Data is the foundation on which AI models are built, and integration of enterprise data will be the key to generative AI applications. This episode of Utilizing Tech brings Nick Magnuson and Clive Bearman from Qlik to discuss the integration of data and AI with Frederic Van Haren and Stephen Foskett. Enterprises sometimes worry that their data will never be ready for AI or that they will feed models with too much low-quality data, and overcoming this issue is one of the first hurdles. Another application for machine learning is improving data quality, organizing and tagging unstructured data for applications. The concept of curated data is an interesting one, since it promises to elevate the value of enterprise data. But what if a flood of data causes the model to make the wrong connections? If data is to be a product it must be profiled, tagged, and organized, and ML can help make this happen. The trend of generative AI is driving budgets and priorities to make data more useful and organized, but even unstructured data streams can be valuable. The application of large language models to structured data is promising as well, since it enables people to query these data sets even if they lack the background and skills to construct queries.
In the two years since we focused on AI on this podcast, OpenAI added a simple conversational interface to their deep-learning model and AI has exploded on society. This season of Utilizing Tech focuses on practical applications for artificial intelligence and features co-hosts Frederic Van Haren and Mark Beccue along with Stephen Foskett. In this episode we return to AI with a look back at the incredible impact that generative AI has had on society. Humans traditionally interfaced with machines using keyboard and mouse, touch and gesture, but ChatGPT changed all that by enabling people to communicate with computers verbally. But this is just one of many potential AI model components that can be used to build business applications. The true power of generative AI will be realized when these other components appear, and when they are able to integrate custom data. We will also see innovation in the AI infrastructure stack, from GPUs to NPUs to CPUs, storage and data platforms, and even client devices.
As we’ve discussed all season on Utilizing Edge, innovation is coming from all directions, including hardware, software, and applications. This special crossover episode of the On-Premise IT and Utilizing Tech podcasts features Edge Field Day delegates Brian Knudtson, Ned Bellavance, and Jody Lemoine discussing their perspectives about edge innovation with Stephen Foskett. The primary drivers at the edge are integration, efficiency, and connectivity, as well as the unique needs of the applications there. Starting with hardware, customers are headed in two directions, with more enterprise availability features deployed in some locations and less-capable hardware in others, both in terms of compute and networking. At the software level, most edge infrastructure is hyper-converged, meaning that multiple layers of the stack are integrated in software and managed as one. Although intended as an application platform, Kubernetes is being deployed as a packaging abstraction and distribution solution at the edge.
Edge is leading the hardware industry into a new era of innovation. In this episode of Utilizing Tech, Stephen Foskett, and co-hosts, Allyson Klein and Alistair Cooke, sit down to dissect this. In the wake of Intel’s discontinuation of its NUC product line, a question that is in everyone’s mind is, what’s next. Intel, and many behemoths like it, have a proud legacy of knowing how to break a stalemate and preserve the churn, and even if that means stepping up and pulling the plug on an old product. It oxygenates the marketplace, welcoming new solutions and keeping the wheel of innovation moving. In the context of the emerging paradigm of edge, this change will likely propel the market towards a new breed of powerful, low-cost, pocket-size hardware that delivers breakthrough energy-efficiency and compute performance with little infrastructure.
Personal devices are increasingly being used across enterprise IT, from smartphones to wearable devices, and these are becoming the true edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge brings Field Day delegates Mark Houtz and Jim Czuprynski together with Stephen Foskett to discuss the personal side of the edge. Mobile Device Management (MDM) has been used to manage smartphones and similar technology is used for personal computers, but it seems inevitable that there will be a mixing of business and private data. The mix and match of personal devices at the edge is sure to be a topic of future focus.
Although blockchain technology has been tainted by scammers, the core idea of distributed consensus is relevant for certain edge applications. This episode of Utilizing Edge focuses on practical application of blockchain technology in edge and IoT, featuring Jason Benedicic, Alastair Cooke, and Stephen Foskett. Two key concepts in blockchain are the distributed ledger and consensus approach. There is a lot of work being done to apply blockchain in medical, finance, IoT, and proof of provenance. Although many applications can rely on authority or quorum, larger and more heterogeneous applications might benefit from consensus instead. The other aspect of blockchain, chain of custody and immutability of data, is potentially relevant in preventing supply chain attacks and dealing with transient devices. It’s important to remember that many of the things that have put people off blockchain, from financialization to public exposure of transactions, are not necessarily required in all blockchains.
Computing and sensors have been deployed at the edge for decades, and this is certainly true in the agriculture sector. This episode of Utilizing Edge features Edge Field Day delegates Ben Young and Alastair Cooke discussing with Stephen Foskett the evolution of connectivity and orchestration at the edge. Governmental policies can have a huge impact on the deployment of technology, from connectivity to environmental regulations, as has the emergence of inexpensive sensors, batteries, and processors thanks to the mobile phone industry, along with solar power. Cloud-inspired automation and orchestration is another key enabler of technology in agriculture and at the edge, with zero-touch provisioning, management, and central maintenance. Containerized applications, caching, and cloud-derived control planes are very popular at the edge, though not exactly the same way as in the cloud.
VMware Explore 2023 featured a broad set of products and technologies, all of which could be included under the banner of edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge considers this dynamic and varied world with Roy Chua and Brian Knudtson, along with host Stephen Foskett. Virtualization, networking, storage, and orchestration are all key edge technologies, and VMware and its partners are deeply involved in bringing these technologies to the edge. VMware announced Edge Cloud Orchestrator, new security capabilities, integrated networking, client integration, and the exciting potential of private 5G networks. Dive into this episode to unravel the complexities and promising future of edge computing.
Industrial control and operational technology systems face the same forces as IT applications and are rapidly being integrated into comprehensive edge infrastructure. This episode of Utilizing Edge brings Andy Foster of IOTech to discuss standardization of industrial IoT with Allyson Klein and Stephen Foskett. There are many more similarities between industrial control systems and information technology systems than many people realize. Both are impacted by standards in commodity hardware, networking and communications protocols, and cloud integration. And OT and IT are colliding at the edge, with a massive opportunity to leverage data.
Media and entertainment is one industry generating and moving vast amounts of data at the edge. This episode of Utilizing Edge brings Jimmy Fusil of Tsecond into a discussion with Alastair Cooke and Stephen Foskett about the unique data challenges in media and entertainment. There is a great need for local processing, secure data transport, and efficient storage utilization in managing the ever-increasing volume of data generated during film and TV production. The podcast explores the continued relevance of physical media, like tape, for long-term archiving, while also emphasizing the security measures necessary to protect creative privacy and prevent potential plot leaks in the industry. Fusil also discusses Tsecond’s groundbreaking product, Bryck, a portable NVMe storage device capable of holding up to a petabyte of data with a remarkable 40GBps data transfer speed. The discussion highlights how Bryck’s high-performance storage facilitates on-device data processing, ensuring quick backups and maintaining data integrity. It’s critical to consider edge storage solutions like Bryck in many data-intensive sectors beyond media and entertainment as well.