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Your Guide to Everything AI at NetApp Insight 2019

Santosh Rao

NetApp Insight 2019 is happening October 28-30 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. At this year’s event you’ll hear from experts on how to fuel data-driven innovation on the world’s biggest clouds, learn how industry leaders modernize IT, and be able to take part in immersive breakout sessions, certification programs, and hands-on labs. At this year’s event, NetApp is also focusing on AI use cases in major industries and showcasing our expanding ecosystem of best-of-breed AI partners and a full range of AI hardware and software solutions.

From autonomous vehicles to precision medicine to financial services, the pace and momentum of AI development continues to increase. NetApp’s goal is to help companies simplify and accelerate AI infrastructure deployment and remove bottlenecks to ensure AI projects are successful and as painless as possible. In addition, NetApp is focused on helping customers in targeted industries clear a path to meaningful AI adoption.

We are joining forces with a rapidly growing ecosystem of the most innovative AI solution partners, including deep collaboration with NVIDIA to develop ONTAP AI and other solutions. NVIDIA is an Insight sponsor and will be an active participant at this year’s event.

NetApp AI Solutions: Industry Focus

At NetApp, we recognize that—while AI is important in every industry—the uses cases from one industry to the next vary in significant ways. A solution architected for a particular use case may not be ideal for other use cases—or similar use cases in other industries.

That’s why much of our effort is focused on the AI needs of specific industries including automotive, healthcare, financial services, public sector, retail, telco, and media. We believe this type of work is critical and has been largely overlooked by other storage vendors up to now.

Reference architectures and other solutions will help teams in these industries build out effective AI pipelines more quickly with less effort.

AI Reference Architecture for Autonomous Vehicle Development

In collaboration with NVIDIA, NetApp is developing an end-to-end reference architecture (RA) for all aspects of autonomous vehicle (AV) development—from training, to validation, to archiving and compliance. The first RA release will offer directional guidance for building an AI infrastructure using ONTAP AI incorporating NVIDIA DGX-1 systems and NetApp AFF storage. The RA will include performance information and sizing recommendations.

At present there are three releases planned:

  • Release 1—Model Training. Data types in automotive applications vary widely. Model training requirements vary depending on data types and affect the performance of both compute and storage systems. Model training performance is validated by NetApp using various publicly available datasets to represent and test a variety of workload types.
  • Release 2—Object Storage and Data Movement. AV programs can generate a huge amount of data. With flash storage serving as a cache, object storage can provide huge capacity at a much lower cost per gigabyte, with advantages in terms of immutability. AV datasets are maintained in object storage to ensure repeatability, accountability, and traceability. Integrating a data fabric across edge, core, and cloud streamlines the flow of data and our unified data management supports seamless, cost effective data movement.
  • Release 3—Validation. Trained models must be tested and validated using simulation prior to real-world testing.

Release 1 of the RA will soon be complete, and has been described in the NetApp technical report TR-4799: NetApp ONTAP AI for Autonomous Driving Workloads: Solution Design. Other releases will follow.

NVIDIA is a Sponsor at Insight

At a fundamental level, AI is about data. The combination of NVIDIA GPUs and NetApp data management technology is an ideal pairing for AI and other GPU-accelerated projects. The two companies have established a strategic partnership to collaborate across engineering, product, and industry teams to create comprehensive reference architectures that include compute, storage, networking, HCI and cloud platforms. We continue to partner to expand the range of ONTAP AI and other joint solutions, including a reference architecture that incorporates Mellanox Spectrum 100GbE Switches. (To see the full reference architecture access NVA-1138.)

NVIDIA is a sponsor of NetApp Insight this year with a booth on the show floor as well as a number of sponsored and co-sponsored sessions and events. In addition to AI, NVIDIA will be demonstrating other GPU computing solutions and vGPUs for graphics acceleration in virtual desktop environments. The latest NVIDIA hardware and software solutions will be on-hand, including an inside look at the NVIDIA DGX-2.

To learn more about NVIDIA events at NetApp Insight 2019, check out NVIDIA’s pre-show blog.

AI Solutions Showcase

At Insight this year, a large area in the NetApp Insight Pavilion will be dedicated to AI with several dedicated, interactive kiosks.

The topics covered at these kiosks include:

  • Automotive, healthcare, financial services, and public sector use cases. Featured use cases include:
    • Autonomous driving
    • Medical imaging
    • Genome sequence analysis
    • Fraud detection
  • NetApp data pipeline technologies that enable an edge to core to cloud strategy.
  • The complete NetApp AI solutions portfolio including ONTAP AI, FlexPod AI, NetApp HCI with T4 GPUs, and NetApp E-Series.
  • A demo showing ONTAP running on an NVIDIA Jetson Nano GPU with a camera doing basic facial recognition to predict age and do sentiment analysis at the edge, efficient transfer of the data to the Cloud, face-clustering of image files on a compute instance in the Cloud on that data and display of the faces along with the associated metadata on a simple web page.
  • A Kubeflow demo, detailing integrations with NetApp data management and data protection capabilities via Trident to make deployments of AI/ML workflows on Kubernetes simple, portable, and scalable. (See NetApp TR-4798: AI at Scale with Trident, Kubernetes, and Kubeflow for more information.)
  • Software partners.
  • Colocation partners.

