Huawei's CloudEngine data centre switch has been developed specifically for the artificial intelligence era, writes Susan Fourtané
Tech

Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be present in all aspects of life, work, and entertainment. It is possible that AI is even going to manage almost the entire planet at a certain point in the future.

“A fully connected, intelligent world is fast approaching. Data centres become the core of the new infrastructures such as 5G and AI” – Kevin Hu, president of Huawei Network Product Line

Data centres are not immune to this reality. On the contrary.

In the AI era, data centres need to quickly adapt to the computing power that the future is going to bring. Adding the capability of leveraging AI to reshape business models, make decisions, and improve customer experiences will become a key driving force.

Thinking about the needs that the AI era will bring, Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has come a step forward with the world’s first AI-powered data centre switch especially built for the AI era.

Presented and demonstrated at MWC Barcelona, the CloudEngine 16800 has micro-second latency, zero packet loss, and 100 per cent throughput to double the AI computing power of enterprise networks.

According to Leon Wang, general manager of Huawei Data Center Network Domain, with the CloudEngine Series Huawei is helping the digital transformation of industry such as finance, internet, and carrier customers.

With CloudEngine 16800 Huawei expects to “help customers accelerate intelligent transformation, achieve pervasive use of AI, and jointly build a fully connected and intelligent world”, says Wang.

Data centre switches in the AI era


With the CloudEngine 16800 Huawei defines three characteristics of data centre switches in the AI era:
• Embedded AI chip
• 48-port 400GE line card per slot
• The capability to evolve to the autonomous driving network, innovatively incorporates AI technologies into data centre switches

According to Huawei, the pervasive use of AI will help customers accelerate smart transformation.

The AI computing power is affected by the performance of data centre networks. This is becoming a key bottleneck of the AI commercial process.

With the industry expecting an increase of the annual volume of data worldwide from 10 zettabytes in 2018 to 180 zettabytes – that is 180 billion terabytes) in 2025 existing 100GE data centre networks are not going to be able to handle the predicted data flood.

AI computing power of data centres and the need to improve operations and maintenance (O&M) capability


Currently, the AI computing power of data centres can only reach up to 50 per cent on a traditional ethernet; this is due to a packet loss rate of 1/1000.

Traditional manual O&M methods are not going to meet requirements as the number of data centre servers continues to increase. In addition, the computing network, storage network, and data network become converged.

With this in mind, the need for the development of innovative technologies that can quickly be introduced and adopted is paramount in order to improve the smart O&M capability.

CloudEngine 16800: Industry’s first data centre switch to leverage the power of an embedded high-performance AI chip


The CloudEngine 16800 uses the innovative iLossless algorithm. The iLossless is a unique intelligent lossless switching algorithm that perfectly solves the packet loss issue of traditional ethernet networks.

This means it can implement auto-sensing and auto-optimisation of the traffic model, which in turn lets it realise lower latency and higher throughput based on zero packet loss.

According to Huawei, the CloudEngine 16800 overcomes the computing power limitations caused by packet loss on the more traditional ethernet. This increases the AI computing power from 50 per cent to 100 per cent. It also improves the data storage input/output operations per-second (IOPS) by 30 per cent.

“A fully connected, intelligent world is fast approaching. Data centres become the core of the new infrastructures such as 5G and AI. Huawei will first introduce AI technology to data centre switches, leading data centre networks from the cloud era to the AI era,” says Kevin Hu, president of Huawei Network Product Line.

In addition, Huawei says that the new product provides the industry’s highest density 48-port 400GE line card per slot and its switching capacity meets the requirements for fivefold traffic growth in the AI era, exceeding the current industry average.

The 21st-century data centre: Pre-fabricated modular data centre


The 21st-century data centre is changing from being just on-premise facilities running enterprise applications or massive outsourced installations housing services in the cloud into something that is more in sync with the needs of this century.

The new AI era demands adaptations in the data centre construction as well. The result is modular data centres that can be easy, inexpensive, and fast to build where and when they are needed.

Knowing this, Huawei has also become a leader in data centre construction. By using sophisticated modular designs and the company’s vast experience in the information communications technology (ICT) industry, Huawei has completed phase one of the Huawei cloud pre-fabricated modular data centre in Dongguan in just nine months. The solution saves half the time and construction-related cost than traditional data centre construction options.

How AI is going to transform the data centre


The increasingly growing demand for AI, machine learning, and neuro-linguistic processing (NLP) applications is resulting in a tremendous amount of data being pulled into big data platforms at a massive scale.

The volume of data growth is going to continue increasing, and organisations need to start rethinking on how to store their data in the AI era.

According to Huawei’s Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025, the AI adoption rate will increase from 16 per cent in 2015 to 86 per cent in 2025

In spite of the fear that some experience when considering the use and incorporation of artificial intelligence in the workspace, artificial intelligence is playing a paramount role in helping data centre service providers capture, process, and analyse big data faster and at a more powerful rate than ever before.

The role of AI in the data centre industry is just starting to show how AI is going to impact traditional data centres in the near future and how it is going to play a role in improving their productivity.

China is one of the leading hubs in AI development. It has been ahead in using and implementing artificial intelligence in many industries. With Huawei getting a head start with its industry’s first AI-powered data centre switch, others will have to quickly respond to this innovation, or they could be left behind.

This article was written by Susan Fourtané and is reproduced with kind permission from InterestingEngineering.com. Find the link to the original article here.

http://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/a1-6-1024x540.jpghttp://www.engineersjournal.ie/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/a1-6-300x300.jpgDavid O'RiordanTechAI,big data,China
Artificial intelligence (AI) is going to be present in all aspects of life, work, and entertainment. It is possible that AI is even going to manage almost the entire planet at a certain point in the future. “A fully connected, intelligent world is fast approaching. Data centres become the core...