Forward Networks – The Tale of an Aptly Named Company

In Ryan Lambert’s LinkedIn Pulse article he delves into the capabilities of Forward Networks, a company he says lives up to its name. The company creates a Digital Twin of network data, encompassing router configurations, route tables, and firewall policies. Lambert emphasizes the practicality of this approach, enabling users to gain insights into network behavior, potential vulnerabilities, and operational breakdowns.


Taking on AI Inferencing With 5th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable Processors

Intel’s 5th Generation Xeon Scalable Processor, known as Emerald Rapids, offers an advantageous solution for AI inferencing, providing a compelling alternative to GPUs in certain applications. Highlighted during the AI Field Day event, Intel showcased the processor’s suitability for general-purpose AI workloads, especially for private AI deployments requiring lower latency and mixed workloads. In his presentation, Ro Shah illustrated that Xeon CPUs are well-equipped to handle AI models with fewer than 20 billion parameters, making them a cost-effective and efficient choice for many enterprises. Read more in this article from Gestalt IT.


Replacing Human-Driven Automation With One That Is Event-Driven, With Cisco

In a move to enhance network management efficiency, Cisco is replacing the existing human-driven automation with an innovative event-driven approach. Network controllers centralize operations by maintaining an inventory of network states, and event-driven automation streamlines this further by automating responses to network changes, reducing manual intervention and speeding up the resolution process. Cisco’s event-driven solutions were explored in detail at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live EMEA 2024, promising elevated operational capabilities with a focus on observability and swift auto-configuration. Read more in this article from Gestalt IT.


Policy Management Gets Easier With Cisco AI Assistant

Cisco’s AI Assistant, unveiled at Tech Field Day Extra at Cisco Live EMEA 2024, promises to revolutionize policy management within Secure Access, offering swift and reliable creation and enforcement of security policies. Emphasizing simplicity and risk reduction, the AI tool handles English language prompts to generate comprehensive policies, demonstrating its capability to securely augment and automate IT administrator tasks. Showcasing AI’s monitoring role, Cisco Secure Access also ensures protected use of AI tools within organizations, preventing sensitive data breaches and incorporating intelligent user access control.


Insights From the AI Field Day: A Futurum Group Overview

In this LinkedIn Pulse article, Paul Nashawaty of The Futurum Group summarizes all of the AI Field Day presentations, highlighting VMware’s deep dive into Private AI in collaboration with industry giants like NVIDIA and IBM, and Intel’s focus on deploying AI inference models with Xeon CPUs across diverse environments. Next-generation AI-infused storage solutions from Solidigm and SuperMicro underscored the critical role of optimized storage in AI, while Vast Data focused on addressing the growing data demands of AI and HPC workloads. Google Cloud’s session on AI platforms and infrastructures showcased innovative approaches with Kubernetes at the core, paving the way for accessible and powerful AI development and deployment.


“AI Assist” Is Better Than “AI Do It for Me”

John Herbert feels cautious towards AI, particularly when entrusting it with network control, advocating for human oversight to validate AI-generated solutions. But he appreciates Forward Networks’ AI Assist feature for creating natural language queries that help users engage with the company’s Network Query Engine (NQE), while retaining the option for manual evaluation and tweaking. Furthermore, Herbert finds value in the Summary Assist tool, which provides natural language explanations of NQE queries, enhancing user understanding and trust in the AI’s output.


From Server Farm to Table: How Nature Fresh Uses AI and CPUs to Improve Crop Yields

At AI Field Day 4, Keith Bradley from Nature Fresh Farms highlighted the practical application of AI in agriculture, revealing how the company utilizes AI models and data from IoT devices to boost crop yields significantly. As Jim Davis writes, Nature Fresh Farms’ unique approach relies heavily on edge computing with Intel Xeon CPUs for AI inferencing, debunking common misconceptions that AI always requires cloud connectivity or GPU resources. Bradley’s presentation emphasized the critical importance of IT system reliability in the agricultural sector, where even brief periods of downtime can result in substantial losses.


Transforming Enterprise AI: A Deep Dive Into VMware’s Private AI by Broadcom

At AI Field Day 4, VMware demonstrated a significant shift towards Private AI, emphasizing the need for balance between AI innovation and stringent data privacy in enterprise environments. As Ken Collins writes, the introduction of VMware’s Private AI Foundation showcases an ecosystem developed for flexibility, enabling companies to bring AI closer to their data across different environments. As the enterprise AI landscape evolves, VMware’s strategic partnership with NVIDIA and emphasis on internal AI applications position the company as a key player in an era where data privacy, choice, and performance are paramount.


Qlik Presents About AI on AIFD4

At AI Field Day, Qlik unveiled their comprehensive AI strategy, focusing on enabling customers to tackle the complexity and scale of AI integration into their operations with solutions like predictive analytics, AutoML, and their 170K-strong model portfolio. With initiatives like Qlik Staige, the company facilitates the use of AI for those new to the field, using established algorithms and bringing structured and unstructured data together for added value. Read more about the Qlik presentation in this LinkedIn Pulse article by Gina Rosenthal!


VAST Data Upends Storage in the AI Era

Allyson Klein offers an insightful look at VAST Data’s innovative approach to the AI data pipeline, a process crucial for preparing data for AI training, through their advanced NAS solution spotlighted at AI Field Day. VAST Data’s platform addresses the challenges organizations face with data prep and movement in AI, proven by their success in the HPC sphere and their natural progression into supporting AI training clusters.


