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Embracing FlexPod for generative AI

a game changer in tech deployment
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Sriram Sagi
Sriram Sagi

In the rapidly changing world of artificial intelligence, businesses are always on the lookout for effective and scalable ways to implement generative AI (GenAI) use cases. The latest innovations from FlexPod®, a validated reference architecture from Cisco and NetApp, now support GenAI fine tuning and inferencing, making it attractive for companies that are  looking to seamlessly incorporate cutting-edge AI features.

Innovative architecture for generative AI

FlexPod Datacenter for AI provides a converged infrastructure that is optimized for GenAI workloads in enterprise IT operations. Building on the popular FlexPod Datacenter platform, the solution includes the Cisco UCS X-Series Modular System with Cisco UCS X-Series compute nodes and ® AFF A-Series and C-Series and flash storage arrays with NetApp ONTAP® data management software. ® AFF A-Series and C-Series and flash storage arrays with NetApp ONTAP® data management software. 

FlexPod AI offers a range of advantages to help streamline the integration of intelligence into an organization’s infrastructure. It simplifies AI setup by offering integrated resources and accessible support whenever needed. Moreover, FlexPod AI makes deploying AI simple by providing designs and automation tools to reduce potential errors. It also allows integration of NVIDIA AI into VMware and Red Hat OpenShift environments, supporting both Kubernetes and virtual machines for flexible resource utilization. And it prioritizes security with measures like secure separation, device hardening, encryption, micro segmentation, and a Zero Trust architecture to safeguard data and manage threats effectively.

Deploying GenAI with confidence

With FlexPod, enterprises can harness the power of open-source large language models (LLMs), such as those provided by Hugging Face, to create transformative AI use cases within a private, secure environment. By using these pretrained models, companies can jumpstart their AI initiatives, customizing and fine tuning the models on their proprietary datasets to address specific business needs.

To protect sensitive corporate data, enterprises can deploy these models within their FlexPod infrastructure, maintaining complete control over data access and compliance with data privacy regulations. Additionally, by using techniques such as federated learning, differential privacy, and homomorphic encryption, businesses can further enhance the security of their data while still benefiting from the advances in AI. This approach allows organizations to innovate rapidly, improve operational efficiency, and gain competitive advantages, all while upholding stringent data privacy standards. 

 “FlexPod Datacenter with Generative AI Inferencing” is the latest validated design document, which offers design and deployment guidance for implementing FlexPod Datacenter with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, NVIDIA GPUs, and NVIDIA AI Enterprise software as a platform for running GenAI inferencing. This document describes best practice configuration of both FlexPod and the additional components to support GenAI inferencing. 

A unified platform for GenAI

FlexPod design goes beyond optimizing hardware; it offers a solution that covers monitoring, orchestration and automation across virtualization, storage, and networking components. This all-inclusive strategy means that businesses can confidently implement AI applications, with assistance and a flexible, reliable platform.

With FlexPod, the future is now.

Businesses face challenges in incorporating GenAI technology. Because of its dependable and adaptable nature, FlexPod is a standout option. Its capacity to create an option for companies seeking to use GenAI for a competitive edge. FlexPod brings the future of AI implementation from a vision to reality poised to revolutionize enterprise functionalities. 

For more information about the FlexPod GenAI solution, check out these references. 

Sriram Sagi

Sriram Sagi is a principal product manager for FlexPod. He joined NetApp in 2022 with 15+ years of experience in enterprise products. Before NetApp, Sriram led product and technology teams and shipped multiple products. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering and an MBA from Duke University.

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