Huawei Analyst Summit 2018: Edge Computing, Hybrid Cloud, and AI are Central to Huawei’s Future Vision of the Data Center

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

• Key themes from the 15th Huawei Analyst Summit (HAS) in Shenzhen, China, included edge computing, hybrid cloud enablement, and the application of AI to data center technologies.

• To unlock commercial opportunities and reinforce the competitiveness of its solutions, Huawei would benefit from a stronger articulation of both its hybrid cloud and edge computing capabilities.

Judging by the themes of the 15th HAS in Shenzhen, China, 17-19 April, Huawei expects data center technologies to become increasingly more intelligent, more distributed in the way they are deployed, and more diverse in the use cases they support. Key themes from the Summit, with particular relevance to data centers, included edge computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), multi-cloud and hybrid cloud enablement, and the application of artificial intelligence (AI) to both data centers and the use cases they support.

The Summit saw a recurring emphasis on the theme of “boundless computing”, reflecting Huawei’s commitment to a single infrastructure platform that blurs the boundaries between CPUs, servers, and data centers and supports the delivery of resources wherever they are required. There was considerable discussion of edge computing, which involves the maintenance and operation of IT resources at locations that are closer to the points of data generation, and to the end users of digital content and applications. Huawei already offers several solutions that support enterprise edge computing initiatives, including its Cloud Fabric SDN solution and a version of its hyperconverged infrastructure offering, FusionCube, which is specifically optimized for remote office and branch office (ROBO) and edge computing deployments. Continue reading “Huawei Analyst Summit 2018: Edge Computing, Hybrid Cloud, and AI are Central to Huawei’s Future Vision of the Data Center”

It’s Time to Orchestrate AI Hardware for Maximum Effect

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • There are many AI-savvy chipsets on the market right now, each fine-tuned to support specific AI workloads, development frameworks, or vendor platforms.
  • But, what if developers could flexibly combine AI-specific hardware resource pools on the fly, on-premises as well as online?

There’s certainly enough buzz in the industry right now about artificial intelligence (AI). If you look beyond the doomsday predictions of a machine uprising, the prevailing view is that AI is a literal Swiss Army knife of circumstance, able to cut through any and all problems, ready to assemble opportunity out of nothing more than data. It seems that every vendor has one or two machine learning (ML) and deep learning (DL) frameworks lying about. It’s no wonder. There’s TensorFlow, Caffe, Theano, Torch, and many, many more to choose from, most of which open source and are quite accessible to the broader developer community. Continue reading “It’s Time to Orchestrate AI Hardware for Maximum Effect”

Cloud Foundry Summit: CF Goes to Battle Against AWS, Red Hat, DIY Options

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • Cloud Foundry, AWS, and Red Hat OpenShift will duke it out in the OSS PaaS space over the coming year.
  • Cloud Foundry members favor the OSS community’s growing ecosystem in a multi-cloud era.

The phrase ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’ never rang truer as AWS contacted the Cloud Foundry Foundation (CFF) at the eleventh hour asking to be a sponsor at this month’s annual Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston. The open source project’s top rivals are AWS, Red Hat OpenShift, and enterprise DIY projects. Perhaps Amazon wanted to get a peek into the goings-on between the 63 members which make up the Cloud Foundry community, including the newest member, Chinese telco giant Alibaba. Continue reading “Cloud Foundry Summit: CF Goes to Battle Against AWS, Red Hat, DIY Options”

Blockchain Has No Place in Network Management

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Blockchain may have many use cases, but there is little value in networking and network management.
  • Multivendor interoperability will remain a problem unless there are standards and the backing of networking vendors.

I may come to regret that headline, but for the moment, I stand by it. The financial world is simply breathless over cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Not only have cryptocurrencies skyrocketed to meteoric heights; there have also been numerous reports that simply adding ‘blockchain’ to a company name can boost the company’s value, which demonstrates the buzz has reached peak ridiculousness. In the tech world, a number of commentators, bloggers, and vendors are ‘blockchain signaling’ in an effort to be viewed as in touch with a hot, current trend. This is true even in networking, where blockchain proponents position it for authenticated management, multivendor management, and configuration compliance.

Let me burst that bubble with a slap of cold, hard reality. Blockchain provides little benefit to auditing network management that is better than existing alternatives. Furthermore, I’d suggest that blockchain is an unproven technology in enterprise IT. Continue reading “Blockchain Has No Place in Network Management”

Atos Analyst Event 2018: IoT Solutions and Alliances Provide Differentiation as Atos Focuses on Business Outcomes

Kathryn Weldon – Research Director, Business Network and IT Services – Americas

Summary Bullets:

• The Atos event theme was described as an evolution “From Vision to Business Outcomes”; the integrator uses digital technology, including IoT, to help customers improve bottom lines, enhance products, and streamline operations.

• A growing number of Atos engagements are enabled by IoT platforms and services, including its own products and those of strategic partners. The event showcased offerings and examples of IoT-enabled outcomes.

Atos is a digital services provider and integrator, headquartered in France, with approximately 13 billion euros in annual revenues. The company has expertise in big data and security, high performance computing, business and platform solutions, digital payments, infrastructure and data management, and unified communications. While IoT is not a separate corporate business area, it has clearly become an enabler of digital transformation for a growing number of Atos’ business customers. IoT offerings and deployment examples were highlighted frequently in the company’s annual analyst event held in Boston on April 5th and 6th.

In a discussion entitled IoT: From Experimentation to Business Scale, Atos laid out the three primary solutions in its portfolio which feature IoT.