Google Cloud Talks AI Trends at AIFD4

During AI Field Day 4, Google Cloud positioned AI as the next major platform shift, emphasizing its role following the internet and mobile, and highlighted their impressive data store capabilities including every search query since the inception of their browser. Google Cloud’s adoption of generative AI and the introduction of Google Gemini and DeepMind’s open model Gemma signal a strong continuation of their open-source ethos, enhancing AI scalability and accessibility. As noted by Allyson Klein in this article, the presentation also underscored Google’s commitment to supporting a diverse AI ecosystem, showcasing extensive compatibility across major silicon platforms, even as the event focused on Intel’s technology.


VAST Data Operationalizing AI

At AI Field Day 4, Keith Townsend engaged with VAST Data’s John Mao and Neeloy Bhattacharyya to discuss the company’s innovative architecture that separates the persistent data layer from stateless logic, optimizing access patterns and improving data preparation efficiency for AI applications. Gina Rosenthal highlights their global namespace approach and the unique “VAST DataBase” system, they are streamlining data availability and scalability across the pipeline.


New Networking Ideas at Networking Field Day 34

Networking Field Day 34 is February 28! It promises to showcase Forward Networks’ AI-driven network operations tools, Aviz Networks’ SONiC-based enterprise solutions, and NaaS insights from Nile. With a blend of newcomer energy and returning expertise, the event offers live presentations, interactive delegate discussions on pressing industry topics, and opportunities for the audience to engage with innovative network technologies. Tune into the live stream on the event page or the Tech Field Day LinkedIn page, engage with the conversation using the event hashtag, and catch up on sessions afterward on the Tech Field Day YouTube channel.


Google Cloud at Intel Day @ #AIFD4

At AI Field Day, Google Cloud’s Brandon Royal presented insights into AI platforms and infrastructure, emphasizing the shift from the internet to mobile and AI. He introduced Gemini, Google’s multi-modal model, and unveiled Gemma, a family of lightweight models. Royal discussed safety measures and highlighted GKE’s role in AI, covering CPUs, GPUs, and TPUs. A demo showcased Gemma on GKE supporting 8K tokens. Ameer Abbas, Senior Product Manager at Google Cloud, focused on Developer and Operational Productivity with Duet AI, demonstrating code development and transformation capabilities for enterprise builders and developers. Read more in this LinkedIn Pulse article by Gina Rosenthal.


The Bedrock of AI Is Data With Nick Magnuson and Clive Bearman of Qlik

The latest Utilizing Tech podcast episode dives into the critical role of enterprise data integration for the success of generative AI, featuring insights from Qlik’s Nick Magnuson and Clive Bearman prior to their presentation at AI Field Day 4. They discuss the challenges enterprises face, such as preparing quality data for AI models and using machine learning to enhance data organization and tagging. The conversation also explores the potential of large language models to democratize data querying, underscoring the importance of curated data in the AI-driven future.


VMware by Broadcom Presents Private AI With Intel at AI Field Day 4

During AI Field Day 4, VMware stepped up to showcase how Intel AMX CPUs can be leveraged for Large Language Models (LLM) on vSphere, presenting a CPU-centric approach to AI tasks commonly handled by GPUs. As discussed by Gina Rosenthal, Earl Ruby of Broadcom (VCF) demonstrated the potential of Intel’s AMX technology in both older Ice Lake and newer Sapphire Rapids systems, achieving model fine-tuning and inference without the use of GPUs. This approach champions using CPUs for AI when feasible, reserving GPU use for scenarios demanding lower latency, and highlights the compatibility requirements for effectively implementing AI with Intel’s hardware in a vSphere environment.


Storage for AI: Data Professional Overview

The use of the term ‘data management’ is subject to varying interpretations between data professionals and storage providers, leading to some confusion when discussing the scope of services. Solidigm highlights the unique storage requirements for AI, as Karen Lopez wrote, emphasizing that AI servers need significantly more capacity and have specific data demands across different stages: Data ingest, Data prep, Training, Checkpointing, and Inference. As data professionals, our understanding of these distinct data workloads enables us to contribute valuably to discussions on data architecture, especially in collaboration with companies like Supermicro, who integrate these storage solutions into their AI server offerings.


Intel Modestly Lays Its Case for AI — Tech Arena

As Allyson Klein writes, Intel addressed their strategy for AI workloads at AI Field Day 4, discussing the strengths of CPUs in AI inference and the growing role of accelerators—a notably humble stance for the tech giant in the face of intensified competition in the AI silicon sector. With a focus on where CPUs excel and integrated AI acceleration technologies like Intel AMX, Intel is positioning themselves to cater to mid-market organizations looking for an accessible AI solution. Amid a rapidly evolving landscape, Intel’s efforts to balance core CPU advancements with accelerator development highlight their pursuit to maintain relevance and leadership within the AI optimization space.


Podcast – Season 6 – Season Opener

The Utilizing Tech podcast returns for another season focused on AI. Frederic Van Haren is co-hosting this season with Stephen Foskett, and discussions will delve into how enterprises integrate AI across various sectors, focusing on their infrastructural stack and data pipeline management. As AI cements its omnipresence in technology, this season promises to unpack its applications and influence in current and future markets.


Private AI Foundation With NVIDIA: Data Professional Overview

VMware by Broadcom, in partnership with NVIDIA, has introduced the Private AI Foundation, focusing on enhancing in-house data management and AI processing through privacy, choice, cost management, performance optimization, and compliance agility. As highlighted by Karen Lopez, data quality and protection are essential for accurate AI results, prompting data professionals to stay alert to components like vector databases for fast, complex data retrieval. Key takeaways emphasize the importance of not overlooking data fundamentals amidst AI advancements, reminding professionals that AI cannot replace the need for robust data management.