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In today’s interconnected society, the amount of data being produced is increasing exponentially, especially with recent developments in Internet of Things (IoT) technology and mobile networking.

Click here to see a blog post detailing what IOT is.  

This means that the amount of data that organisations have to store and process will vastly increase over the next few years, so these organisations are looking for future-proof IT infrastructure solutions that will be able to process, store and analyze large volumes of data faster than ever.

 

This is where High Performance Computing (HPC) comes in. HPC is defined as the use of supercomputers and parallel processing techniques in order to solve complex computational problems.  These supercomputers are much more powerful than standard consumer laptops and desktops which are capable of billions of calculations per second, but this is slow compared to the quadrillions of calculations that supercomputers can do per second.  

 

Supercomputers are essentially just computers that have a high level of performance when compared to other general-purpose computers.  These computers usually have thousands of nodes that work together in completing one or more computational tasks , also known as “parallel processing”. This makes supercomputers very good at complex computing tasks such as editing feature films with advanced special effects, predicting weather and artificial intelligence.  

 

These Supercomputer nodes need special processors that are designed for parallel computing workloads. Intel’s Xeon Phi family of processors has been specifically designed for HPC workloads with up to 72 cores

You can see the full range of Intel's Xeon Phi family processors here.

This enables this processor to deliver extremely high processing performance of over 3 tera-FLOPS while maintaining respectable power efficiency.  Xeon Phi chips can also be used as co-processors to conventional server CPUs in the form of PCIe expansion cards, as is the case with the Tianhe-2 supercomputer at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou which uses Xeon Phi coprocessors alongside Ivy Bridge-EP Xeon processors.  

 

HPC is currently used in a range of applications that are crucial for society such as the real-time analysis of stock trends, automated trading and more recently, artificial intelligence (AI).  AI is the current frontier of what is possible with high performance computers and optimization for AI workloads is quickly becoming the standard for the HPC market.

 

There are so many use cases for AI that most industries will be able to benefit from it in some way due to the ability to analyze large amounts of data, identify trends and use the information to predict future trends and automating responses to the data.  

An example of the real world benefits of AI has been demonstrated by Google in 2014 when they deployed the Deepmind AI into one of their facilities and saw a 40% reduction in the energy used for cooling. This obviously translated into much lower energy costs for the facility, which would be a very attractive benefit for data centers and since data centers make up a significant portion of global energy use, this would significantly reduce human energy use and reduce our overall impact on the environment.  

If you would like to see more information on this huge energy reduction which was made possible by AI please click here.

 

If you have more questions about high performance computing or are interested in our HPC solutions, please contact us by phone or email.  

Sales@serverfactory.co.uk

+44 (0)20 3432 5270

Posted in News By Server Factory

IOT banner explained

We are currently seeing a big increase in popularity of everyday devices such as light bulbs and doorbells that are capable of being connected to the internet.  This new network of these interconnected devices is often referred to as the “Internet of Things” and is offering new level of interconnectedness and control to consumers as well as commercial users.

We are seeing more of these everyday internet-connected devices in recent years due to the development of other technologies that have made this possible, such as machine learning, embedded systems and automation.  The development of these technologies have made products like Amazon’s Alexa possible as well as wearable technology such as the Apple Watch which has created a whole new market of devices.

Click here to see more about Amazon's Alexa

Click here to see more about Apple's Apple Watch

The Internet of Things devices collectively serve a larger purpose which is the “smart home”. The smart home is a very exciting concept of home automation which takes aspects of a home such as lighting, heating, media and security and having them easily controlled centrally by the owner’s smart devices.  The long term benefits of having a smart home include possible energy savings as lights and heating could be scheduled to be turned off when suitable and the owners doesn’t even have to be home to do it.   

Silicon Valley-based company Enlighted, for example, claims to reduce clients' lighting bills by 60 to 70 percent and their air conditiong bills by 20 to 30 percent.

Another major benefit of the Internet of Things and smart homes is that it makes taking care of the elderly easier and safer, especially considering the exponential increase in the aging population. Voice control could help elderly people with mobility and sight limitations and alert systems could be directly connected to ear implants in people with hearing difficulties. This network of devices has already given us more freedom in terms of managing our devices and could provide a higher quality of life with more development.  

A really interesting going into more depth om look after the eldergy with IOT devices by AgingInPlace. Click here to read it

The commercial applications of this kind of network are also quite attractive. The Internet of Things could make smart manufacturing more widespread, since automation is already commonplace in manufacturing.  Manufacturing equipment could be connected up to a network and controlled centrally, which means that a firm’s manufacturing process could be adjusted very easily without the need for access to physical equipment.  This could be very beneficial to manufacturing firms as this could make individual factories much more flexible with their processes due to more and faster control.

More Internet of Things devices continue to come to market with promises of more advanced features and increased connectivity, which will certainly make our lives easier.  However, there are concerns with the security of these devices as a vulnerability in just one smart device could mean that a someone’s entire home network could become compromised.  This could become a major issue especially if smart-locks on people’s front doors become compromised.

Click here to see IBM's block about secuirty issues with IOT devices

We are looking foward to seeing this brand new industry progress and we will be sure to keep you updated on any progress. 

 

If you have more questions about Internet of things or feel free to phone or email us with the information below.  

Sales@serverfactory.co.uk

+44 (0)20 3432 5270


 

 


Posted in News By Server Factory

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