Artificial Intelligence

All Flash Arrays and Your Artificial Intelligence Future

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is set to become an increasingly important aspect of your operations in the near future. Indeed, AI will help to automate and accelerate many of your core business operations.

However, the choice of technology will also play an important role in ensuring AI delivers on expectations. Here are some factors to consider moving forwards.

Machine Learning, model training and storage

Building and training models takes time, usually because the algorithms need to process vast amounts of data for pattern analysis. Google’s famous Deepmind cancer detection model was trained using images and health records from more than 90,000 patients .

While developing a machine learning model, the primary focus is the accuracy of the results. This means that speed can take a back seat while the data science team tweaks and refines algorithms and verifies that all is working within expected parameters.

During development, low-cost cloud storage or higher latency spinning disk arrays will (normally) be adequate.

Production AI and speed

Once the model moves into production the choice of storage becomes much more important. As well as improving the accuracy of decision-making, AI is intended to accelerate outcomes by performing calculations and inferences more quickly than a human.

This is particularly true when dealing with real-time calculations. In these deployments, speed of storage (and the rest of the infrastructure) will be critical. All-flash storage is the only viable technology available that reduces latency, both at the edge and the core.

Ultimately production Artificial Intelligence systems must be designed to improve data flow at every point of the lifecycle – with the exception of archived records that are retained for auditing or compliance purposes. This information can be stored on lower-performing hardware, like spinning disk arrays or cloud archives to help reduce costs.

AI at the edge

One of the most challenging aspects of AI design is performance at the edge. What needs to be processed and auctioned at the edge, what needs to be passed to the core for action, what can be redirected immediately to the cloud for cold storage?

NetApp Artificial Intelligence solutions have been developed to address these questions, using a tiered approach to data service that automatically directs incoming data to the correct location. Through the use of edge-level analytics, data is processed and categorised in such a way that movement is accelerated, eliminating bottlenecks for the fastest, most efficient AI operations.

For existing NetApp customers, the ability to provision and manage AI storage and infrastructure using familiar ONTAP tools. This allows your business to accelerate deployments and reduce the learning curve so your data science team can focus all their efforts on building a model that delivers true business value.

To learn more about NetApp Artificial Intelligence solutions and how they will help your business meet the challenges of the data-driven future, please get in touch.

NetApp all-flash

Optimise Oracle Workloads with NetApp all-flash Solutions

When it comes to choosing infrastructure to support your line-of-business Oracle databases, Oracle hardware seems the logical choice. But faced by evolving computing needs and shrinking IT budgets what are the alternatives. NetApp all-flash solutions provide a more than viable option to Oracle hardware – well worth considering as you plan the next phase of your infrastructure lifecycle.

Best in class performance

The headline benefit of NetApp all-flash technology is its superior performance. Capable of performing up to 1 million IOPS with latency of about 100 microseconds, NetApp systems are the fastest available – up to 20 times faster than traditional storage. With end-to-end flash arrays and NVMe, these scalable all-flash systems are capable of halving application response times. No other database platform – including Oracle – comes close in terms of performance.

Increasing flexibility and growth options

The hybrid infrastructure operating model solves several problems about latency and security – but the integration between on- and off-premise systems could be improved. NetApp brings the power and flexibility of cloud into the local data centre. The ONTAP data management software bundled with NetApp flash arrays allows you to dynamically allocate your database workloads for maximum performance-cost benefits. This includes pushing lower priority data to cheaper cloud storage to maintain local capacity. NetApp solutions also integrate neatly with Oracle management tools, greatly simplifying administration. Application-integrated workflows can be automated; you can provision and prototype with a single mouse-click in as little as eight seconds. NetApp all flash arrays are also ideal for rapid development and prototyping. FlexClone technology makes it possible to clone large data volumes in seconds. A thin provisioning mechanism means that the data records or files aren’t actually cloned until accessed or used, helping to constrain the physical storage requirements for your test applications.

Consistent and stable operations

NetApp all flash arrays have been engineered to deliver consistently high performance for database operations. They are also extremely reliable averaging just 31.5 seconds pause time per year – that’s 99.9999% availability. This reliability is essential for mission-critical Oracle workloads. Oracle database owners also benefit from SnapShot and SnapMirror technologies that automatically replicate data to prevent loss. Further protection is available using FlexClone to transfer databases to an active disaster recovery site – including the cloud. As well as databases operating at the core, data is protected at the core and in the cloud too.

Streamlined operations and cost savings

Customers using NetApp for Oracle report some significant benefits: fewer components, greater return on investment and a lower total cost of ownership. Estimates suggest time and effort savings of up to 90% compared with their existing solutions. By blurring the boundaries between on-premise and cloud, NetApp arrays make it easy to migrate workloads to wherever they are best suited. This helps to overcome issues of local capacity and avoid the need for costly investment in redundant physical storage.

A worthy alternative option

Thanks to its high performance and reliability, NetApp all flash storage is a credible platform for your most critical Oracle database applications. Factor in the integrated suite of ONTAP management apps and it is easy to see why NetApp users are able to realise such significant returns on their investments.

Useful Links

White Paper: Optimise Oracle Workloads with NetApp Solutions