HomeARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCEArtificial Intelligence: How An On-Demand Infrastructure Supports Startups

Artificial Intelligence: How An On-Demand Infrastructure Supports Startups

Artificial intelligence plays a central role in the business model of many startups. To implement their offers, they need an AI-optimized infrastructure. The example of the startup Shakudo shows how this works.

Artificial intelligence plays a unique role in the business model of many startups. To implement their projects and offers, they need an AI-optimized infrastructure that can be flexibly and efficiently adjusted to the highly different computing requirements in AI projects. The example of the startup Shakudo shows how cooperation with a data centre service provider works and how the required infrastructure can be used cost-effectively and on-demand.

Artificial Intelligence: Growth Market For Young Companies

Artificial intelligence is an important growth market for startups. According to a study by the US news platform Protocol, investors invested US$29.5 billion in AI startups in the first half of 2021, surpassing the total for 2020 (US$27.8 billion). AI startups are seen as driving economic factors, according to a result of the “Startups and Artificial Intelligence” study published by the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups eV in December 2021: AI technology has a clear role for 43 percent of startups’ impact on their business model.

High Infrastructure Requirements For Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have special requirements for the underlying IT infrastructure due to data-intensive computing processes. For the first steps in test projects, well-known frameworks and pre-trained models usually offer a basis on which to build. Existing hardware with general-purpose processors often still offers acceptable performance here.

However, scaling AI and ML projects is more complicated because powerful computers must process the artificial intelligence workload in parallel at high speed and with varying precision. As AI models grow in scope and complexity, solutions are needed to meet the high demands and process hundreds of thousands of data points – often in real-time. AI startups are therefore faced with the challenge of making their computing capacities flexible and highly scalable for projects in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The purchase of AI-optimized hardware is not the optimal solution because it requires a high initial investment, is not scalable, and often becomes obsolete after a short time. The on-demand use of AI-optimized infrastructures by specialised data centre service providers promises AI startups more agility and freedom of action for innovative projects. The American startup Shakudo, which benefits from the flexible and robust IT services of the data centre provider Cyxtera as part of the NVIDIA Inception program, shows how this works.

This Is How The Startup Shakudo Succeeded In Implementing It

Finding the best approaches to scale their AI projects is crucial for startups focused on AI solutions. This is precisely where the startup Shakudo finds its business area and, with Hyperplane, offers an end-to-end platform for the provision, scaling, and maintenance of AI software. Hyperplane combines powerful tools and can be easily integrated into a company’s existing architecture and infrastructure. The platform allows data scientists to scale AI models from tiny to vast amounts of data with just one line of code, without any Docker files or complicated configurations. In this way, it enables companies to bring AI experiments to market maturity without significant detours.

To provide its customers with the high-performance and AI-optimized infrastructure they need via the Hyperplane platform, Shakudo uses Cyxtera’s AI/ML Compute-as-a-Service offering with NVIDIA DGX systems. The startup and its customers thus gain access to highly scalable on-demand AI computing power without time-consuming procurement and configuration steps. To realise his business strategy, Shakudo benefits from participating in Nvidia’s Inception program, which aims to help startups grow faster by providing them with access to technical training, connections to venture capitalists, and co-marketing support. Shakudo joined NVIDIA Inception in March 2021 and will have activated his offering in Q2 2022.

Rent AI-Optimized Hardware For Startups

Startups that want to expand their computing capacities specifically for their AI and ML projects should make sure that the hardware offered by the service provider, such as Nvidia’s DGX systems, is also designed and designed for this. This is the only way to best optimize your project and the price-performance ratio.

For AI startups to retain the tremendous possible flexibility for their own decisions and the further development of their AI or ML project, we recommend data centre service providers where they can use powerful AI-optimised servers as required without long-term contracts – a concept which Cyxtera, for example, is also pursuing with its data centre services in Germany. Only those who are not stuck in long-term and perhaps expensive mandatory contracts can flexibly control their AI projects and, at the same time, make optimal use of their financial resources. 

What Is Essential For The Data Centre Provider

AI startups that want to provide optimized hardware quickly, integrate it smoothly into their own IT, and use it for their solutions should ensure that data centre service providers meet the following criteria: For example, the provider’s servers should be pre installed in a separate and access-controlled data centre area and connected via redundant network interfaces. Their deployment and implementation should be fully automated and software-defined. The best way is via a comfortable and powerful management platform provided by the service provider to the company. It can ideally be easily integrated into the company’s own IT management.

The software-based management of the infrastructure ensures the company has complete technical control and reduces the complexity and risks of the AI-optimized hardware. Startups focusing on artificial intelligence want to focus on their innovative business ideas and tackle new business areas. The flexible provision of optimized infrastructure for artificial intelligence by a specialized data center service provider – inexpensive and on-demand – gives you the necessary agility on the market. 

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