Nadine CummingsWritten by | Edge & IoT, Featured, NextGen Data Center

Across all industries today, businesses are asking the same question: “What do we do with all this data we’re gathering?”

We’re already seeing more vendors spend time, money and effort in the artificial intelligence space in 2019. As we bring to the forefront the trends and changes coming, how do we think differently as we approach these solutions? How do we intelligently and holistically manage that data from the edge, to the core, to the cloud?

The focus of AI is the ability to do just that: process and manage the entire data pipeline – going from the edge, to the core data center, then into the cloud. Surrounding this is the need to speed up performance in computing by leveraging GPU. Overall, this concept is known as “edge to core to cloud,” AKA E2C2C solutions and services – this refers to the ability to ingest data at the edge.

But what is the edge? The edge is your phone that you use to ask Waze for directions. You input where you are, where you’re going. It’s your Fitbit that tells you how many steps you took today and managing that data back and forth to compete with your mom, your kids and your friends. It’s the device that Allstate Insurance wants to install on your dashboard for a discounted incentive to monitor your speed and driving habits. The characteristics of the edge are around the ability to take that data and ingest it quickly enough to make intelligent decisions back to your device, over to another person’s device or over to the data center.

The edge is about quick data processing. AI is about analyzing that data.     

Why does all this matter? Because AI presents a huge opportunity. According to IDC, 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives will use AI services this year. Another staggering statistic is that 50 percent of enterprise architectures will employ AI by 2021 – 50 percent! That means half of all partners.

AI doesn’t come without challenges. Consider the design piece – partners are often left wondering, “How do we deploy it? How will we deliver that predictable performance that will allow the customer to scale? Who has that knowledge set? Where can we gather those resources?” If you find yourself asking questions like these, you’re in luck – Arrow has resources to help customers develop and implement their data center AI practice.

If you’re not already in the AI space, you may be wondering how it might be useful for your business. The vertical use cases across different industries are endless.

  • Government – What would government care about? Intelligence. What type of apps can be applied for intelligence or data gathering?
  • Finance – How do our financial companies apply fraud detection?
  • Retail – How do we get customer recommendation engines going?

NetApp has multiple entry points for the edge, including one called Vector data, which is a rugged, small-form factor solution that allows for quick data movement from the field to the data center. The DoD, military, transport and oil and gas are perfect use cases for this type of solution. NetApp ONTAP AI refers to a collaboration reference architecture between NetApp and NVIDIA, leveraging NVIDIA GPU processing power in a DGX-1 supercomputer and NetApp ONTAP’s ability to unify data management intelligently across the pipeline from the edge, to the core, to the cloud. At the heart of ONTAP AI is NetApp’s All flash FAS, which helps to keep data flowing to deep learning processes using end-to-end NVMe technology.

Cisco has also recognized the value in the AI space and has collaborated with NVIDIA to add GPU capabilities to their blade servers for optimized analytic workloads. FlexPod’s AI is a converged infrastructure and collaboration with NetApp, Cisco, VMware and NVIDIA’s Tesla V100 GPU processing power in a Cisco UCS M5 Rack server.

Arrow provides this kind of guidance to our partners with the goal of bolstering their confidence in our ability to engage with end-customers and, ultimately, provide the right solution throughout the stack to solve their customers’ business challenges. Interested in learning more about how Arrow can help you in the AI space? Connect with us today.

By Nadine Cummings
Technical Solutions Manager

Last modified: November 16, 2019