David Wang is CEO of Wave2Wave Solution.
As technology innovation continues to move forward, we are seeing what was once just thought of as fiction turn into reality. Technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) are starting to become tangible, finding applications in a variety of places. An October 2016 IDC Spending Guide found that cognitive/AI solutions will experience a CAGR of 55.1 percent over 2016-2020. A Forrester 2017 predictions report said that AI will “drive faster business decisions in marketing, e-commerce, product management, and other areas of the business by helping close the gap from insights to action.”
While the thought of AI making its way into everything may scare some, it overall excites me for the future and not for reasons that many are considering now. What excites me is how AI can be leveraged in the data center.
AI can potentially bring a great deal of benefit to the data center, specifically when layered onto robotics, deployed to make physical adjustments to the network. Robotics present a very compelling case and can be leveraged to not only give IT better control of the physical connections within the network, but also have extended benefits like significantly improved security incident response. Matching these two together in the data center can enhance security, speed, decrease expenses, and more. Let’s first take a look at, why robotics?
Robotic Automation in the Data Center
Last year, the trend of deploying robots to automate the management of physical connections within the network infrastructure began to emerge. With this, we saw benefits such as a simpler and more dynamic data center network infrastructure, decrease in security concerns and increase in reaction time, future-proofing of critical infrastructure, and decreased operational costs.
Along with these benefits, incorporation of robotic automation also aids IT staff in quickly quarantining threats by eliminating connections to other systems remotely. For instance, during a security threat, IT managers can easily send a software command to the robots in the data center, and with the click of a button manage hundreds of fiber connections.
When it comes to setting up and building a more robust and simple network, robotic technology that can connect or disconnect a network connection physically and quickly, introduces more security and manageability, as well as increases peace of mind. When actively deployed robotic technology allows IT staff to focus on more high-level business and projects, increasing productivity and creating a more automated environment. Pairing this with the capabilities of AI will only increase benefits and enhance the data center.
Adding In AI
As data continues to grow, this type of innovation in the data center is crucial to its success as well as the ability of IT admins and managers to keep up. By deploying AI and robotics alongside each other, switching of connections within the network will be able to occur based on network settings and real-time traffic. This will free up even more time for network operators, as they won’t need to monitor and direct these adjustments manually. Businesses will be able to leverage insights derived from AI to optimize performance of data-based operations, adjust workflows, and extend their physical infrastructure.
By itself, if AI were to identify a possible security breach in traffic monitoring there would be little it could do to quarantine the infected systems, leading to malware, viruses or ransomware spreading until an IT admin could cut off the pathways physically. Additionally, robotics alone can’t make the needed adjustments. They allow for data center operators to make adjustments without having to do so by hand, but they require direction before an action can be taken.
With AI layered on top of robotic technology the adjustments to the physical connections that need to be made within the network can be made automatically once a need is required, significantly reducing a threat’s ability to spread, while IT investigates the issue. It’s here that I find AI and robotics particularly exciting as to what they can bring, together, to the future of the data center.
The path forward for data centers to become more efficient, cost effective, and secure, is to layer AI on top of robotic automation technology. Robotics have already started to make their way in to the data center and AI is currently seen in other areas within the data center. The combination of these two technologies in the changing of physical connections in the network infrastructure will alter the future of networks and data.
Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Penton.