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Cloud Tracker Pro Quarterly: Navigating the AI Goldrush


By: Mary Jander

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Generative artificial intelligence (AI), the ability to generate text, images, and more from natural language input, has become an obsession in the technology industry. Large language models (LLMs), the programs that govern the training of generative AI for use in applications such as chatbots, are the focus of enormous investment, despite the layoffs and belt-tightening that continue in tech.

Indeed, it’s become a question of acting or being left behind. Cloud hyperscalers are at the forefront, designing services that couple the LLMs of innovative startups with the underlying infrastructure offered in the cloud. Telcos too are pondering their potential role in the generative AI world. And enterprise customers are planning ways to make AI streamline business processes and create new ones.

In our latest Cloud Tracker Pro Quarterly Update, we examine these trends, with particular focus on the full-stack evolution that cloud providers are faced with. We include data gathered from our research to summarize how cloud providers are meeting generative AI head on. We also cite data on how cloud providers and telcos are (or aren’t) increasing their capital spending to accommodate AI, as well as the impact on AI.

Emerging Trends

Generative AI is presenting cloud providers with the need to overhaul or add substantially to their networks across several dimensions:

  • Accelerated computing. Each of the major cloud providers worldwide is involved in creating high performance computing (HPC) and supercomputing facilities for use in generative AI modeling services. Component providers such as NVIDIA are key to the process.
  • Edge expansion. The cloud titans are pushing out their networks worldwide, preparing for the demand in edge resource brought on by generative AI applications. As part of this trend, hyperscalers are expanding their own content delivery networks (CDNs), even as independent CDN players continue to branch out.
  • Advanced expertise. Generative AI requires considerable technical expertise, and what the cloud providers don’t have in house they’re willing to buy. Each of the top hyperscalers has invested in one or more innovative startups specializing in generative AI. The most cited example is Microsoft, which has invested around $13 billion in OpenAI.

Who’s Footing the Bill?

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