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Infrastructure Modernization

Run AI anywhere with Google Distributed Cloud innovations

April 9, 2024
Vithal Shirodkar

VP/GM, Google Distributed Cloud and Geo Expansion, Google Cloud

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Today, customers are looking for entirely new ways to process and analyze data, discover hidden insights, increase productivity and build entirely new applications — all with AI at the core. However, data sovereignty, regulatory compliance, and low-latency requirements can present a dilemma for organizations eager to adopt AI in the cloud. The need to keep sensitive data in certain locations, adhere to strict regulations, and ensure swift responsiveness can make it difficult to capitalize on the cloud's inherent advantages of innovation, scalability, and cost-efficiency.

Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) brings the power of Google's AI services wherever you need them — in your own data center or at the edge. Designed with AI and data-intensive workloads in mind, GDC is a fully managed hardware and software solution with a rich set of services, a range of extensible hardware form factors, and the choice of running connected to Google Cloud's systems or air-gapped from the public internet.

At this year's Google Cloud Next, we are announcing a host of enhancements to GDC that help accelerate customers’ ability to adopt cutting-edge AI workloads across their environments. Read on to learn more.

AI anywhere

The acceleration of AI has unlocked new opportunities for customers to process and analyze data closer to where it is generated. We are enabling a variety of open AI models, including Gemma, Llama and more on GDC. Today, we announced our generative AI search packaged solution powered by Gemma, our state-of-the-art open models. Designed to help customers easily retrieve and analyze data at the edge or on-premises with GDC, this solution will be available in preview in Q2 2024. GDC’s AI solutions and services provide you with the ability to build on a truly open and comprehensive AI stack on-premises, integrated with the latest models developed by Google, third-parties, and the open source community. 

With GDC’s new gen AI search packaged solution, you get a ready-to-deploy on-prem conversational search solution that uses the Gemma 7B model. With this solution you can quickly find the most relevant data and content from your on-prem data via natural language search, boosting employee productivity and knowledge sharing, while ensuring all the search queries and data remain on-prem. The GDC AI search solution utilizes Vertex AI for LLM serving and a pre-trained API (speech-to-text, translation, and optical character recognition) for data ingestion. AlloyDB Omni pgvector extension is used for the vector database, with options for alternatives such as Elasticsearch. The solution also comes with the option to be deployed in a GDC air-gapped environment.


Architecture diagram for the Google Distributed Cloud gen AI search packaged solution

Security and platform enhancements

AI and other enterprise-grade applications need a robust and secure platform to operate. GDC's architecture prioritizes sensitive applications’ most demanding requirements, and can help ensure compliance with strict data and operational sovereignty regulations. To help safeguard your workloads throughout their entire lifecycle, GDC offers robust security services and features that provide high levels of protection. Today, we are happy to announce additional security and platform enhancements:

We are excited to announce that GDC has achieved ISO27001 and SOC2 compliance certifications. These certifications are a testament to our unwavering commitment to providing customers with products that meet the standards of regulatory and compliance requirements.

We are also introducing a managed Intrusion Detection and Prevention Solution (IDPS) that integrates Palo Alto Networks threat prevention technology with the GDC architecture. IDPS embeds Palo Alto Networks’ threat prevention technologies and inspects north-south traffic, providing transparent inline protection for your GDC workloads, allowing you to apply leading security protections with simplicity and scale.

Platform enhancements 
To help accelerate your innovation, we're introducing new enhancements designed for greater flexibility and scalability:

  • GDC Sandbox is a managed experience to enable customers and partners to  build and test services designed for GDC in a Google Cloud environment, without needing to navigate the air-gap and physical hardware. Developers can use GDC services including virtual machines, containers, databases, and Vertex AI.

  • GDC racks are our latest-generation racks, optimized for AI and general compute workloads. These racks come with added flexibility of choosing network- or storage-optimized nodes with your deployment.

  • GDC storage flexibility can now help you grow your storage, independent of compute, to support large analytics or AI workloads. Depending on your workload needs, you can choose between block, file, or object storage. 

  • Survivability enhancements now support a disconnected mode for up to seven days, and a suite of offline management features to help ensure deployments and workloads are accessible and working while they are disconnected.

  • Apigee, Google Cloud’s leading API management solution, will be supported on GDC. Apigee on GDC will enable you to manage and secure APIs at a scale demanded by your AI workloads.

Expanding GDC ecosystem of partner services and solutions

We understand that deploying AI applications at the edge or on-prem demands a wide range of specialized skills and technologies. That’s why we continue to work closely with our partners, bringing valued expertise and solutions tailored to specific industry needs. Today, we are introducing new ways to work with partners to further accelerate innovation.

First, we are introducing Managed GDC Providers who sell GDC as a managed service to end users alongside operation, design, migration and delivery, and deployment services. Partners including Clarence, T-Systems, and WWT are already delivering sovereign solutions to customers as Managed GDC Providers.

“We are proud to collaborate with Google Distributed Cloud to offer our public sector customers a dedicated cloud solution to secure sensitive data and support their data sovereignty.” -  Scot Gagnon, vice president of Federal Sales, WWT.

Second, customers can now confidently identify independent software vendors (ISVs) with the new Google Cloud Ready — Distributed Cloud badge. We’ve worked with partners to validate their solutions by tuning and enhancing existing integrations and features to better support customer use cases for GDC. A diverse group of software partners have already validated their solutions including Canonical, CIQ, Elastic, MongoDB, Palo Alto Networks, and Starbust.

Several more are currently going through the validation process, including Citrix, Cockroach Labs, Confluent, Couchbase, Crowdstrike, Dynatrace, Ericsson, GitLab, Grafana Labs, Hashicorp, IS Decisions, MariaDB, Neo4J, Nokia, Redis, SAP, Splunk, Standard AI, Syntasa, Tenable, and Trellix. Interested build partners can share their interest by filling in this form.

We continue to collaborate with NVIDIA to provide the latest generation of graphics processing units (GPUs) to run your AI workloads wherever you need them. Today, we are introducing a new GDC server, equipped with an energy-efficient NVIDIA L4 Tensor Core GPU. A single server can be deployed as a standalone appliance for use cases where high availability is not necessary. This offering is an addition to our AI-optimized servers with NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs to accelerate your AI innovation on-prem. 

Finally, we are announcing an expanded partnership with Citrix to bring Citrix’s industry-leading virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) system to help secure environments with GDC. With the partnership, administrators can now centrally manage digital workspaces in a modern air-gapped cloud environment.

“Citrix VDI on Google Distributed Cloud aims to enable customers across Public Sector & Regulated Enterprises to access virtual desktops and applications on any device and boost productivity, through a modern workspace experience on an industry-leading sovereign AI platform.” - Sridhar Mullapudi, EVP & GM, Citrix  

Build on your terms

We continue to work to make GDC the best place to build AI and modern applications at the location of your choice. If you’re interested in bringing the power of Google Cloud to the edge or your data center using GDC, reach out to us at gdc-partners@google.com or to any of our accredited partners.

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