMs) on.
“Vertex is used today by 50,000 companies, and it’s grown 15-times quarter-over-quarter in its adoption because of the interest in generative AI,” said Kurian. “It offers the broadest collection of models. We’ve got over 100 models from Google, open source, third-parties like Cohere and Anthropic, and others all available through the platform. So people have a choice of the model they want.”
He added that Google has been the “longest in the market in using AI and products and the tools” internally, which are now “available to developers through Vertex to use for their own needs.”