Redefining connectivity: Cloudflare's role in the emergence of supercloud

Redefining connectivity: Cloudflare’s role in the emergence of supercloud

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Getting the best out of different cloud vendors has become a vital need for organizations, and this is boosting the supercloud concept.

Since businesses are finding themselves at the multicloud doorstep one way or another, Cloudflare Inc. acts as a highly efficient scheduling engine that uses its networking prowess to create a connectivity layer, which is secure, consistent and has high-degree performance, according to Matthew Prince (pictured), co-founder and chief executive officer of Cloudflare.

“Cloudflare is fundamentally a network, and what networks are good at is moving data between two places,” Prince said. “What we are really good at is connecting things together, and so in that sense, we’re really that connectivity layer, that fabric which connects the different clouds together. I think that the only way to get that level of control is to have a network like Cloudflare, which again I like calling a supercloud.”

Prince spoke with theCUBE industry analysts John Furrier and Dave Vellante at the Supercloud 3: Security, AI and the Supercloud event, during an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Cloudflare is enhancing the supercloud idea as a network connectivity layer. (* Disclosure below.)

Supercloud sees the light of day

With data becoming the lifeblood of enterprises, locking it away is a huge injustice. Cloudflare takes this pain point away by being a connectivity layer that resides above the cloud, making the supercloud ideology a reality, according to Prince. 

“We’re the sort of layer that sits on top of the clouds,” he said. “I think of it more as we’re the connectivity that connects anything that’s online, whether it’s a cloud, a device, a database, on-premise hardware, anything that you have. We want to make it as easy as possible for that connectivity to exist, and for sure that exists out at the edge.”

The original sin of the internet is that privacy inherently goes away based on the information revealed by IP addresses. Cloudflare’s vision is to redesign the internet by incorporating security from the onset by building a better network, Prince pointed out. 

“We’re helping build a better internet,” he noted. “That means making it easier for you to use AWS with Google, with Microsoft, with Oracle and mix and match and have more competition in the cloud space. It also means helping make sure that the internet stays in Ukraine and helping make sure that in Sub-Saharan Africa that people can cost effectively get access to the internet.”

Artificial intelligence inferencing and multicloud

Cloudflare’s inference prowess is being sought after by AI companies, and this development is empowering the multicloud narrative. For instance, it presents GPU resources from different cloud providers, Prince pointed out.  

“One of the things that we’re increasingly seeing Cloudflare being used by different AI companies is how can we take those models that don’t make sense to run on the end device and put them still close enough where data can stay local and where the performance can be really high,” he stated. “Increasingly, these AI companies are using Cloudflare’s R2 product, our data storage product, in order to be able to store data in one central place and then take it to wherever GPU capacity is.”

Merging AI and security has become important for seamless connective environments. Training and inferencing are vital in AI, and Cloudflare helps with the latter, according to Prince.

“The big hyperscale public clouds are gonna be really good for the training of the models,” he noted. “Cloudflare and the network that we have is not the right place to train in. I think inference is either going to run on the end device, it’s gonna run on your phone, it’s gonna run in your driverless car and for those things that have to be hypersensitive to latency.”

Enterprises are drifting away from being locked in to one cloud provider. This is because they want competition on individual features for optimality purposes, and this trend is taking shape as the cloud develops into the next generation, according to Prince.

“What customers really want, fundamentally, is the ability to pick and choose not just from one cloud to another, but one feature on one cloud to another,” he said. “Where we can already see that, and especially in the AI space where you’re seeing that, different cloud vendors have different strengths, different weaknesses.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Supercloud 3: Security, AI and the Supercloud event:

(* Disclosure: This is an editorial segment. TheCUBE is a paid media partner for Supercloud 3. Sponsors for theCUBE’s event coverage do not have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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