Build faster machine learning applications
By DE Newsroom Published: 00:00, 3 August, 2016 Updated: 00:00, 3 August, 2016
If you already work with machine learning (ML) applications and deep learning (DL) models and find the size of your training data sets a challenge, there is new processor from Intel that can help.
The second-generation Intel® Xeon Phi™ Processor x200, code named Knights Landing, has several key features which make it well suited to handling ML workloads:
– The Intel Xeon Phi chip is a massively multicore processor available in a self-boot socket. This eliminates the need to run an OS on a separate host and pass data across a PCIe slot.
– Its 72 processor cores, each with two Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 SIMD processing units, improve per-core floating-point performance.
– The high-bandwidth integrated memory (up to 16 GB of MCDRAM) helps to quickly feed data to the cores and supplements platform memory of up to 384 GB of commodity DDR4. This lets programmers manage memory by specifying how much data they want and when they want it.
To find out more about the Intel Xeon Phi Processor x200, take a look at the article here.
You can also learn how to migrate applications from the previous generation Knights Corner processor to Knights Landing Self-Boot platforms.
To discover more resources to help you get the best performance for your data centre applications, visit the Intel® Modern Code part of Intel® Developer Zone.
Komatsu chooses BT for its global IT infrastructure
By DE Newsroom Published: 00:00, 25 November, 2016 Updated: 00:00, 25 November, 2016
BT has announced a contract with international mining and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu for a new global IT infrastructure covering 26 sites across 15 countries in Europe, Asia-Pacific and South-America.
BT will design, build and manage a resilient, hybrid network combining BT’s IP Connect Globalwith its hybrid service (hVPN) for smaller locations, which lets office-based workers securely access their corporate network through the internet.
Komatsu’s business critical voice traffic for around 1,100 employees will be routed using BT’s One Voice centralised SIP trunking service – replacing traditional voice services with voice-over-IP technology. BT’s biggest customers lower their costs by up to 34 per cent by switching to BT One Voice.
It is important for Komatsu that its new provider possesses strong datacentre and cloud services integration capabilities, as it foresees to migrate a number of its enterprise applications to the cloud over the coming years.
As a first step, BT’s professional services team, BT Advise, will consolidate Komatsu’s central IT infrastructure in two BT datacentres. BT Compute datacentre services in-scope include telehousing, internet access and load balancing – improving the distribution of workloads across multiple computing resources.
Chris Borremans, CIO at Komatsu Europe, said: “Today’s agreement is the start of a journey whereby we will be moving towards flexible, cloud-based services supporting our operations, customers and employees across the globe. We believe that BT is the right cloud services integrator to help shape our roadmap and realise our vision.”
Fabrice De Windt, BT’s CEO for the Benelux, said: “We are very proud that Komatsu has selected us for its global IT infrastructure. This opens the path for an ambitious digital transformation journey, supported by our Cloud of Cloudsportfolio strategy. We are looking forward to demonstrating how our global capabilities will drive great business outcomes for Komatsu.”
STULZ takes the heat off with its new Explorer WSW water cooled chiller
STULZ, a global provider of energy efficient temperature and humidity management technology, has announced the launch of its pioneering STULZ Explorer WSW water cooled chiller. This flexible chiller unit is designed for use in a diverse range of mission critical indoor applications including datacentres, communications rooms, industrial and commercial buildings, and telecommunications equipment centres.
Flexibility has been designed into every aspect of the STULZ Explorer WSW and it has big cooling power in an incredibly small footprint. Depending on the required cooling capacity, the Explorer WSW chillers can be equipped with either one compressor offering a cooling capacity of 230-430kW, or two compressors that provide 460-1530kW. Further enhancing its ease of use, it can be easily adjusted to different heat loads thanks to its two refrigerant circuits with semi-hermetic screw compressors and infinitely variable output sliders.
The Explorer WSW features standardised components including shell and tube condensers that can be set to operate at different temperature levels, for example, with well water, cooling towers or external recooling heat exchangers. The evaporation process in the refrigerant circuit is controlled by electronic expansion valves, which use pressure sensors, temperature sensors and the STULZ C2020 controller to optimise heat exchange between the refrigerant and chilled water in the evaporator.
Thanks to its versatility, this latest innovation from STULZ also impresses with high efficiency in partial load mode. Depending on the service conditions, it can offer European Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ESEER) values of five or higher and also offers a variety of options such as automatic transfer switch, an energy meter for measuring total power consumption, soft start and anti-vibration mounts.
Brendan Leonard, Managing Director at STULZ UK Ltd, commented: “Ensuring that mission critical equipment maintains optimal temperature is essential as the consequences of excessive heat can be disastrous. We are therefore delighted to be able to help solve this issue with the Explorer WSW and its easy to use, touch controlled interface that offers the ultimate user experience and valuable peace of mind.”
Data Centres: Losing connection?
Michael Hunter is an associate director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Centre Advisory Group examines in this IPE Real Estate article whether the UK’s position as the leading market for data centres in Europe. could be threatened by leaving the EU?
Data becomes a more important tool for business every day – as crucial for smaller businesses as it is for large multinationals. As such, the market for storage, collaboration and information management tools is on an upward curve. Data centres, the home of this mass of digital information, therefore provide a foundation for all sectors in the economy and have been a key enabler of the UK’s success in moving from a manufacturing to a service-based economy.
