Google and Microsoft Push for “Good” AI
Google announced their latest push for machine learning adoption with their AI Impact Challenge, which will provide $25 million in grant funding to projects addressing world issues such as healthcare, conservation, and natural disasters. Challenge winners will gain access to Google’s AI and cloud experts and will be given Google Cloud credits to use for their projects. Organizations are now able to submit ideas for the competition; though, the winner won’t be announced until Google’s I/O 2019. This move follows a similar one by Microsoft a couple of months ago when they announced their AI for Good programs that also center around using AI for humanitarian, accessibility, and environmental efforts.
IBM’s Red Hat Acquisition
IBM has just announced their intent to acquire open source provider Red Hat for a whopping $34 billion or $190 a share cash; the largest software acquisition in history. The acquisition is intended to strengthen IBM’s hybrid cloud strategy and enable IBM’s customers to accelerate multi-cloud adoption. Once the acquisition is closed, Red Hat will join IBM’s Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat. Red Hat will continue to be led by Jim Whitehurst and the current management team. Whitehurst will also join IBM’s senior management team reporting to Ginni Rometty. IBM intends to maintain Red Hat’s headquarters, facilities, brands, and practices.
DCD Colo+Cloud Conference Insights
Our Principal Analyst, Paul Teich attended DCD’s Colo+Cloud Conference in Dallas last week bringing back key insights. Chayora, a new entrant in the data center colocation market in China, announced that it is nearing construction completion on the first of nine planned colocation datacenters on its Tianjin campus. The 300-megawatt colocation facility will serve the Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei tri-province area. The first datacenter is projected to start operations in Q2 of 2019.
Forced Physics showed a radically new method of air-cooling server racks. Paul plans to pry into this new technology in the coming weeks.
Lastly, The Open Compute Project, or OCP, announced that mezzanine card version 3.0 specification is ready for release. OCP is also working on modular datacenter specifications and guidelines for telecom data centers.
Alibaba’s Earnings are In
Alibaba announced their quarterly earnings early Friday morning, reporting that their cloud computing revenue grew 90% year-over-year to RMB 5,667 million or $825 million U.S. They stated the growth was driven by improving revenue mix of higher value-added services and robust paying customer growth. Alibaba Cloud also launched over 600 products and features during the quarter, including those related to big data analytics and AI application innovation, security, and IoT service enhancements.
Baidu also held its quarterly earnings call where they reported strong cloud business growth. The company highlighted its ABC Cloud with AI as a service as a key innovation area for the company.
Two events to look out for coming later this month are Supercomputing 18, taking place in Dallas November 11-16; and AWS re:Invent, at the end of the month from November 26-30.
Last year at Supercomputing, Microsoft announced that it would host Cray supercomputers in Azure datacenters. We are expecting high performance computing to accelerate its shift to the cloud this year.
At re:Invent, Amazon is expected to launch a significant number of AWS cloud services this year. The Liftr Cloud Insights team will assess what these new services mean for cloud industry and report back in the Cloud Round-Up.