AI helps enterprises to reduce their data center energy and emissions by optimizing power management

Rohit Singal, VP Sales - India & SAARC, Rahi

Edge computing plays an important role in increasing revenue by enabling businesses with the data transmission speed and network they require to try out new models. Large organizations are moving to edge computing solutions increasingly to enhance the operational efficiency of their businesses across the globe. Financial services, healthcare, autonomous cars network, mixed reality, IoT, IIoT etc, are moving to edge computing. Due to an increase in computing demand at the edge and a massive increase in data usage, edge computing has reached its pinnacle. Nidhi Shail Kujur of Elets News Network (ENN) spoke to Rohit Singal, VP Sales – India & SAARC, Rahi to know about how organizations are meeting the demands of today’s IT infrastructure with Edge computing.

Ques: What is the role of artificial intelligence and augmented reality in data center operations?

Ans: Artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) are commonly used in data centers, making them more energy-efficient, thermally optimized, and partial or fully autonomous. AI helps enterprises to reduce their data center energy and emissions by optimizing power management. AI can keep track of servers, storage, and networking equipment, ensure that systems are configured correctly, and predict when the equipment is headed towards downtime. AI can help in identifying and forecasting data failures by monitoring server performance and network congestion. AI systems can ‘learn’ how typical network traffic looks through machine learning, identify anomalies in the data, prioritize which alarms need security experts’ attention, assist with post-incident analysis, and provide suggestions for patching vulnerabilities.

AI automation can scale up to analyze huge amounts of data, gathering critical insights required for minimizing energy consumption, spreading workloads, and optimizing efficiency to achieve greater data-center resource utilization. AR can help in real-time data center infrastructure maintenance by allowing onsite workers and engineers to verify live data with a single click from anywhere across the globe with help of the internet. Real-time data can be shown on any device through 3D graphics, and this helps engineers to carry out maintenance work. AI and AR can transform data center architecture and allow for more automated and efficient data management.

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Ques: How are organizations meeting the demands of today’s IT infrastructure with Edge computing?

Ans: Edge computing was born to handle an immense amount of data as classic computers were not able to handle the sheer volume of data and its complexities. Edge computing is a distributed computing framework that is used for computation while keeping data storage closer to sources of data. Edge computing has faster accessibility, scalability, enhanced performance and real-time analytics and insights. With the use of edge computing, the amount of transmitted data is greatly reduced, decreasing network traffic, and reducing bandwidth use and costs. Edge computing allows a remote server or data center to act independently, irrespective of outages or connectivity to the central data center. Organizations become more agile when edge computing removes the dependency on a central network as the network is not completely shut down. For example, in case of a cyberattack, the compromised section of the network can be disconnected before the complete network is compromised. Edge computing plays an important role in increasing revenue by enabling businesses with the data transmission speed and network they require to try out new models. Large organizations are moving to edge computing solutions increasingly to enhance the operational efficiency of their businesses across the globe. Financial services, healthcare, autonomous cars network, mixed reality, IoT, IIoT etc, are moving to edge computing. Due to an increase in computing demand at the edge and a massive increase in data usage, edge computing has reached its pinnacle.

Ques: What are the key components that need to be considered while redesigning the post-pandemic workplace?

Ans: Most organizations had to shift to home or remote location models during the pandemic. Now, they’re taking a more strategic approach to the back-to-office process and hybrid IT infrastructure. For many organizations, there’s no real hurry, since remote work has been so successful, organizations have the luxury of time to plan and pace out the reopening of their offices. Many are taking advantage of this time to rethink their office design. While offices are still operating with a smaller workforce, empty enterprises are making much-needed improvements to their IT environment. It’s a great opportunity to elevate the physical IT infrastructure, refresh and upgrade equipment, and improve the audio/visual and collaboration experience.

