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Why storage needs AI

By ADAM DAY, CEEMA storage category manager for HP Enterprise

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We are witnessing the dawn of the intelligence era, which is signifying a fundamental shift in the storage landscape.

While we have seen great strides in recent years with the move to flash disk storage – which has accounted for some massive performance gains – the reality is that the hardware gains are rapidly diminishing, so we are having to look beyond just flash to resolve storage issues.

I believe it’s fair to say that the flash era has essentially become a de facto standard – everybody has it and it isn’t considered as a criterion that sets storage technology apart anymore.

With the dawn of the intelligence era we begin to see the ushering in of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation, which are becoming the key points that everyone needs to take into consideration to automate and streamline their technology environments.

This shift is coming about for a number of reasons. A key driver in South Africa, specifically, is the lack of skills available. For every enterprise to have storage experts as part of their organisation is not realistic, both from a cost and availability of skills perspective, so we are moving to an era where we will need automation and intelligence as a standard feature of our systems.

This will obviously also have a profound impact on storage solutions and the type of offerings that we can expect to see in the future.

Customers are looking to invest in storage systems that effectively future-proof them, so a key aspect of decision-making will be around investing in a platform that will be able to take advantage of new technologies and not have to be replaced.

However, not only are enterprises increasingly looking to invest in systems that will support next-generation technologies, they are also looking for a vendor that will allow them to make an investment and then support the refreshes of their technology in a few years, at no additional investment, whether this is via pay per use models or technology refresh options available at time of purchase.

Automation is something that’s also going to be looked for as a standard both across the global ecosystems and not just inside storage systems. Customers will be looking to invest their funds in systems that are leveraging AI and have the ability to make decisions and automate their processes and make recommendations that are specific too their own application and business needs.

Most importantly though, enterprises will want to invest in storage systems that will help them with their entire ecosystems and drive business agility across their entire stack.

As bearing in mind 90% of data centre issues and outages happen outside of the storage system, a system that offers intelligence that looks beyond the storage is key, and solutions that can view cross-stack into the VM layer, network layer or compute layer to see what is happening globally will lead the way.

So, we are talking about providing solutions that offer cross-stack analytics, as opposed to just providing AI for storage platforms – the ability to look beyond the storage if a game changer.

In this next-generation world, where we are producing data at such massive pace and scale that it is beyond human capability to manage and classify, it needs to be handled by something that’s automated and I think AI is the only solution for this.

Cars

LHI is coming to save your car from hazards

Local Hazard Information will give drivers advance warning of potential dangers lurking around the corner

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There are many times when knowing what is around the corner could be useful. But for drivers that knowledge could be critical. Now, thanks to Ford’s new connected car technology, it is also a reality.

Local Hazard Information (LHI) marks a significant step on the journey towards a connected transport infrastructure by helping drivers prepare for and potentially avoid dangers on the road. When drivers ahead encounter sudden tailbacks, accidents or spilled loads, the driver behind – and possibly out of sight – is given advance warning. This could also apply to everything from freak hailstorms, to sudden flooding, or even landslides.

The triggers for the system come from what is happening in the cars ahead. It could be that airbags have been activated, hazard warning lights are flashing, or windscreen wipers are in operation. Previous traffic incident alert systems have relied on drivers to input information in order to generate alerts. LHI works autonomously, without the need for any driver interaction, to generate information and issue warnings.

Hazards are only displayed – via the dashboard display – if the incident is likely to impact on the driver’s journey. LHI is designed to be more beneficial to drivers than hazard information from current radio broadcasting systems, which often deliver notifications not relevant to them.

Already featuring as standard and free of charge for the first year on the new Ford Puma, LHI technology is being rolled out across more than 80 per cent of Ford’s passenger vehicle line-up by the end of this year. Crucially, the benefit will not be limited only to those travelling in Ford vehicles. Information sent can be used to alert drivers of other manufacturers’ vehicles, and vice-versa.

“What makes Local Hazard Information different is that it is the cars that are connected – via the Internet of Things. There is no reliance on third party apps. This is a significant step forward. Warnings are specific, relevant and tailored to try to help improve your specific journey.” Joerg Beyer, executive director, Engineering, Ford of Europe

How it works

Sensors monitor activities including emergency braking, fog lights and traction control to detect adverse weather or road conditions. Data from these activities is then computed to determine the hazard location and whether a traffic incident has occurred.

The vehicle automatically provides updates through a secure connection to “the cloud” using the Ford Pass Connect modem. Ford’s technology partner HERE Technologies operates the central cloud-based platform that collates information from multiple vehicle brands, governed by a business-to-business agreement.

The more cars are connected to the network, the greater the efficiency of the system. When many vehicles generate the same warning, others in the vicinity receive incident information from the cloud via the cellular network, enabling drivers to reduce speed or take appropriate action.

Additional information is sourced from public authority incident databases and traffic reports to provide drivers with further advance warnings including approaching vehicles driving on the wrong side of the carriageway, animals or people in the road ahead, and roadworks.

The on-board modem will be connected at the time of vehicle delivery. Customers may choose to opt in/opt out of certain data sharing.

Local Hazard Information data provided by HERE Technologies.

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Bundesliga plans to “revolutionise football viewing”

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Germany’s Bundesliga football league has selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its official technology provider to deliver more in-depth insight into every live broadcast of Bundesliga games and enable personalised fan experiences. 

Bundesliga says it will use AWS artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), analytics, compute, database, and storage services to deliver real-time statistics to predict future plays and game outcomes. It will also use the technology to recommend personalised match footage across mobile, online, streaming, and television broadcasts.

Using AWS technology, Germany’s premier national football league will build new cloud-based services that automate processes, increase operational efficiency, and enhance the viewing experience for the league’s rapidly growing global fan base. By developing a new, next-generation statistics platform on AWS, using Amazon SageMaker, a fully managed service to build, train, and deploy ML models, Bundesliga will offer fans real-time predictions on when a goal is likely to be scored, identify potential goal-scoring opportunities, and highlight how teams are positioning and controlling the field, based on live data streams and historical data from over 10,000 Bundesliga games. Bundesliga also plans to leverage AWS ML services, such as Amazon Personalize, an ML service to create real-time and individualized recommendations, to offer fans personalized game footage, marketing promotions, and search results based on their favourite teams, players, or matches.

Using other AWS ML services, including Amazon Rekognition, an intelligent image and video analysis service, Bundesliga will build a cloud-based media archive that will automatically tag specific frames, from its more than 150,000 hours of video, with metadata such as game, jersey, player, team, and venue, so that the league can easily search historical footage and surface pivotal plays for in-game broadcasts, in more than 200 countries. This archive will enable Bundesliga to search across its entire history of football footage to provide a more enhanced viewing experience for fans and automate the current manual process of searching and tagging match highlights.

“We are extremely excited to be working alongside AWS to develop the next generation of football viewing experience,” said Christian Seifert, CEO of Bundesliga. “Innovation means challenging the status quo. Working closely with AWS, as one of the most innovative technology companies in the world, significantly enhances the investment we’ve made in innovation over the past two decades, all of which contributes to us being able to deliver a world-class football experience for our fans.”

“As the league with the highest average number of goals per game, and the highest stadium attendance globally, the Bundesliga is one of the most entertaining sports leagues in the world,” says Andy Isherwood, Vice President and Managing Director EMEA, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “We are thrilled to work with the Bundesliga and help them use cloud technology to give football fans around the world a more engaging match day experience and look forward to helping them leverage our deep portfolio of ML and AI services so they can deliver even greater insight into the world’s favourite game.”

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