If you’re keeping up with data trends, you’ve heard about “the edge.” Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke about why he sees edge computing as the future of the business. It’s clear that the industry is abuzz with the promise of edge, but the movement of compute resources away from a centralized data center and closer to the origin of the data is a process that is still in its infancy for enterprises.
Because advanced workloads, like artificial intelligence (AI), can be computationally-intensive and require low-latency response, many enterprises understand the benefits of relocating data analysis outside of the data center and to the edge to extract greater value, faster. The promise of deploying more compute outside of the data center to reduce costs, or in the example of AI, reduce time to insights, is enough for many enterprises to start considering investing in edge technology. Before making any immediate decisions, companies need to think about how to architect and build end-to-end infrastructure that prepares them for the edge while balancing the needs of their current cloud strategy.
Planning for the Data Shift
As enterprises consider the ways to capitalize on edge computing, the first step is to think about how to blend it with existing cloud platforms and see these areas as complementary. As the volume of data only grows, creating an end-to-end infrastructure is critical so that you can extract value out of the data, no matter where it resides, for real-time insight.
This also can help ensure that an enterprise is not needlessly moving workloads, incurring additional expense. Data has mass; it doesn’t move cheaply in large quantities. Enterprises need thoughtful analysis of where data lives across the organization. The key question to ask is: what is the best path for the quickest time to insight?
Powering Efficiency through Collaborations
The collaboration between Intel and Microsoft is an example of how two of the industry’s technology leaders are working together to help enterprises manage their growing data and move it where it needs to be, whether that is in a datacenter, cloud or edge. One of Microsoft’s more versatile edge offerings, Azure Stack Edge, utilizes Intel® Arria® 10 FPGAs to accelerate inferencing, then transfer that data back to a data center to re-train and improve models on general purpose, cost-effective CPUs. This type of data movement–from edge to cloud–underscores why enterprises need to think holistically about their infrastructure, from how they architect their traditional cloud computing to the cloud services such as Azure, that they choose to deploy.
Once the data is transferred from the edge to an on-premises data center, being able to transform and query the data quickly for further insights is critical. Microsoft SQL Server 2019 Big Data Cluster provides an easier path to acting on data. With support for Intel® Optane™ DC persistent memory, SQL Server 2019 can deliver larger memory-optimized databases for scale-up and scale-out system landscapes. Together, Intel and Microsoft help businesses both manage their growing data and accelerate access to insights.
“We’re excited for Microsoft SQL Server 2019 customers to start seeing the remarkable benefits of Intel Optane DC persistent memory,” says Rohan Kumar, Corporate Vice President, Azure Data, Microsoft Corp. “Faster recovery and response times are just the start when it comes to the advantages of larger in-memory databases, and I look forward to seeing how companies start to innovate with applications and services.”
It is an honor and privilege to show how our combination of solutions translates into powerful customer experiences at Microsoft Ignite. We are creating a retail shopping vignette where you’ll see the predictive aspects of edge for retailers that creates customized experiences using a combination of Intel and Microsoft technologies. We’ll also have a session where we share best practices from customers like national law firm Bradley, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, and KPMG on how they are making edge to cloud a reality.
Looking to the Future
Intel has a diverse portfolio of edge-ready hardware that creates an ecosystem of consistent execution architecture. There is so much more to Intel beyond our CPUs; our data-centric portfolio leadership comes from delivering products and solutions that address the entire data journey, from edge to core to cloud. By taking this broad portfolio and bringing it together with our team of over 15,000 software engineers who partner closely with our partners, such as Microsoft, we are able to deliver solutions already optimized and tuned to solve those challenging technical issues enterprises need to overcome in order to stay competitive.
As long as your organization has a consistent architecture from edge to cloud, you will be set up for success as new edge technologies continue to mature, data generated from the edge grows, and your data strategy demands more real-time insights from this edge data. For more information about how Intel can transform your enterprise, cloud or network, visit intel.com/yourdataonintel.