On theCUBE Pod: Thoughts on when the app tsunami is coming and more on the AI wars

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Amid a possible artificial intelligence infrastructure shift, there are some big events on the horizon in the technology world to keep an eye on, including MWC 2024 at the end of February and KubeCon + CloudNativeCon in Paris in March.

On the latest episode of theCUBE Podcast, theCUBE Research analysts John Furrier (pictured, left) and Dave Vellante (right) discussed the conversation starting to emerge surrounding AI infrastructure as big events approach.

“It’s very clear to me that the AI from last year’s hype is moving into a discussion of how this is going to impact architecture,” Furrier said. “This is not new to us; we’ve been talking about this. But you’re starting to see real, substantive conversations around where AI is going to fit in.”

Though there’s much attention around OpenAI that the shift to the infrastructure side is taking place, according to Furrier. It’s actually right in line with what could be a big “aha” moment for the industry.

“Once the infrastructure is enabling this disruption, the app tsunami is coming. You’re going to see general purpose apps out there; you’re going to see a lot of different things,” Furrier added. “I found that very rewarding, because I was nervous … where are the workloads?”

AI wars could be fought around productivity and data

It’s possible, as Databricks Inc. Vice President of Generative AI Naveen Rao posted on X on Thursday, that the enterprise generative AI wars will be fought on two fronts: office productivity and data platforms. There will be vertical solutions, but that will be a bunch of splintered markets, according to Rao.

On the office productivity side, Vellante is in agreement with Rao’s sentiment. It highlights what’s amazing about the AI boom, Vellante pointed out.

“It’s not just one or the other, it’s both,” he said. “Cloud was really IT productivity and innovation, new apps, and PCs were all about personal productivity. This is both. What I take away from his comments, really, on the latter, on the data platforms, is what he’s essentially saying, in my view, is that we’re moving from a world that is application-centric to a world that is data-centric.”

By that, Vellante was referencing that applications have been about automating processes for years. And as Furrier said years ago, “Data is the new development kit.”

“It’s really now about building digital representations of your business in real time. That’s going to take a new type of data platform,” Vellante said. “The other piece of that, the other subtext here, is that data and metadata today are locked inside of applications. What he’s saying is that’s splintered, and if we continue to go down that path, it’s just not going to deliver the results that we need.”

What needs to happen is for a data platform that transcends all those different applications and provides a unified data layer that all applications can get access to that is both accessible and coherent, according to Vellante. However, that means all data, including transaction data.

“When you think about Snowflake, Databricks and other OLAP and analytic engines, they’re really all about analytics,” he said.

Transactional data is taken from the transactional system of record. From there, it’s moved into the analytic system, Vellante added.

“Snowflake says, ‘Bring it into Snowflake.’ Databricks basically says, ‘Hey, we’re all open.’ But essentially, where’s the transaction data here?” he said. “That is the hard part. Doing that in real time and governing it is this holy grail.”

Hock Tan joins Meta’s board of directors

On Wednesday, Meta Platforms Inc. announced that Broadcom Chief Executive Officer Hock Tan was joining its board of directors. In announcing the move, Meta’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, said he wanted Tan on the board because he was one of the leading advisors last year amid a “year of efficiency,” Furrier noted.

“Which was basically going to cut people and be more profitable. Because you think about Meta, how much they were spending; they were just like drunken sailors, just like spending everywhere,” Furrier said. “Essentially, deep experience in silicon and infrastructure and software. Hock Tan is going to be a perfect fit.”

Meta is still spending tens of billions on the metaverse, which will be interesting to watch play out, according to Vellante. But the company was able to cut so much recently, and the company’s stock has recently shot way up.

“I think we were talking about this last week. Google is the only one who hasn’t taken that page out of that playbook,” Vellante said. “Who knows? Maybe they’re just tripling down on innovation, and it’s going to pay off, or maybe they’re going to pull that trigger.”

Watch the full podcast below to find out why these industry pros were mentioned:

Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO of OpenAI
Hock Tan, president and CEO of Broadcom
Dave Linthicum, principal analyst at SiliconANGLE Media – theCUBE Research
Naveen Rao, VP of generative AI at Databricks
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms
Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
Charlie Kawwas, president at Broadcom
John Arnold, co-chair at Arnold Ventures
George Slessman, founder and CEO of cr8dl.ai
Jeff Hammerbacher, founder of Cloudera
Justin Rattner, CTO of Intel
George Carlin, late comedian
Scott Raynovich, founder and chief technology analyst at Futuriom, part of Rayno Media
Chuck Robbins, chair and CEO of Cisco
Danielle Rios Royston, founder and CEO of TelcoDR
Chris Lewis, founding director at Lewis Insight
Michael Dell, chairman and CEO of Dell Technologies
Patrick Mahomes, NFL quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs
Christian McCaffrey, NFL running back for the San Francisco 49ers
Joe Montana, former NFL quarterback
Tom Brady, former NFL quarterback

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Photo: SiliconANGLE

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