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In today’s tech landscape, it’s impossible to escape the buzz surrounding artificial intelligence (AI). From industry events to corporate boardrooms, discussions about AI are omnipresent. As companies attend events like Mobile World Congress (MWC), the anticipation of encountering AI-related innovations is palpable. But amid the excitement, one question looms large: What do we do with AI? AI Ops is an area in the networking domain that Opengear envisions will have an enormous impact on network operations and operational efficiency. But AI Ops requires a software-defined flexible network control plane along with independent secure remote access for provisioning, orchestration, management, and remediation.

AI’s transformative potential is undeniable, yet its roots extend decades back. Yet it was the convergence of Moore’s Law (which posits that the number of transistors on an integrated circuit doubles every two years) and the development of Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) that truly unlocked its power. These advancements provided the computational muscle necessary for AI to flourish.

However, beneath the surface lies a fierce battle royale for dominance in GPU data centers, where large language models reign supreme. At the heart of this struggle lies the networking infrastructure that interconnects these powerful GPUs. Unlike traditional compute loads, AI workloads (particularly those involving large language models like GPT) introduce a unique challenge known as “elephant flows” – massive data chunks that strain conventional Ethernet networking, leading to congestion and latency issues. While the Ethernet denizens contend this is a solved problem, and it may well be, there is another contender.

Enter High-Performance Computing (HPC) networking. This is epitomized by InfiniBand, a low-latency protocol designed to handle elephant flows efficiently. While NVIDIA, the leader in GPU technology, offers InfiniBand switches, it also hedged its bets by partnering with networking giant Cisco.

Cisco, renowned for its Ethernet switching solutions, argues that InfiniBand lacks scalability for the burgeoning demands of GPU data centers. In their recent partnership announcement, Cisco’s emphasis on Ethernet underscores the importance of this debate. The stage is set for a showdown between established Ethernet infrastructure and the upstart InfiniBand technology.

But amidst the clash of titans, what does this mean for network management within GPU data centers? Herein lies the crux: While InfiniBand switches often lack console management ports, a staple in Ethernet networks, they have Ethernet management ports and solutions like Opengear’s Smart Management Fabric bridge this gap. By providing an independent overlay management network, Opengear ensures seamless connectivity for both Ethernet and serial management, regardless of the victor in the battle royale.

In the end, the outcome of this showdown may hinge on the chip manufacturers supplying both sides of the conflict, strategically hedging their bets. Yet, for Opengear, the ultimate winner matters less than providing robust network management solutions for the evolving needs of GPU data centers.

As the battle rages on, Opengear stands ready with a steadfast commitment to innovation in secure remote access for provisioning, orchestration, management, and remediation. After all, in the ever-shifting landscape of technology, adaptation and agility reign supreme.

Contact Opengear today to strengthen your network resilience.