Google Cloud Next ’24 Nordcloud Recap

Post • 5 min read

Nordcloud’s Google CTO Quentin Baret recently returned from Google Cloud Next ‘24 in Las Vegas. Here’s what he had to share about the event.

It was great to experience the ‘Googlyness’ and the exciting atmosphere that was all around during the conference - whether it was at the Expo Hall or during the different sessions.

You could really feel that customers, partners, and Googlers really believed in Google Cloud’s ability to deliver innovative solutions that were future-proof and on the edge of technology.

Here’s some of the highlights, key takeaways and announcements from the event.

Key business figures.

☁️ Google Cloud reached a $37 billion annual revenue run rate, five times the run rate from five years ago.

☁️ Google Cloud is the fastest growing cloud provider YoY.

☁️ Over 60% of funded Generative AI start-ups and nearly 90% of Gen AI unicorns are Google Cloud customers.

Gen AI was the main focus.

Gemini 1.5 Pro

Google’s next-generation large language model boasts dramatically enhanced performance and a breakthrough in long context understanding, enabling it to process vast amounts of information consistently with support for up to 1 million tokens.

That means that you can process in a single stream (no chunking), 1h of video, 11h of audio, codebases with over 30,000 lines of code, or over 7,000 words.

Key Gen AI announcements

Now, as part of the announcements, if I can highlight a few things, lots of the announcements and advancements were around Gen AI of course.

The main point of the keynote was leveraging Google Cloud AI platform (Vertex AI) and the underlying infrastructure to build AI Agents (with quite impressive demos):

Employee Agents: Improve employee productivity and collaboration (with Gemini for Workspace notably)

Customer Agents: to enhance customer service across channels with personalized recommendations and support.

Creative Agents: transform content creation and marketing campaigns (Carrefour’s Marketing Studio deployed in 5 weeks).

Data Agents: Unlock insights from data and improve decision-making. BigQuery integrates with Gemini and Vertex AI for data preparation, analysis, and governance.

Code Agents: Boost developer productivity and code quality with Gemini Code Assist (enterprise-grade coding assistance) and Gemini Cloud Assist.

Security Agents: Enhance threat detection and response with Gemini in Threat Intelligence, in Security Operations to provide insights about threat actors and assist with investigation and remediation.

What does this mean for the market? 

There’s potential here to experiment and use Gen AI services like Gemini Pro and the Google Agent builder, for example, to really understand what challenges these solve, the use cases they can match up to and the value this can bring to businesses. And Nordcloud is well positioned to help here.

Key infrastructure announcements

AI Hypercomputer: An optimised system for AI training and serving with leading accelerators like TPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. New features include A3 mega instances, support for NVIDIA Grace Blackwell GPUs, and TPU v5p pods (4x the compute capacity per pod compared to previous generation). Google Cloud was recognised as the leader in Forrester's AI Infrastructure Solutions wave (source).

Google Distributed Cloud (GDC): Brings AI capabilities to the edge and air-gapped environments. New features include NVIDIA GPU support, GKE capabilities, and support for OpenAI models. Mobile provider Orange, for example, is using AI on GDC to improve network performance and deliver translation capabilities.

Google Axion Processor: Custom ARM-based CPU designed for data centres with up to 50% better performance and up to 60% better energy efficiency than comparable x86-based VMs.

What does this mean for the market?

There are opportunities, for example, within the more regulatory industries, with GDC (Google Distributed Cloud) and Assured Workloads, which can ensure data residency - storage, processing, network isolation - in one specific region.

Key data announcements

BigQuery: Evolving into a unified platform for data and analytics with a new user interface, security, and governance features. BigQuery and Vertex AI together deliver up to 4x faster performance and are up to 3x more cost-effective than other platforms. New features include BigQuery Data Canvas, Vertex indexing, and Looker integration.

AlloyDB: Enhancements for improved reliability, performance, and scalability.

Bigtable and Firebase: Improvements for better performance and scalability.

What does this mean for the market? 

Tighter integration of Vertex AI and BigQuery makes it easier to perform MLOps natively in Google Cloud. AlloyDB remains the way to have a PostgreSQL Database on “steroids” and the product is becoming more and more mature.

Key Workspace Announcements

Gemini for Google Workspace: AI-powered agent integrated into Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and more. Over 70% of Help Me Write users accept Gemini's suggestions.

Google Vids: New AI-powered video creation app (demo from Next).

Enhanced security and extension models.

Chat plus Meet offering with improved voice quality. Google Meet outperformed Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and WebEx in overall video and audio performance.

What does this mean for the market? 

Building agents leveraging Gemini on both Google Cloud and Workspace will help automate repetitive tasks and improve employee productivity. It also helps with creativity and reduces manual tasks while being able to quickly analyse and summarise documents in Drive. 

Gemini on Workspace can help you summarise email threads quickly, take notes during meetings, plan follow-up calls, but also analyse market trends directly and get out the relevant information to launch a marketing campaign for example.

Overall, it was an amazing event as Google Cloud Next showcased Google's commitment to AI innovation and its vision for "The New Way to Cloud" with a focus on Generative AI, infrastructure advancements, and an open platform approach.

Get in Touch.

Let’s discuss how we can help with your cloud journey. Our experts are standing by to talk about your migration, modernisation, development and skills challenges.

Quentin Baret
Quentin Baret LinkedIn
CTO Google