UPDATED 17:55 EDT / JUNE 12 2023

Barry McCardel - AWS Startup Showcase S3 E2 - 2023 CLOUD

Three insights you might have missed from the ‘Analytics and Cost Optimization’ AWS Startup Showcase event

Saving money is very much on the agenda for companies in the current economic climate, as a number of firms are taking a closer look at ongoing cost optimization in the cloud.

This has led to interest in startup companies offering innovative ways to reduce IT expenses. In partnership with Amazon Web Services Inc., theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, brought together seven dynamic startups to discuss cutting-edge insights and solutions for leveraging analytics workloads and reducing cloud cost during the “Analytics and Cost Optimization” AWS Startup Showcase in June. (* Disclosure below.)

Here are three insights you might have missed from theCUBE’s event:

1. Generative AI firms are tapping into a wellspring of new venture funding.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but founders of generative AI firms have reason to think differently.

The viral adoption of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has triggered a gold rush of new funding for firms in the generative AI space. Earlier this month, Cohere Inc. announced $270 million in investment, which included the participation of Oracle Corp., Nvidia Corp. and Salesforce Inc.’s venture capital arm.

That was preceded by a $300 million investment in Anthropic, a $100 million raise for Pinecone Systems Inc., and a recent investment in Runway AI Inc. by Google LLC that increased the startup’s valuation to $1.5 billion. When four leading AI researchers left Google recently to found Mobius AI, two top venture capital firms invested $100 million almost immediately, despite the fledgling company being only one week old.

“Despite all the pressure and the things that we’re seeing outside, money is pouring into these generative AI startups,” said Paul Duffy, director of solutions architecture at AWS, in an interview with theCUBE. “About $1.7 billion was generated across 46 deals in the first quarter of 2023, with an additional $10.6 billion of deals which have been announced but have not closed.”

Here is theCUBE’s complete video interview with Paul Duffy:

2. The tech industry is starting to look at new ways for programming the API.

The rise of new tools in the AI field is already changing a number of key technology areas. It could soon transform how software products talk to one another as well.

Barry McCardel (pictured), co-founder and CEO of Hex Technologies Inc., offered a glimpse into the application programming future in his interview with theCUBE. In today’s landscape, software products communicate with each other through APIs written by developers.

Yet McCardel believes that advances in data integration between source systems, storage, application layer visualization and analysis tools such as Hex could benefit significantly from more powerful AI solutions. This could set the stage for a whole new level of product-to-product communication.

“You as a human may not even need to go and write the integration between two APIs,” McCardel said. “Products might start publishing API definitions that are actually really useful and specifically tailored … for AI to be able to interpret and understand and work with. That might sound a little sci-fi, but I think that’s actually really reasonable. I think there’s going to be a lot of interesting things that come of AI in terms of how products talk to each other.”

Here is theCUBE’s complete video interview with Barry McCardel:

3. The FinOps Foundation continues to gain momentum as an open-source initiative to track cloud costs.

When the FinOps Foundation was formed in the spring of 2019, the announced focus was to codify and promote cloud financial management best practices and standards. Participation soared from a few companies to 300 members within 90 days and the organization currently claims 1,500 members from over 600 organizations.

The group, backed by the Linux Foundation, most recently announced the FOCUS initiative to introduce standardized terminology for describing cloud expenses and usage metrics in an effort to gain consistency across cloud providers. Microsoft Corp., which joined the FinOps Foundation as a premier member earlier this year, has teamed with Google to participate in the steering committee of the FOCUS project.

Aside from an understandable desire on the part of enterprises to control costs, what has fueled the Foundation’s growth has been contributions from various companies throughout the cloud ecosystem. An example can be found in expense control platform ProsperOps Inc., which has been working on a metric to help cloud users gain a better understanding of how much is being saved.

“It’s interesting that in the world of cloud, there actually isn’t any metric that helps you understand what you’re effectively saving,” said Erik Carlin, co-founder and chief product officer at ProsperOps, in an interview during theCUBE’s event. “We created this metric, which we call the ‘effective savings rate,’ and we’re actively working with the FinOps Foundation … a Linux Foundation sub-body very focused on FinOps best practices and standards. We’re working with them to help make this a standard KPI that everybody measures in cloud.”

Here is theCUBE’s complete video interview with Erik Carlin:

To watch more of theCUBE’s coverage of the “Analytics and Cost Optimization” AWS Startup Showcase event here’s our complete event video playlist:

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the “Analytics and Cost Optimization” AWS Startup Showcase event. Neither AWS, the sponsor of theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

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