A Checklist for Building AI Workstations

Checklist for AI HPC Hardware/Cluster

Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to have become the buzzword of the last decade and not without good reason. Some of the most notable technological advancements over the last 10 years can be attributed to emerging, robust (review link comment to Wikipedia)– many that have settled into our daily lives without us even noticing their arrival.

This is why it’s not uncommon for firms to leverage AI-focused workstations as a critical part of their AI workflows. AI workstations can handle all of the core AI processes that are needed for a variety of industries including engineering, manufacturing, medical, energy, higher education institutional research, earth sciences and more. The sky is truly the limit with workstations empowered by artificial intelligence and  , but this is only true when those AI workstations are developed with a thorough understanding of your business and vertical market. Firms deploying AI workstations need vendors that understand their unique workflow and business demands. The artificial intelligence partner needs to be able to digest this information and then utilize it to build a custom AI system that is comprehensively built for performance, speed, and reliability, and ideally one that is also delivered application-ready.

Even with the right artificial intelligence vendor, it’s usually best for the client to work through a checklist of their own to ensure that the system being built on their behalf will have the right specifications required to be successful in their unique situation.  The PSSC Labs AI team have compiled the following four important considerations that should be focused upon when working with a AI partner, like PSSC Labs, to develop the perfect AI workstation.

Your Checklist for Building AI Workstations

  1. Prepare Today for the Future of AI

Those working in the tech industry would say that the – see link comments is going to be all about its ability to support a complex and diverse business infrastructure with near full autonomy. In reality, this vision is still years away – but that doesn’t mean that firms aren’t making large strides towards that reality. AI practitioners should take a forward-thinking, focused approach to how they will utilize and implement their AI applications.  The PSSC Labs team has some excellent resources that can help support you and your organization with this process so email us today at [email protected] to receive our latest AI Workstation future planning guide.

  1. Consider Existing and Future Artificial Intelligence Infrastructure Needs

AI workflows are best supported when they are built to be integrated with existing or future high-performance computing infrastructure. Keeping this in process in mind when building and deploying AI technologies using workstations that will be able to fully assist you and your organization with the focus of streamlining future transitions. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt the way that firms operate, these transitions between on premise systems, private cloud and public cloud are sure to come.

  1. Focus on Security

With COVID-19, we saw employees transferring their workstations into their at-home setup at recording breaking numbers. This shift in the way firms are working has meant that security has never been more important, particularly if the firm possesses customer or other sensitive data.

Most AI decision makers would agree that security, performance, and cost are the most important features to consider when choosing an AI system as demonstrated by a Gartner report on AI security published in 2020. We recommend that users make security capabilities a key priority. Afterwards, use cases can be assessed to balance between speed and cost. With the right AI/HPC partner like PSSC Labs, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice performance or security simply due to budget.

  1. Carefully Select the Right Components for Your AI Needs

The right components will make all the difference in the livelihood of your system. As the brains of the system, CPU selection continues to be one of the most important elements in your AI workstation. The Intel Xeon® Scalable Processor delivers truly breakthrough performance for handling big data tasks such as real-time analytics, virtualized infrastructure and high-performance computing.

In addition to advanced architecture, Intel Xeon® processors feature a rich suite of platform and security innovations for enhanced application performance, including Intel AVX-512, Intel Mesh Architecture, Intel QuickAssist, Intel Optane SSDs and Intel Omni-Path Fabric.

The AMD EPYC Rome Processor, based on the Zen 2 microarchitecture is another viable option. AMD touts this product as offering a very high performance per dollar in the marketplace, with significantly improved instructions per cycle over the first-generation processor, as well as more cores and better thermal efficiency. Additionally, the processor features a higher base frequency and a higher boost frequency than the previous AMD top-of-the-line processor.

While CPU selection is significant, one should also be mindful in selecting the right GPU option. One of our favorite GPU options is the NVIDIA A100, an all-around powerhouse built for speed and performance. The A100 is designed for scientific computing, graphics, and data analytics in data centers and touted as the “best data center GPU ever made” by NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang.

With the NVIDIA A100, the right amount of computing power, memory, and scalability is delivered to tackle massive workloads. There are more than 54 billion transistors and it’s the world’s largest 7nm processor. The A100 can also efficiently scale to thousands of GPUs or, with NVIDIA Multi-Instance GPU (MIG) technology, be partitioned into seven GPU instances to accelerate workloads of all sizes. Read up on other GPUs to consider.

PSSC Labs takes a unique approach to developing custom Artificial Intelligence workstation solutions for organizations looking to deploy AI workstations. Our experts take your unique vision and business needs and then design a custom system architected with the latest CPU technology for your AI workflow. With a California-based support team of experienced AI engineers we are here for you and your organization. To discuss your situation in more detail and to receive a free quote for your customized AI workstation solution please call us today at 949-380-7288 or email us at [email protected].  We can not only provide you with a custom quote for your AI workstation but also discuss other possible workstation options you may wish to consider.

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