The following six components are critical for the return-to-work process:
● Cabling: Many organizations have older Cat 5E cabling that they’ve been living with because replacing it is so disruptive. Now’s the perfect time to rip out that old infrastructure and install Cat 6 cabling to gain greater performance. Some organizations are even moving to fiber-optic cabling, particularly in their core network infrastructure. Organizations that are moving into smaller office spaces or opening satellite offices need new cabling in those facilities. Still, others need cabling to run to new “hotel” office spaces and cubicles to support a hybrid work model.

● Wi-Fi: Replacing Wi-Fi access points (APs) isn’t as troublesome as running physical cabling, but it’s still a good project to take on while offices remain empty. Network engineers can upgrade the wireless LAN to the latest Wi-Fi 6 technology and perform heat maps and other tests to ensure adequate coverage and capacity. Many organizations are implementing cloud-based wireless management tools to simplify administration.

● Network: By replacing their core network routers and switches, organizations can gain greater performance, reliability, and scalability. They’ll have more network ports and bandwidth to provide the capacity needed to meet today’s user and application demands. The latest networking gear has the quality-of-service features that improve the user experience, and a streamlined management interface with automation capabilities.

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● Audio/Visual: A/V equipment is more important than ever with today’s hybrid work models. In addition to replacing failed equipment and faded screens, organizations should look at how they use A/V and collaboration technology. Simplified conference room scheduling systems and “one-touch” A/V solutions can increase productivity and user satisfaction. Organizations are also looking to upgrade image and sound quality for an improved collaboration experience.

● Global Standards: Organizations commonly have different IT architectures and equipment in their various offices. The refresh process offers an excellent opportunity to establish global standards for structured cabling, conference room setups, and more. This makes support easier and provides a blueprint for extending the IT environment into new facilities.

Ques: Why is there a growing demand for hyper-converged storage solutions from enterprises?
Ans: The growing demand for software-defined storage and hybrid cloud has resulted in the growth of hyper-converged storage solutions. The increasing trend of moving toward edge computing has also contributed to the adoption of hyper-converged storage.

Remote working has become the new normal since 2020 and will continue as some organizations have already announced that they will have a part of their workforce permanently work remotely. Hyper-converged storage is perfect for remote working as well as retail settings. It scales down to the need for a public cloud and is extremely cost-effective compared to other storage solutions. Hyper-converged storage can streamline and simplify data storage and IT operations for organizations of all sizes.

Ques: Cybersecurity has become a key priority for enterprises today. What are the new security trends that will help in reshaping the industry?

Ans: Cyberattacks have increased in the recent past due to digital adoption and with the rise in the number of users going online. We believe that 2022 will see an increase in cyberattacks. Below are the security trends to watch out for in 2022.

Rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service: From the start of the pandemic and later due to the war in Ukraine, there has been a rise in cyber breaches. With more and more people working remotely, the ransomware threat is looming large over organizations. The hackers are taking advantage of the vulnerable networks to access and control data. Today, cybercriminals are developing malware to attack enterprise networks and then demand a ransom to release the data. Further, it is important to educate employees about identifying compromised emails and protecting devices from ransomware attacks. Organizations should on a regular basis practice some cybersecurity drills by conducting simulated ransomware activity and sending compromised emails and attachments to employees is a great way to create awareness and alert them. Attachments in phishing emails, mainly Word, Excel, PDFs, and PowerPoint, may compromise the security of an organization. Ransomware can be prevented if employees are trained enough to identify and report any malicious activity on the network.

Supply chain attacks: Supply chain attacks are a relatively new but highly effective type of attack that targets software code. Organizations should deploy policies that allow only authorized applications to avoid supply chain attacks. Organizations should also check each application for any vulnerability and follow a zero-trust security approach.

Elevated security for cloud adoption: Cloud has become essential in the remote and hybrid work environments. A lot of security issues are related to the cloud due to infinite access points that can be attacked easily. Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASBs) will help to eliminate risks involved with the cloud environment. The security framework of CASBs is different from that of firewalls and access gateways as they provide.

Cloud governance, risk assessment, and management
Increased control over cloud applications and features
User and entity behavior analytics for threat prevention
Auditing, data encryption, and malware detection