I had the pleasure of attending Google Cloud Next 2024 in Las Vegas, NV and while it comes as no surprise that Generative AI was a huge part, it was by no means the only exciting part of the event. With that said, I wanted to take some time to record some highlights as it was also my first in-person event in my new role as a Strategic Cloud Architect at CDW and Google’s most-attended Cloud Next event yet.

CDW's partnership with Google and Partner Summit
While having worked with Google Cloud for years this is the first time I’ve done so as an official partner. Because of this, the team at CDW can gain an exclusive viewpoint into what's top of mind in the ecosystem for 2024 and beyond. I was able to attend the dedicated partner keynote as well as targeted breakout sessions with the Google team to collaborate directly. For instance, it's this kind of partnership that enabled our team to leverage Gemini 1.5 for our demo this year months before it was even announced at Next!

Kubernetes and Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)
Another major key takeaway this year was, Kubernetes and what’s next. With Kubernetes originating out of Google, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), is the infrastructure I prefer when running containerized workloads, and running generative AI on GKE is becoming a very popular topic. So much so, that Google reported that they've seen over 900% growth for GPUs and Tensor Processing Unit (TPUs) on GKE. Because of that, GKE now supports Cloud TPU v5p and TPU multi-host serving to serve single machine learning models and applications. Google also announced their "AI Hypercomputer" now with GKE support. One use case for this would be flex start jobs as part of the new Dynamic Workload Scheduler which is designed with AI workloads in mind. With flex start jobs, jobs are cued as soon as possible based on resource availability for TPU and GPU resources so you aren’t left waiting on availability longer.

Personal highlights
Finally, on a personal note, I can't help but share my excitement for the type of innovation all of this can bring. In what was probably my favorite session, I learned about how Google partnered with the Department of Defense by creating an AI-powered microscope that helps doctors and pathologists identify cancer more quickly and accurately. Rather than depending on the human eye, clinicians are presented with visual overlays and heat maps directly on the microscope's display to help them identify the type, severity, and spread of specific types of cancer. 

As I reflect on my experience at Google Cloud Next 2024, I'm left feeling invigorated and inspired. All in all, I'm incredibly excited to be a part of the team at CDW, to get to partner with Google Cloud directly, and for the year ahead! Now it's on to Miami for our GKE field days!

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