The EU Referendum result and a changing relationship with Europe brings uncertainty. The UK data centres industry has seen demand grow quickly since the early 2000s, when dedicated and shared data centres developed by third-party operators became a viable alternative to corporates building and running their own data facilities. Increased demand has been driven in part by outsourcing (ceasing to operate IT systems in-house), the increased reliance on technology and the emergence of cloud computing, internet of things and big data.
Alongside this growth, the UK has positioned itself as the largest data centre in Europe and the second largest in the world. A number of factors have contributed to this success, including early adoption, underpinned by a solid regulatory and legal environment. One particular advantage the UK holds is unequalled global fibre connections. London’s connectivity suits global and local requirements and its internet exchanges allow speedy access between Europe and continents further afield.
Having placed itself in an advantageous position, how will the UK look once it exits the EU? Let us look at two particular areas – inward investment, and data flows/protection – both of which are raised in a report by techUK.
Data is stored in a large, air-conditioned room known as a data centre
During the referendum campaign, a reduction in foreign direct investment (FDI) was touted as a major risk of voting to leave. The UK in general and London in particular have long been preferred destinations for global data centre operators and technology-dependent organisations to establish European headquarters or footholds from which to access the European market. There is a potential risk of a loss of inward investment with companies opting to expand operations in other locations at the expense of the UK. Set against this are the existing, established advantages above.
There are other ways the UK can maintain or strengthen its position as the leader in Europe. As identified in Cushman & Wakefield’s Data Centre Risk Index, corporation tax is still regarded as a strong incentive when considering where to locate data centre facilities. A number of locations have grown in attractiveness thanks to a competitive tax environment and, where able to attract major brands over a longer period, the critical mass associated with occupancy within these markets has paved the way for further expansion.
Ireland is a prime example of this. Most of the global leaders in the IT infrastructure sector operate large data centres in Dublin or are building large data centres there as a result of a favourable tax environment. A long list of global tech giants and IT services providers have chosen to locate in Ireland with Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft alone investing more than $2bn (€1.9bn) during 2014 and 2015, with further expansion plans in the pipeline.
Beyond reducing taxation, the UK must find ways to smooth the process for FDI and build and market itself as a unique and attractive destination for operators.
Data flows present a greater risk for the UK data centre market. Agreements
concerning data flows are one of the real cornerstones of data centre operations. Prior to the referendum, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was on track to apply in the UK from May 2018. Following the Brexit vote, the government needs to consider the impact of GDPR.
EU data regulations will continue to affect UK companies operating in the common market and it is likely that the UK Data Protection Act (DPA) will be updated in line with GDPR and the Network and Information Systems Directive. Businesses will be exposed to regular audits of their data lifecycle management, encompassing how personal data is acquired, maintained, updated, retained, protected and disposed of, with large fines for non-compliance. Businesses will need to adapt to the continuing intricacies and complexities of DPA as regulations become more robust and complex.
With so many businesses and services operating across borders, international consistency around data protection laws and rights is crucial both to businesses and organisations. Having clear laws with safeguards in place is more important than ever, given the growing digital economy, and it is believed that reform of UK data protection law remains necessary.
The risk of sitting outside the EU’s regulatory boundaries is that the UK will no longer be seen as a safe and secure home for data services into the EU. This could reduce the attractiveness of the UK market and prompt relocation.
Compounding the issue is the fact there is limited scope for the UK to create ‘lighter touch’ regulation. Simplified GDPR standards without the additional elements that pose compliance hurdles for operators would not be easy to craft. So to protect its position, the UK must ensure its data laws are equivalent to both EU and global standards.
Despite these challenges, the immediate outlook is reassuring. The biggest corporates are still comfortable in the UK and committed to staying. And the on-shoring of data continues as British companies are compelled to store and process information locally, meaning demand for data centres will be stimulated. In addition, the UK government has the option of reducing corporation tax which will likely increase its attractiveness as a place to operate.
Although there are uncertain times ahead, there is cause for optimism over the next decade and beyond for the UK data centre market.
Big Switch Networks announces expansion into EMEA region
Big Switch Networks, the leader in bringing hyperscale-inspired networking to datacentres worldwide, has announced its expansion into the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region and that it has appointed Julian Demurjian as Head of Sales. Susheel Chitre has also joined the SDN leader as global VP of Business Development. The company’s EMEA HQ will be based in London, United Kingdom.
“We are thrilled to add Susheel and Julian to our growing team, with each bringing to Big Switch years of domain expertise to assist in the next chapter of the company’s growth,” said Douglas Murray, CEO, Big Switch Networks. “We are pleased to have a dedicated sales and support team in the EMEA region to further serve our rapidly growing customer base.”
Chitre comes to Big Switch with more than 20 years of business development and sales experience in the networking and datacentre industry. His focus at Big Switch will be to manage existing strategic relationships with Dell Technologies and Accton, and to build out the company’s ecosystem of OEM, Channel and Technology partnerships. Most recently, Susheel was the VP of Business Development at Embrane, which was acquired by Cisco in 2015. Prior to that, Susheel was Director of Worldwide Channels at Cisco, where he was responsible for Cisco’s global OEM business development and their Cloud Go-to-Market partner strategy and programs.