NetApp’s Hoseb Dermanilian unpacks the ONTAP AI proven architecture


NetApp


October 5, 2018 • Cloud Computing, Top Stories

Hoseb Dermanilian, NetApp EMEA Solutions Manager, AI/ML

Hybrid cloud data services company, NetApp, recently introduced NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture, powered by NVIDIA DGX supercomputers and NetApp AFF A800 cloud-connected all-flash storage. The new NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture will help users accelerate AI-driven business outcomes and overcome deployment obstacles.

According to NetApp, ONTAP AI is a joint NetApp and NVIDIA proven architecture offering that combines the world’s most powerful GPU solutions with the world’s fastest and most cloud-connected flash systems and software.

NetApp’s cloud-connected data solutions and new proven architecture with NVIDIA DGX create a single data environment for AI. This gives customers the control, access, and performance they need to provide the right data at the right time at the right location to their AI applications – all at scale and all integrated, managed, and protected by the NetApp Data Fabric.

Hoseb Dermanilian, NetApp EMEA Solutions Manager, AI/ML spoke to IT News Africa about how NetApp through the NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture delivers accelerated access to data at the speed and scale that AI demands.

1. How does the NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture work?

Increasingly we are seeing organisations adopt different AI platforms, tools, and practices, but what most of these organisations find challenging is the lack of control over their distributed data. Success with AI depends on how companies approach data – in order to be effective in today’s digital economy, they must achieve visibility into and control of their data, from edge to core to cloud.

NetApp ONTAP AI Converged Infrastructure, powered by NVIDIA DGX-1 servers and NetApp cloud-connected storage system, is an architecture that enables customers to manage and protect data with a single set of tools regardless of where the data resides.

ONTAP allows businesses to move their data freely to wherever it’s needed, it simplifies AI deployments by eliminating design complexity and guesswork. Most importantly, this solution gives them the benefit of scaling up and out as they expand their businesses over time while intelligently managing data. It also ensures that GPU’s are maximally utilized so that customers are leveraging the full power of their investment.

2. What sort of problems does this solution solve?

Companies of all sizes and across various industries in South Africa and the broader continent are making significant inroads in using AI to solve real-life problems, especially in the enterprise. However, success with AI depends on the approach, to be effective in today’s digital economy, businesses must have a holistic approach to managing data securely and efficiently.

The NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture is a powerful solution that will help users accelerate AI-driven business outcomes and overcome deployment obstacles. NetApp ONTAP AI powered by NVIDIA DGX supercomputers and NetApp all-flash storage is simplifying and accelerating the data pipeline for deep learning.

Giving them the control, access, and performance they need to provide the right data at the right time at the right location to their AI applications is key – all at scale and all integrated, managed, and protected by the NetApp Data Fabric.”

Benefits of ONTAP architecture include:
• Eliminates design complexities
• Allows independent scaling of computing and storage
• Enables companies to start small and to scale seamlessly
• Provides a range of storage options for various performance and cost points
• Gives customers the ability to start their AI/DL initiatives in the cloud of their choice and move back to on-premise during production or when scaling

Overall, ONTAP AI provides the ideal platform for data scientists to start implementing their training and inference work without spending time and efforts on non-data science-related tasks such as hardware configuration, troubleshooting, software upgrades, etc.

3. Which industries are the NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture targeted at?

NetApp, the data authority for the hybrid cloud, has been able to assist businesses across all verticals, from healthcare organisations, manufacturing, retail to banking and public sector – to name a few. With the launch of the NetApp ONTAP AI proven architecture, powered by NVIDIA DGX supercomputers and NetApp AFF A800 cloud-connected all-flash storage to simplify, the company aims to continue working to enable businesses to continue disrupting their respective industries.

4. Do you think African businesses are ready for AI?

From our perspective, AI will improve the efficiency of any business, whether in Africa or elsewhere. That said, we are seeing African companies primarily in the retail and financial industry increasingly use AI in the form of chatbots, to provide their audiences with instant access to customer service and differentiate themselves from their competitors.

The need of the hour is for businesses to use AI within the enterprise environment to not just gather high-quality data, but to make use of it through insights. The insights generated from the data collected is key to success.
NetApp enables these organisations to do that by building a data fabric for hybrid cloud that seamlessly connects resources and allows data management, movement, and protection across internal and external cloud services.

By Fundisiwe Maseko
Follow Fundisiwe Maseko on Twitter
Follow IT News Africa on Twitter

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