Connect with us
The Huawei stand at Mobile World Congress 2024 in Barcelona. Picture by ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK


MWC 2024: Huawei aims to be AI cloud of choice

A cloud summit ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona reveals that the Chinese cloud leader intends to take on the AI giants of the West, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

On the eve of the annual Mobile World Congress, which kicked off in Barcelona yesterday, Huawei threw down the gauntlet to its competitors in the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) world.

Under the theme, “Accelerate intelligence with everything as a service”, the division presented 10 innovations aimed at creating an AI-ready infrastructure tailored to a wide variety of industries.

And, declared Jim Lu, Huawei senior vice president and president of the European region, Huawei Cloud would be the infrastructure of choice for AI applications.

“We hope to use ICT to help global customers and partners unlock the full potential of intelligence,” he said.

Huawei senior vice president Jim Lu

Jacqueline Shi, president of Huawei Cloud global marketing and sales service, echoed the sentiment: ” Huawei Cloud is one of the fastest growing cloud service providers in the world. At Huawei Cloud, we’re all about pushing boundaries and bringing cutting-edge tech to customers around the world. AI … is reshaping everything, and we’re at the forefront. We’re building a solid cloud foundation for everyone, for every industry, to accelerate intelligence.”

Jacqueline Shi, president of Huawei Cloud global marketing and sales service

Huawei Cloud CTO Bruno Zhang said that AI for Cloud would revolutionise software development and digital content production, and make AI adoption seamless and efficient.

Huawei Cloud CTO Bruno Zhan

Huawei has an uphill battle to convince existing customers of the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, who have long led the way in AI infrastructure and platforms. However, the 10 AI-oriented innovations unveiled in Barcelona suggests it has made a mammoth effort to catch up.

Huawei Cloud provided the following details of these products and services:

1. KooVerse: Huawei Cloud has 85 Availability Zones in 30 Regions across over 170 countries and regions. This global cloud infrastructure covering compute, storage, networking, and security pushes latency down to 50 ms.

2. Distributed QingTian architecture: Foundation models require a 10-fold growth in demand for compute resources every 18 months, far surpassing Moore’s Law. To address this challenge, this architecture evolved from the conventional primary/secondary one. Built on a high-speed interconnect bus (Unified Bus), QingTian surpasses the limitations in compute, storage, and networking for a top-class AI compute backbone with heterogeneous, peer-to-peer, full-mesh computing.

3. AI compute: Hyperscale and stable, AI Cloud Service supports trillion-parameter model training, and training jobs can run uninterrupted on a cluster over thousands of cards for 30 days, 90% of the time. Service downtime stays within 10 minutes. It provides over 100 Pangu model capability sets and 100 adapted open source large models out of the box.

4. AI-Native storage: Training models needs mountains of data, and Huawei Cloud handles this demand with a three-pronged approach: EMS memory service stores petabytes of parameters with 220 TB ultra-large bandwidth and ultra-low latency down to the microsecond; SFS Turbo cache service for high throughput and concurrency of tens of millions IOPS enables warm-up of 1 billion data records in just 5 hours, not 100; Object Storage Service (OBS) knowledge lake reduces 30% costs in storing training and inference data.

5. E2E security: The full lifecycle covers model runtime environments, training data, the models themselves, generated content, and applications. This ensures robust, secure, and compliant models and applications.

6. GaussDB: This next-generation database features high availability, security, performance, flexibility, and intelligence, as well as simple and smart deployment and migration. Specifically, its enterprise-class distributed architecture ensures high availability thanks to zero intra-city dual-cluster RPO, complete isolation of software and hardware faults, and zero service downtime. For security, it is certified CC EAL4+, the highest level in the industry. For automation, GaussDB enhances database migration, deployment, and migration as the world’s first AI-native database.

7. Data-AI convergence: The explosion of foundation models means “Data+AI” is now “Data4AI and AI4Data”. Huawei Cloud LakeFormation unifies data lake from multiple lakes or warehouses so one copy of data is shared among multiple data analytics engines and AI engines without data migration. Three collaborative pipelines — DataArts, ModelArts, and CodeArts — then orchestrate and schedule data and AI workflows. They drive online model training and inference with real-time data. The AI4Data engine makes data governance more intelligent, from data integration, development, to quality and asset management.

8. Media infrastructure: In this AIGC and 3D Internet era, Huawei Cloud has built a media infrastructure of efficiency, experience, and evolution. Jamy Lyu, President of Huawei Cloud Media Services, shared how Huawei Cloud has innovated and integrated media services into a wide range of industry-tailored solutions. For efficiency, Huawei Cloud MetaStudio, the content production pipeline that include Workspace and AIGC-based virtual humans, generates content more quickly and better. For experience, Huawei Cloud Live, Low Latency Live, and SparkRTC empower more seamless live experiences. For evolution, Huawei Cloud provides AIGC and 3D space services with real-time user interaction. All these combine to boost the business and user experience to the next level.

9. Landing Zone: Enterprises use and manage resources better on Huawei Cloud thanks to unified account, identity, permissions, network, compliance, and cost management. Now multi-tenancy and collaboration are seamless among personnel, finance, resources, permissions, and security compliance.

10. Flexible deployment: All mentioned Pangu model capabilities and services can work in public cloud, dedicated cloud, or hybrid cloud. For example, customers can build and run dedicated AI platform and foundation models in their existing data centers using Huawei Cloud Stack, a hybrid cloud solution.

Bruno Zhang also unveiled a new initiative called the Global Leap Programme by Cloud Native Elite Club (CNEC). With the theme “Leap with Cloud Native × AI”, this programme is intended to will facilitate extensive technical exchanges, in-depth discussions, and best practice showcases.

Bruno Zhang unveils the Global Leap Program by Cloud Native Elite Club (CNEC)

A further clue to Huawei’s intention to take on the existing AI leaders on every level was the wide range of industries it had prioritised, including automotive, healthcare, mining and telecommunications. It’s Pangu Weather application was the first AI prediction model to demonstrate higher precision than traditional numerical weather forecast methods, allowing a 10,000x improvement in prediction speed. This means it can reduce global weather prediction time from days to seconds. 

Now, Pangu models will also be deployed across automotive, financial and telecommunications services.

It also suggests that Huawei has learned to leverage and integrate long-standing expertise in areas that had been addressed separately but could now be combined into a single battlefront as the company takes on the AI enterprise world.

Subscribe to our free newsletter
To Top