Software partners

Software partners featured in the AI Solutions Showcase include:

    • Allegro has created an end-to-end deep learning lifecycle management platform. Combined with ONTAP AI, the allegro platform can train AI models faster and more efficiently. We will highlight accelerated training for computer vision algorithms for both classification and semantic segmentation.
    • This AI innovator is the creator of the H2O open source machine learning platform, trusted by hundreds of thousands of data scientists in over 18,000 enterprises globally. enables machine learning at scale, both on-prem and in the cloud.
    • Parabricks. Parabricks develops software solutions for genomics, delivering up to a 50x speedup on sequencing workloads when running on ONTAP AI. Capabilities of solutions for whole genome sequencing will be on display.
    • SQream. SQream has redefined big data analytics with SQream DB, a complementary SQL data warehouse harnessing the power of GPU to enable fast, flexible, and cost-efficient analysis of massive datasets. We will share SQream performance numbers running the TPC-H decision support benchmark with data on a NetApp AFF A800 array.
    • OmniSci. OmniSci (formerly MapD) is a pioneer in GPU-accelerated analytics, enabling businesses and government to rapidly find insights in data beyond the limits of mainstream analytics tools.

OmniSci representatives will be joining us at Insight to demonstrate software integration with NetApp for real-time IoT analytics and machine learning. Demonstrations will include:

    • NYC Taxi Rides. Explore every taxi ride in NYC over a 7-year period with this data visualization, constituting 1.2 billion trips.
    • Shipping Traffic. Track ships through US coastal waters using a distributed cluster of the OmniSciDB, featuring over 11 billion rows of AIS (Automated Identification System) telemetry data, courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Get direct access to these and other OmniSci demos at To learn more about OmniSci and NetApp:

Colocation Partners

NetApp colocation partners expand the range of available AI consumption models. Participating partners this year will include:

    • Core Scientific. NetApp, NVIDIA, and Core Scientific offer a cloud-style “as-a-service” solution that combines powerful data science tools and DevOps functionality with GPU compute power and data pipeline management in an OpEx consumption model. Offerings range from an aiLab for data scientists to hosting of dedicated hardware consisting of highly available GPU compute and all-flash storage.
    • Flexential. Flexential provides an ONTAP AI-Ready data center that makes accessing and acquiring AI infrastructure easier. Solutions are pre-optimized and ready to use. Choose from:
      • ONTAP AI Test Drive. Try out ONTAP AI with no obligation and without the overhead of shipping or installation.
      • ONTAP AI-Ready. Eliminate the burden of creating and maintaining an AI-ready data center by leaving it to the experts.
    • ScaleMatrix. Delivering the power density and cooling necessary for the latest high-performance GPUs is one of the challenges that comes with scaling AI projects. NetApp has partnered with ScaleMatrix to deliver ONTAP AI as a plug-and-play solution that can be deployed anywhere, providing a self-contained environment, with guaranteed air flow, integrated security, and fire and noise suppression. ScaleMatrix solutions are ideal for AI and other high-performance workloads, including edge inferencing in retail, healthcare, and manufacturing. Options include mobile (R-Series) and modular (S-Series) cabinets.

Don’t Miss These Breakout Sessions

Among the almost 40 AI-related breakout sessions this year are the following “don’t miss” sessions:

See the full list of NetApp Insight AI Sessions

Additional Information

VIP Customer Meetings

Meet with a NetApp executive or technical expert in a collaborative meeting customized to your needs. Possible discussion topics:

    • How to accelerate your digital transformation
    • Artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning
    • Data and cloud mobility
    • Data integrity and stewardship across resources
    • NetApp Data Fabric architecture

Contact your sales representative to request a meeting.

Santosh Rao

Santosh Rao is a Senior Technical Director and leads the AI & Data Engineering Full Stack Platform at NetApp. In this role, he is responsible for the technology architecture, execution and overall NetApp AI business. Santosh previously led the Data ONTAP technology innovation agenda for workloads and solutions ranging from NoSQL, big data, virtualization, enterprise apps and other 2nd and 3rd platform workloads. He has held a number of roles within NetApp and led the original ground up development of clustered ONTAP SAN for NetApp as well as a number of follow-on ONTAP SAN products for data migration, mobility, protection, virtualization, SLO management, app integration and all-flash SAN. Prior to joining NetApp, Santosh was a Master Technologist for HP and led the development of a number of storage and operating system technologies for HP, including development of their early generation products for a variety of storage and OS technologies.

View all Posts by Santosh Rao

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