The global pandemic put tremendous strain and pressure on IT, but our customers have adjusted, validated infrastructure performance needs and scalability, remained nimble and embraced the new normal.

By Jim Holland, GM: Africa at Lenovo Data Centre Group

It is clear that digital transformations has only accelerated during the pandemic and has not halted or slowed down our journey into artificial intelligence (AI) and technology.

As we move past the “IT survival mode” mentality, organisations are looking for opportunities to invest in a smarter way forward. Customers of all sizes are trying to harness their data’s value through a large spectrum of analytics and AI.

Over the next 90 days, we will share how Lenovo helps customers accelerate and optimise data management capabilities that enable actionable enterprise intelligence, deliver faster insights leveraging real-time analytics, democratise the power of AI to empower all organisations to streamline operations, make better decisions, and gain competitive advantage with insights.

Today, we start by exploring the need for the Data-Centered to get faster, real-time insights whether it be on the cloud, on the edge, or in traditional databases. This exploration is now more important than ever as both consumers and suppliers are now being forced to learn how to manage the vast growth in connected devices and the volumes of new data. One proven technique uses high performance data analytics (HPDA) to achieve real-time results.

Data is the driving force behind a smarter way forward

The amount of data that organisations and IT staff must manage is growing at an exponential rate, with the global datasphere projected to nearly quadruple in the next five years.

What will set successful organisations apart, will be their ability to drive insights and value from the data in real-time. For example, successful financial institutions will be able to stop fraudulent transactions as they occur instead of trying to minimise the impact after the fact. The same is true for many businesses, from retailers optimising their e-commerce marketplaces, to the logistical challenges of supply-chain and manufacturing organisations across a magnitude of industries.

Modern Business Intelligence (BI) and Analytics will happen in real-time, making critical decisions in milliseconds. No longer is data only being processed within a traditional data center.

Data is being created at multiple access points and the latest technology innovations are now allowing customers to do more with their data, and both process and analyze it at the edge and even within the cloud. This trend shows that the industry is going to continue to need to evolve and a find a smart way forward when it comes to leveraging their data to deliver improved results.

What is HPDA and why does it matter?

High Performance Data Analytics (HPDA) is the convergence of Big Data and High-Performance Computing (HPC). Traditional Big Data analytics engines, such as Apache Hadoop and Apache Spark, are excellent at storing and managing large amounts of unstructured data that can be mined for trends and insights, however the speed and latency requirements of real-time analytics creates significant for traditional Big Data systems.

Performance Matters

The challenge is that for customers running these workloads, traditional scale-out computing is not cost-effective, nor does it provide the performance needed to analyse data in real-time. Customers with common data center platforms typically must make trade-offs between storage, memory and compute performance – and then decide which combination best suites their specific workload needs.

Running these compute intensive workloads often not only require the performance of HPC, but also demand the level of storage and memory capacity suited for Big Data.

The Lenovo mission-critical systems we are designing today combine processing capacity, storage and memory into a single, extremely powerful machine. Lenovo’s purpose-built designs are all about enabling customers to run and analyse massive data sets across the system memory while minimising latency challenges to help offset the potential impact that can have on the bottom line.

For even greater performance, GPUs can be leveraged for ultra-fast data processing by loading entire datasets in the GPU memory and leveraging GPU acceleration for extremely fast processing. The added benefit of GPUs enables organisations to be AI-ready. These built in AI capabilities gives customers the ability to easily move beyond HPDA to complex Artificial Intelligence models.

The new Lenovo ThinkSystem SR860 V2 and SR850 V2 AI-Ready servers are ideal for delivering real-time insights within HPDA workloads and incorporating AI into your enterprise environment. These mission-critical servers provide expansion capabilities, guarantee system uptime for superior data resiliency, and accelerate AI, data analytics, and VDI workloads using next-generation accelerators.

Benefits include:

* Up to 2X increased NVMe storage capacity eliminates the data bottleneck for real-time analytics using up to 48x 2.5″ SSDs (up to 24x NVMe drives inclusive in the 48 total drives)

* Up to 25% performance /$ improvement using 3rd Generation Intel(r) Xeon(r) Gold 6328H processors, enhances the scope of IT efficiency by leveraging greater capability per investment.

* Delivers hyper-fast GPU processing capabilities with minimal latency using up to 8 single-width (or 4 double-width) GPUs, including support for NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs.

* Up to 3X maximum capacity per node for more scalable memory closer to the CPU and lower data latency compared to solid-state drive technology using Intel(r) OptaneTM persistent memory (PMem) 200 series (24 DIMMs per system) on Lenovo ThinkSystem servers, resulting in a significant overall improvement in application performance.

Lenovo offers a complete end to end portfolio of 5G enabled devices and solutions from handsets to PCs to Enterprise Edge Infrastructure.

With the Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) continuously evolving in our new fast-paced climate, it imperative to note that 5G will play an important part in the technology mix moving forward. The organisation does not only wish to present forward-thinking technology, but to also help key internet service providers (ISPs) build new solutions that leverage the availability of 5G; delivering value and new potential revenue streams/business models.

We have all learned this year that the future is unpredictable. We can prepare, but we must innovate together to continue adapting to changing workloads and customer demands. We’re working alongside organisations through Lenovo’s four innovation centers worldwide.

Together, we help customers discover the potential and benefits of AI, develop AI applications using AI-optimized hardware and their choice of AI frameworks and deploy rapidly using simplified end-to-end solutions and professional service expertise.