AI: Networks Will Soon Be Thinking For Themselves


AI (Artificial Intelligence) has fuelled the imaginations of science-fiction enthusiasts for decades. It has also seeped in genuinely useable and sophisticated forms in the gaming and entertainment industries over the last few years.

Now, there is talk of AI becoming a staple addition to network and data centre management, and the wheels are already in motion. In fact, one huge internet corporation already uses Artificial Intelligence for this very application and it looks like AI is going to augment the networking industry and change it for ever.

What is AI?

AI is a device or program that can perform tasks that would normally need a human. An AI machine must be capable of interpreting data to form its own conclusions and, in an application sense, react accordingly. AI makes decisions based on data, whether that data comes from its surroundings or is purely literal or mathematical; the important attribute is being able to process information to make a conclusion.

How could AI affect businesses and corporations

There is large scope within the arena of research and development for AI to augment or even replace the current human input. The prediction of short and long-term strategic decisions, for instance, is an area that has some experts very excited indeed. AI could be used to make accurate, long-term decisions in manufacturing, the use of materials and wastage and for environmental considerations.

Some executives are already using AI to predict market trends and how situations will react to specific business decisions or other internal or external influences. AI programs are able to compile data from a vast array of different sources and then predict the outcomes of corporate announcements, shifts in the market and even internal policy.

How is AI affecting Data Centre management right now?

These applications of AI are now finding their way into the world of networks and data centres. In conjunction with data centre infrastructure management (DCIM), technologies that analyse power, cooling and the planning of data centre capacity are set to become more and more common over the coming years. There are also moves into using AI to assess, monitor and report on the overall health critical systems and predict future problems.

Googles acquisition of the AI start-up, Deepmind, in 2014 was seen as a major step towards the future of AI influencing data centre management. Google actually uses Deepmind and programs associated with it to lower costs and improve efficiency within its own data centres. For instance, an AI engine derived from Deepmind automatically manages power usage in parts of Google’s data centres by looking for and reporting on inefficiencies across some 120 data centre variables. These include fans, cooling systems, storage, hardware and software.

By using this AI strategy, Google has reduced its total data centre power consumption by up to 15%; saving the company hundreds of millions of dollars. This was on top of the 40% already saved by using AI to refine cooling processes across their global data centre locations.

It seems that AI is directly lowering large corporations bottom lines and this is reason enough to expect the rest of the world’s businesses to follow suit over the coming years. 2017, may well be remembered as the year AI first became an unquestionable part of data centre development.


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