The Rising Impact of Processing Power on Digital Transformation

Writter: Kumara Raghavan, Director, Software Defined Infrastructure, Asia Pacific, Lenovo Data Center Group

Computing power has been an essential factor in the advancement of technology since the creation of the first computers over 80 years ago. We have come from computing simple arithmetic, word processing, powering the early versions of the World Wide Web – to the present status of computing power evident in the cloud, AI and other emerging technologies.

At present, the processing power of Central Processing Units (CPUs) has grown from thousands of Floating-Point Operations Per Second (FLOPS) to billions of FLOPS for devices such as smartphones and consoles and even quadrillions of FLOPS for supercomputers such as the Oak Ridge Titan. For businesses, the number lies somewhere in between those extremes as they utilise CPUs with enough computing power for their business operations, such as modern data centre workloads, virtualisation, cloud-computing environment and data analytic applications.

The role of GPUs has also grown significantly, especially in recent years. While some may still mainly associate GPUs with the processing of graphics for video games or 3D rendering, they are now enabling the acceleration of complex and resource-intensive technologies such as deep learning and AI.

CPUs and GPUs are powering transformational changes in the digital landscape and recent world events have boosted the reliance on technology for organisations across all industries. We have even seen years’ worth of digital transformation transpired in just a few short months as companies adapted to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adopting Technologies for Today and Well Into the Future
So how do CPUs and GPUs help enterprises accelerate their digital transformation? As organisations scrambled to enable work-from-home practices, for instance, we saw an increase in demand for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), software-defined solutions and powerful cloud-computing technologies, while huge chunks of workloads and communications were migrated online.

However, one technology that has seen accelerated growth and development since the pandemic hit is artificial intelligence. Let me give you a few examples. In e-commerce, which is thriving as consumers increasingly embrace online solutions to reduce persons-to-persons proximity and prevent the risk of infection, sellers now have more data than ever to empower AI to better understand customer preferences and shopping habits. Algorithms can be improved to provide personalised recommendations, make better predictions and, ultimately, generate more sales.

To cater to the large influx of clients, businesses are deploying AI-powered virtual customer-service agents. These computers are able to handle the bulk of customer enquiries; allowing human employees to focus on the more complex interactions, which will improve the level of customer service and satisfaction. Other AI branches, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), can be utilised to mimic the activity of human workers and handle repetitive tasks automatically to further reduce the amount of menial work carried out inside physical offices.

We can expect to see more innovative use cases and applications of AI coming over the horizon. But whether it is AI, machine learning, analytics or VDI, it is now an imperative for businesses to make technology a bigger part of their plans going forward.

How to Make Everything Run Better
One thing is for certain; applying these technologies will require more resources, such as higher bandwidth, bigger storage and most importantly, extra computing capacity.

While the cloud is giving businesses more options and access to powerful technologies, one cannot discount the importance of the on-prem data centre, which is where the heart and lifeblood of IT still lie for most businesses, especially in ASEAN.

Over the years, Lenovo DCG’s mission has been to provide organisations with the building blocks that ensure success in their digital transformation initiatives. Our ThinkSystem rack servers offer unmatched value, flexibility and industry-leading efficiency to meet mission-critical demands with legendary quality and reliability. Let’s take a look at a couple of variants:

  • ThinkSystem SR665 features exceptional performance and configuration capabilities to tackle key enterprise data centre workloads such as database, data analytics, virtualisation, VDI and HPC/AI solutions, supporting:

    • Two AMD EPYC 7002 processors.

    • Up to 32x 128GB TruDDR4 3200MHz memory.

    • Up to 8x PCIe 4.0 slots for I/O flexibility.

    • Up to 8x Single-width or 3x DW GPUs for graphics-intensive workloads.

    • Up to 32x low-latency NVMe drives for high-performance storage.

  • ThinkSystem SR655 is a 2U/1P rack server optimised for GPU-intensive and software-defined workloads. It supports:

    • One AMD EPYC 7002 Generation processor ideal for VDI, analytics and more.

    • Up to 16x 128GB TruDDR4 3200MHz 3DS RDIMM memory.

    • Up to 32x low-latency NVMe drives for high-performance storage.

    • Up to 6x SW GPUs for GPU-intensive workloads.

    • Up to 8x PCIe Gen4 slots for added I/O flexibility.

    • ThinkShield Security for better peace of mind from development to asset recovery.

To give you some perspective, the 2nd Gen AMD EPYC is a new breed of server processor which sets a higher standard for data centres. We installed the AMD EPYC in our servers because virtually everything runs better on this CPU: enterprise applications, virtualised and cloud-computing environments, software-defined infrastructure, high-performance computing and data analytic applications.

With AMD EPYC and GPU-enabled servers from Lenovo DCG, you can have a solid foundation for all your IT aspirations – with advanced security features and ground-breaking performance required to enable faster business insights and time to volume while optimising TCO.

So, whether we’re talking about technologies that you have deployed and will be deploying in the future, we at Lenovo DCG will provide you with the computing power to adapt to today’s challenges, navigate and prepare for what’s to come next.

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