From the world’s #1 supercomputer to improving healthcare, Intel enables innovation in China

By Shannon Poulin: Intel VP Data Center Group, GM Datacenter and Enterprise IT Marketing

Around the world, IT is facing significant pressure to be more responsive to the business to deliver new services quickly, become much more efficient and cost effective, while at the same time helping make sense of mountains of data to speed decision making and enable new insights and discoveries.  These challenges are particularly acute in rapidly growing China, where technology leaders and hardware and software developers are gathering this week for the Intel Developer Forum (IDF14) in Shenzhen.

Among its many attractions, IDF provides a place where developers come together to collaborate, network and accelerate innovation while gaining insights into new advancements Intel is making to address key challenges IT is facing.  From cloud platforms to solutions for high-performance computing (HPC) and big data analytics, Intel is collaborating with a broad range of partners and customers to re-architect the data center to enable more efficient, automated, and agile datacenters.

In her keynote address at IDF Shenzhen, Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager for the Intel Data Center Group, highlighted examples of technology collaborations from the world’s #1 supercomputer to significantly improving transportation and healthcare in China.   Here are a few notable examples of Intel’s collaboration in China.

Enabling breakthrough new discoveries

China’s National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou is host to the #1 supercomputer globally on the current TOP500 list.  It relies on industry leading Intel technologies to power the world’s fastest supercomputer, the “Milky Way-2” system. The massive system includes 48,000 Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors and 32,000 Intel Xeon processors and operates at a peak performance of 54.9 petaflops—or 54.9 quadrillion floating point operations per second.  This kind of performance will enable new discoveries and scientific breakthroughs, such as improved weather prediction and advancements in life sciences, among others.

Improving transportation & healthcare via big data analytics

There are about 10 million trucks on the road in China, where the overall cost of logistics is fairly high due to a lack of efficiency in the operation and routing of trucks. The City of Zhengzhou is now addressing its truck-related challenges with a cloud-based transportation solution that takes advantage of Intel technologies.

The system links telematics data from trucks to a central data center to improve efficiency through better routing of trucks. The system uses real-time traffic data and monitors the safe operation of vehicles. The goal is to connect 50,000 trucks to the system by the end of 2014.

In another big data implementation, the Shanghai City Government is using an Intel-based Hadoop* cluster to process 16 million new records created every day.  The goal is to improve the health of citizens through enhanced quality of healthcare services, improved utilization of hospital resources and chronic disease diagnosis and treatments, while supporting social security and medical insurance reform.

Re-architecting the data center

You can’t achieve gains like those highlighted above with yesterday’s approaches to the data center. We are in a new era for computing that requires us to rethink our approaches to the data center. Intel is taking a leadership role in this re-architecting of the data center collaborating with a broad range of customers and partners like those I discussed above to meet the challenges of a global economy increasingly driven by digital services.

That’s the idea behind software defined infrastructure (SDI), an Intel industry initiative that is a focus of the discussions about datacenter innovation this week at IDF. SDI changes the game, moving data center infrastructure from static to dynamic, and from manual to automated. In simple terms, SDI creates a software layer that automates the allocation of infrastructure resources, be it servers, storage, networking, memory and that takes advantage of the telemetry data, such as performance, power, and security of the underlying hardware to optimally provision these resources.  Ultimately this will make data centers more agile, efficient, and responsive to enable fast, cost effective delivery of new digital services.  This includes rack level innovation, re-defining how racks are designed and deployed to enable software defined infrastructure. 

I am excited about the opportunities we have working closely with the ecosystem in China to continue to advance innovation to solve significant challenges through the use of Intel technologies.

You can see a replay of Diane’s presentation at IDF Shenzhen here.  To learn more about the Intel’s efforts to further the evolution of the data center, visit our cloud, HPC, and big data analytics sites.

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