Harnessing the power of AI with high-performance computing

Marc O'Regan, Dell Technologies Ireland
Marc O'Regan, Dell Technologies Ireland

Organisations need experienced infrastructure providers to facilitate their transition to HPC, says Dell Technologies' Marc O'Regan



18 February 2021 | 0

In association with Dell Technologies

Artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to change the Irish business and research landscape. From fuelling new medical discoveries to enabling individualised learning based on an individual student’s particular needs, this emerging technology is being leveraged by our brightest minds in new and innovative ways every day.

According to IDC, by 2025, AI-powered enterprises will see a 100% increase in productivity and new product introduction success rates that are 25% higher than those of their non-intelligent peers. Armed with the ability to anticipate market and operational changes, forward-looking businesses and organisations around the country will respond much faster than their competitors and will be agile enough to adapt to changes in the market.




With CTOs and CIOs looking to create enterprise infrastructures that not only provide robust performance and scalability for large and highly complex AI models but also keep deployment costs low, the answer lies in high-performance computing (HPC) for three key reasons:

Data analytics

Irish businesses rely heavily on data analytics to generate new insights for the improvement of operational efficiency and the provision of a competitive edge. But when it comes to analysing large sets of unstructured data that can increase exponentially in volume and velocity, traditional IT infrastructure is often restricted due to slow storage speeds.

To adapt to significantly larger data sets and computation-intensive analytics processes, researchers are looking to exascale systems. These systems are capable of performing one quintillion calculations per second – five times faster than the world’s most powerful existing supercomputer – and may help us to discover effective medications sooner, respond to pandemics faster, and identify hazardous weather conditions before they happen.

Research institutions in Ireland are increasing looking to the power of AI-enabled supercomputers to gain real-time insights into large data sets. At Dell Technologies, we’ve been working with Munster Technological University on a new AI platform that will help students and researchers build start-of-the-art technology. The technology allows researchers to generate insights from large data sets to facilitate innovation across a huge range of sectors, from marketing to finance to agriculture.

Acceleration of AI deployments

According to the Dell Technologies 2020 Digital Transformation Index, 85% of organisations globally are set to use AI and data models to predict potential disruption and empower digital businesses. As HPC and AI continues to evolve to include more use cases across more industries, the possibilities are nearly endless. Organisations are looking for more pre-designed and pre-validated solutions to generate value instead of constructing IT infrastructure.

While the power of AI is promising, setting up an AI system is not an easy task. Businesses still struggle to fully optimise the power of AI, as the associated costs are extremely high. Indeed, a full 30% of organisations cited insufficient resources as a central barrier to digital progress. The need to enhance the accuracy of AI models has added an additional layer of complexity for businesses. Bigger data sets and more complex AI algorithms have led to an ever-increasing need for bigger, faster and ultimately more costly infrastructure.

To help companies in Ireland with these roadblocks, Dell Technologies is introducing reference architecture, together with HPC infrastructure, for data scientists and researchers. With HPC and software combined, launching new AI applications is becoming easier and faster than ever.

In short, organisations do not need to walk their AI journey alone. By collaborating and working with end-to-end technology infrastructure providers like Dell Technologies, organisations can co-design and customise unique HPC infrastructures to meet AI research, development and AI model deployment needs.

Growing support for HPC globally

The benefits of AI for Irish businesses and their customers can hardly be overstated. That’s why organisations need experienced infrastructure providers to facilitate their transition to HPC.

Dell Technologies focuses on promoting open collaboration, bringing together the wide-ranging experience and knowledge of technology developers, service providers and end-users in a worldwide forum that promotes the advancement of innovative, powerful HPC and AI solutions. Moreover, we work with customers throughout Ireland and worldwide to deploy HPC and AI solutions that fuel a wide range of industry improvements and research activity.

With the creation of a stable ecosystem and the provision of both support and expertise, HPC adoption rates are increasing sharply across the world. Hyperion Research forecasts that the global HPC industry is expected to grow by 7.1% to more than €32.3 billion by 2023 and HPC-server based AI is expected to rise by more than 29% from 2018 to 2023, reaching €2.2 billion in 2023.

Irish organisations must prepare for a future where machine learning, deep learning and high-performance data analytics are commonplace to stay competitive. Harnessing the power of AI with HPC is close and within reach for the businesses ready to take the next step forward on their unique digital transformation journey.

Marc O’Regan is CTO of Dell Technologies Ireland

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