Graphcore, the AI chip startup, has announced that it’s expanding collaboration with Microsoft to implement its intelligent processing units (IPUs) on Microsoft Azure cloud. This innovation will make Microsoft the first public cloud service provider that offers IPU for machine learning workloads. According to the partners’ reports, the testing of a sample server, equipped with eight Graphcore C2 IPU-processor PCIe cards, showed impressive results.
Gartner, the world’s leading research and advisory company, forecasts that the global public cloud services market will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years, as enterprises increasingly transition to the cloud to achieve their desired digital business outcomes. “Building, implementing and maturing cloud strategies will continue to be a top priority for years to come,” says Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner. This is no wonder at all - cloud services are capable of providing the speed and agility required for modern digital business processes. Moreover, moving a business to the cloud can lead to cost savings and even generate new sources of revenue.
Three years ago, Microsoft announced that it had successfully completed testing a fully autonomous data center module that operated underwater for three months. Phase 2 of Project Natick was launched in 2018 when Microsoft sank a 40 feet-long dock with 12 racks housing 864 datacenter servers in the North Sea off the Orkney Islands (Scotland). A little over a year has passed since then, and although it’s about now that Microsoft promised to report results, all it’s saying in this regard is that the test is still rolling.
IBM calls for a total rethinking of structuring memory subsystems in high-performance processors with its new serial Open Memory Interface (OMI) standard. The idea itself is not completely new though - there have already been attempts to introduce a serial memory standard instead of a traditional parallel one. Take, for instance, the FB-DIMM standard that didn’t last long due to the high energy consumption and heat dissipation of the buffer chip on each memory module. A similar scheme is currently utilized by the IBM’s POWER8 and POWER9 SU processors.
Eni, an Italian multinational oil and gas company, has announced its intention to update its existing supercomputer system, HPC4, to a new HPC5 machine. HPC4 was first introduced at the opening of Eni’s Green Data Center in January 2018, proudly carrying the title of the world’s most powerful industrial supercomputer.
On Friday, October 25, the US Department of Defense announced that Microsoft had won the Pentagon’s large cloud computing contract for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) project. Under the terms of this agreement, the Pentagon is intended to invest $10 billion in the development of cloud infrastructure and the launch of various services, including IaaS (infrastructure as a service) and PaaS (platform as a service) solutions that will help the agency to analyze and process large amounts of confidential military data.
An increasingly growing number of news messages reporting widely discussed computer network hacks and massive credential leaks highlight the problems associated with using passwords for security. Users either choose simple easy-to-guess passwords or tend to use the same password every time there is a need to come up with something more complex. And it’s easy to see why: nobody wants to stuff their memory with long sophisticated passwords.
On Monday October 21, SAP and Microsoft announced a new collaboration that is aligned with their mutual goal to facilitate the process of driving enterprise customers’ operations to the cloud. Through the partnership dubbed Project Embrace, the companies intend to accelerate and simplify customer adoption of SAP S/ 4HANA and SAP Cloud Platform on the Microsoft Azure cloud. Microsoft will sell components of SAP Cloud Platform alongside Azure.
Hitachi Vantara, an enterprise storage array business, has announced the addition of the VSP 5000 series to its premium storage line-up. The company claims this launch to be the world’s fastest solution of its kind. Currently, the series includes two models: the VSP 5100 and the more capacious VSP 5500.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced the onset of a new initiative - The National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes program that aims to considerably boost AI research and accelerate the progress of AI-based innovation by enabling researchers to focus on large, long-term research projects.