Atos Codex is a set of services around IoT including consulting, managed services (including device lifecycle management, remote monitoring, and security), back/office integration, application development, and “cloudification” platforms. The platforms have enabled Atos to develop custom vertical solutions in payments, automotive, smart home, healthcare, smart city and manufacturing. Atos focuses on industrialized use cases that allow customers to go beyond the primary phase of pilots and connectivity/data collection to large-scale deployments that provide process transformation and allow businesses to generate revenues from new services. Customer examples include: Renault’s connected car service; an unnamed global truck manufacturer for whom Atos provides fleet management, logistics and design optimization; and a “pay as you drive” scheme for a global insurance company. Throughout the examples Atos provided outcome statistics. For example, the trucking company was able to realize a 13% reduction in fuel costs and the insurer realized a 24% reduction in accident-related pay-outs. Continue reading “Atos Analyst Event 2018: IoT Solutions and Alliances Provide Differentiation as Atos Focuses on Business Outcomes”

Atos Has a Secret Weapon, and It Rhymes with Awesome Computing

Brad Shimmin – Research Director, Business Technology and Software

Summary Bullets:

• There’s a race right now in high tech to build the first general purpose quantum computer, with industry leaders IBM, Google, D-Wave Technologies, and Intel each building out very different implementations of a single, revolutionary idea — the use of qubits instead of plain old bits.

• But unlike most races, this one has no clear finish line as we’re still figuring out the best approach to quantum computing or to building software for them. Enter IT services powerhouse Atos, which is backing a pure but as yet simulated idea of quantum computing in an effort to garner what matters most, namely the hearts and minds of future quantum developers.

There’s an awful lot of noise in the technology industry right now regarding the promise of quantum computing. A sizable number of dissimilar technology and platform players, ranging from Intel to Google to Atom Computing (a 2018 startup) are all busy building increasingly capable computers that push and pull qubits rather than bits. And as you might expect from such a diverse cast, there are a lot of differing views on how to build such a beast and how to best put it to use.
Continue reading “Atos Has a Secret Weapon, and It Rhymes with Awesome Computing”

Edge Computing Will Decentralize but Complement Traditional and Cloud-Based Data Center Architectures

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • Although edge computing will decentralize IT, it will not replace traditional data centers or cloud-based architectures, instead operating as an additional tier of IT processing, storage, security, and analytics.
  • In addition to supporting IoT, edge computing use cases will include VR, AR, and connected car applications that are latency-sensitive and require high levels of performance.

Edge computing promises to transform the way data center resources are deployed and managed, as well as the type of workloads they support. A newly published Market Assessment Report from Global Data defines edge computing as the deployment and operation of IT resources – including compute, storage, networking, data management, and analytics – at locations that are geographically closer to data-generating devices and to the end users of digital content and applications. Continue reading “Edge Computing Will Decentralize but Complement Traditional and Cloud-Based Data Center Architectures”

AWS Summit 2018: Amazon Targets Enterprise Developers for App Cloud Migration via ML, Microservices/Containers, and Serverless Computing

Charlotte Dunlap – Principal Analyst, Application Platforms

Summary Bullets:

• Amazon’s high-value services and cloud status make it a competitive threat against PaaS rivals

• Customers are concerned about the cost and effort involved in migrating applications from data centers to the cloud

Amazon has built a behemoth cloud business through its compute power and rudimentary platform services, bringing the notion of IT as-a-service to the masses early on. It has no intention of losing its popular cloud status to technology companies that are innovating in advanced cloud technologies such as AI/ML, chatbots, microservices/containers, and serverless computing. Continue reading “AWS Summit 2018: Amazon Targets Enterprise Developers for App Cloud Migration via ML, Microservices/Containers, and Serverless Computing”

IBM Think 2018: Big Blue Looks to Help Companies Adopt Their First AI Project

R. Bhattacharyya

Summary Bullets:

• During IBM Think, IBM made several AI-related announcements, some designed for enterprises with complex requirements, and others geared towards helping businesses deploy their first AI solution.

• Although IBM’s new capabilities and tools in support of deep learning are impressive, and position IBM as a thought leader, it’s the steps IBM is taking to help companies just getting started with AI that truly move the market forward.

IBM Think was promoted as an event that would bring together the greatest minds in AI. It featured technologies such as virtual assistants, machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL), and also touched on hot button issues such as ethics and AI. During her keynote, CEO Ginni Rometty discussed the transformational role that AI will have on the IT market going forward, and she introduced Watson’s Law, describing it as a follow on to Moore’s Law and Metcalfe’s Law. Continue reading “IBM Think 2018: Big Blue Looks to Help Companies Adopt Their First AI Project”

Up, Up, and Away: Satellites Add to IoT Options, with New Capabilities on the Rise

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Satellite services augment/complement cellular coverage for IoT deployments in specific verticals and hard-to-reach geographies.
  • Recent enhancements from satellite providers improve speed and latency, and new management platforms and vertical solutions make them even more compelling.

Service providers such as Iridium, Inmarsat, Orbcomm, and Globecomm have been offering satellite services for many years in order to serve enterprise mobility and IoT deployment requirements where cellular service is weak or unavailable. These include rural areas and other locations where there is little or no connectivity such as aboard ships and in military installations. Some providers, such as Globecomm, partner with carriers, offering backup services for IoT to AT&T in far-flung global locations. Others are MVNOs that aggregate an array of carriers’ cellular access in addition to offering their own satellite capabilities. Continue reading “Up, Up, and Away: Satellites Add to IoT Options, with New Capabilities on the Rise”